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Before yesterdayBroadband TV News: Satellite

Eutelsat claims to be market leader in Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast

By Robert Briel

A study, led by Nielsen, of television reception throughout Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast, has positioned Eutelsat as satellite market leader within these countries.

The face-to-face interviews were conducted with 3,000 households in Nigeria, 2,000 in Cameroun and 2,000 in Ivory Coast, representative of the population of the geographical area surveyed.

Satellite television reception is the dominant technology in Ivory Coast reaching 68% of TV households (1.5 million households) and is also a major technology in Nigeria reaching 41% (10.3 million households) and in Cameroon with 38% households (1.3 million households).

“Eutelsat is pleased to have established a strong presence in the regional audiovisual landscape, providing millions of households with access to a wide range of local and international channels,” said Nicolas Baravalle, Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa at Eutelsat.

“This study confirms that Eutelsat’s 16° East position is the leading position for free-to-air broadcasting in Cameroon and Ivory Coast and that Eutelsat’s three positions, 36° East, 7° East and 16° East, serve the largest combined audience in the Nigerian market. It is a testament to our long-standing partnership with many of Africa’s leading TV channels and bouquets. We look forward to strengthening these partnerships to develop our services as these dynamic markets continue to evolve.”

Deutsches Musik Fernsehen plans Nice Gold TV

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German music broadcaster Deutsches Musik Fernsehen wants to offer a new entertainment channel in addition to its current channel which launched in 2008.

German media regulator KEK gave the green light to the venture at its latest meeting in Berlin.

According to KEK, the channel called Nice Gold TV will be broadcast free-to-air via the Astra satellite system (19.2° East).

Further details are not known at this stage.

Econet pulls the plug out of Kwese DTH platform

By Robert Briel

Econet Media has pulled the plug out of its Kwese satellite DTH platform following a review of its business strategy and service offerings.

Econet said they will now focus on three core services, Kwesé Free Sports (KFS), Kwesé iflix and Kwesé Play.

“In order to maintain its position as a leader in broadcasting innovation in Africa, Econet Media has reviewed its business strategy and service offerings to align them with the changes in the global digital and satellite broadcasting sector, and growth in access to mobile and fixed broadband on the continent,” according to a press statement from the company.

KFS is Africa’s largest free-to-air TV service, Kwesé iflix is Africa’s leading mobile video-on-demand sports and entertainment platform while Kwesé Play is a video streaming service with more than 200 sports, entertainment, kids and news channels including Red Bull TV, NBA, YouTube, TED and Bloomberg.

With increased focus on the above three services, Econet Media will streamline its direct-to-home satellite television service. “This will see the reduction of third-party channels available on the bouquet, as well as the removal of Kwesé branded sports (excluding KFS) and general entertainment channels.

“The broadcaster’s new bouquet will carry FTA, religious and free news channels, which will be available to viewers for a minimal fee, as the broadcaster will waive monthly subscription fees. Kwesé subscribers who have already paid their subscriptions for the month of November, or in advance, will receive a full refund.”

Kwesé has built a satellite TV business with presence in 11 markets and a free-to-air business across 27 countries. The business has also managed to secure leading sports rights and general entertainment channels to build a compelling content offering across its platforms.

Joe Hundah, Group President and Chief Executive of Econet Media, says the business’ repositioning is perfectly timed in response to market trends.

“We believe these changes will safeguard the future success of our business as we continue to make an indelible impact on Africa’s media industry. The revised business strategy will also ensure that Kwesé TV continues to remain competitive within the industry. Refocusing our business offering across markets, is a strategic move which aligns our business to OTT and video-on-demand trends which present significant growth opportunities for Kwesé. This renewed focus on digital services will see us providing new compelling offers for our customer’s enjoyment.”

TΓΌrksat tests 8K Super High-Vision channel

By Julian Clover

Türksat has tested a broadcast in the Ultra HD 8K Super High-Vision format.

The test on the Türksat 4B and Turksat-3A satellites (50 degrees East and 42 degrees East was carried out with the assistance of Kizil Elektronik, Vestel and Socionext.

Images of historical and natural Istanbul were captured for the ultra high definition broadcast, which was seen on a Vestel display at the Türksat booth at Globalsatshow (Istanbul, November 1-3).

Turkey is one of the first countries in the world to transmit broadcasts in the 8K format.

EXCLUSIVE: Sky D focuses on HD and removes SD channels

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Sky Deutschland is embarking on a major HD offensive and will be the first TV broadcaster in Germany to commence switching off SD channels in the DTH satellite market.

While on German cable, analogue switch-off is still running and the discussion about SD switch-off on satellite has only just begun, the step would confirm Sky Deutschland’s role as a technological first-mover. The pay-TV operator benefits from the fact that all current Sky receivers and flat-screen TV sets are HD-capable.

As a first step, Sky intends to activate all Sky subscribers for HD reception by November 15, 2018 at no extra charge, as Broadband TV News has learned from distribution partners affected by the move. This clears the way for the closure of 14 SD feeds on November 29: Disney Junior, Beate-Uhse.TV, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, 13th Street, Fox Series, TNT Series, Syfy, NatGeo Wild, Spiegel Geschichte, Sky 1, TNT Film, Disney Cinemagic and Sky Atlantic.

From November 15, these channels will carry a text caption with SD shutdown information. The channels will continue to be available to Sky subscribers in HD quality. Other SD channels on Sky are not affected and will continue to be offered in standard resolution.

In addition to the former SD channels, which Sky customers will then be able to receive in HD quality, the HD channels E! Entertainment HD, Eurosport 1 HD, History HD, Sky Arts HD, TNT Comedy HD and Universal HD will be added for new Sky subscribers and existing customers of the Sky Starter package. All Cinema customers will in future always have the channels TNT Film HD and Disney Cinemagic HD included in their package. Activation will take place automatically and without extra charge.

The SD switch-off is part of a major transponder reorganisation by Sky Deutschland on November 29 on the Astra satellite system (19.2° East), through which the pay-TV broadcaster serves DTH satellite households and distribution partners such as cable operators and IPTV providers, who will also be affected by the move. The SD switch-off and reshuffle enables Sky to vacate two transponders. It is, however, not known what Sky will do with the bandwidth at this stage.

As part of the reorganisation, Sky will discontinue the HD channels Sky Select HD, Blue Movie HD and Sky 1+1 HD. Sky Select content in HD will in future be offered via the Sky Store video-on-demand service. Select channels 1-9 and the Select portal are not affected by the changes. Blue Movie content in HD will then be available via the 18+ app on Sky Q. Sky 1+1 HD will be replaced by the series on-demand offer on Sky On Demand and Sky Go.

At the same time, many Sky channels will change transponders. If the channel listing is not automatically updated by the receiver, viewers should perform a channel search on their reception device.

A Sky Deutschland spokesman did not want to comment on the changes when approached by Broadband TV News, but pointed to an upcoming press release on the subject.

Eutelsat encourages local Italian stations to go on Hotbird

By Robert Briel

Eutelsat launches a proposal to local TV channels in Italy: to move to the satellite with the help of a series of incentives to solve the problems due to the sale of the 700 MHz band destined for 5G.

“Eutelsat is ready to put in place an incentive plan to facilitate the moving of local television channel to the Hot Bird postion in order to stem the most extreme consequences arising from the liberation of the 700 MHz band,” Eutelsat Italia CEO Renato Farina told website DDay.

“The satellite platform has transmission capacity and adequate bandwidth not only to ensure uniform coverage of the territory, but also to convey the signal of regional broadcasters in high definition. Soon there will be new developments after a season marked by the increase in HDR content transmitted by Sky and 4K content transmitted by Tivùsat, which also broadcasts the HD versions of Mediaset’s flagship channels.”

Eutelsat Hotbird already takes an important place in the Italian television landscape with both pay-TV from Sky Italia and TivùSat, the free-to-view satellite platform. Pay TV in 4K and HDR is on satellite, public TV is on satellite in HD, and Italians who have access with a satellite dish to Hotbird 13 degrees East are almost 10 million.

Local TV channels are still missing, which today differentiates satellite from DVB-T, but things may change soon. If local TVs were to switch to satellite, the satellite’s offering would be much wider and more complete than that of DVB-T.

The digital terrestrial television is in the middle of changes, with a switchover from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 from January 1, 2020, to make room for future mobile networks on the 700 MHz. band. However – to the surprise of many insiders – the Ministry has decided not to switch to DVB-T2 HEVC, but adopting the MPEG4 codec on the DVB-T transmission mode, despite the fact that the government made it compulsory for manufactures to equip all TV sets with DVB-T2 and HEVC.

SES Group profit dips 23%

By Chris Dziadul

Trading conditions in international markets continue to be challenging for SES’s video business. Recently launched customer platforms are struggling to build traction, while competition to established platforms remains intense.

In its latest set of results, the company notes that SES Video had underlying revenues of €967.5 million in the year to September 30, or 2.8% lower than in the same period last year at constant FX. In addition, it had periodic revenues of €9.9 million.

Meanwhile, its Q3 underlying revenues at constant FX were 3.8% lower at €12.4 million.

Underlying revenues for video distribution for the first nine months of this year were, at €724.8 million, 4.7% lower a year earlier, and those for video services 3.5% higher at €242.7 million.

On the operational side, SES delivered a total of 8.020 TV channels as of the end of September (+4% year-on-year), of which 2,795 (+7%) were HD and 40 commercial UHD (+67%). Almost two-thirds (65.4%) of TV channels were broadcast in MPEG-4 (63.5% in Q3 2017).

SES Video accounted for 67% of the company’s revenues in the first nine months of the year, down slightly from 68% in 2017.

SES Group’s revenues YTD were €1,469.4 million (-3.8%, +0.4% contact FX) and EBITDA €927.7 million (-6.7% reported, -2.9% constant FX).

The net profit, at €303.7 million, was 23% lower than in the corresponding period in 2017.

In his commenting on the results, Steve Collar, president and CEO, said: “Our focus on execution continues to generate strong financial performance, delivering growth in absolute and underlying revenue, and we remain on track to deliver on our year-end financial outlook”.

On SES Video he added that it had, “signed important renewals and new business this quarter with now 96% of 2018’s expected total revenue secured, including an important renewal with Channel 4 in the UK Video Services contributed positively in Q3 with growing traction for our MX1 360 platform. International video distribution remains challenged with some platforms struggling to achieve market traction and strong competition for all new platforms. We remain focused on growth opportunities while reinforcing our core neighbourhoods that are among the best and most penetrated DTH neighbourhoods in the world”.

Freenet TV joins forces with maxdome

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German DVB-T2 and DTH satellite platform Freenet TV has added the video-on-demand service maxdome to its offer.

maxdome is offered as a combined package with Freenet TV including CI+ module and access to Freenet TV and maxdome for six months each for a total price of €89. This corresponds to a saving of €30, according to Freenet TV.

Existing Freenet TV customers can sign up for maxdome at a monthly price of €6.99. The Freenet TV Entertainment Package is available from local retailers and online at www.freenet.tv.

The maxdome subscription can be booked by existing customers through the Freenet TV customer portal.

Sahar Kupersmidt appointed SVP & Head of Nordic DTH TV

By Robert Briel

Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) has appointed Sahar Kupersmidt as SVP & Head of Nordic DTH TV.

Sahar will lead the region wide development of NENT Group’s Viasat satellite operator business, which offers pay TV services to customers in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

In her new role, Sahar will hold commercial, strategic and business development responsibility for Viasat’s satellite operator activities in the Nordic region. Local teams will continue to lead execution across the Viasat organisation, which also includes channel distribution and broadband access (Sweden) business areas.

Sahar joined NENT Group in 2007 and has held several leadership roles at the group, most recently Head of Viasat Sweden. In February 2018, she was named Female Role Model of the Year at Sweden’s Telekomgala industry awards. Sahar will report to NENT Group President & CEO Anders Jensen and will be a member of the Group Executive Management team.

Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO: “Every day, NENT Group reaches millions of customers through our streaming and broadcasting services. We see huge potential in Viasat, which is one of the most recognisable entertainment brands in the Nordic region today. Sahar’s know-how, commercial acumen and unique ability to inspire will be huge assets as we maximise the impact of our Viasat offering by combining central focus with local execution.”

Sahar Kupersmidt, NENT Group SVP & Head of Nordic DTH TV: “It’s been a privilege to lead the amazing Swedish Viasat team and to achieve such great things together. Now I can’t wait to work with my talented colleagues across the whole region. Our people, content and technology will ensure that we shape this highly competitive market for years to come.”

Following Sahar’s appointment, Mahmoud Mustapha, previously Viasat Sweden’s Director of Product and Customer Experience, has been appointed VP & Head of Pay TV Sweden.

Mahmoud Mustapha, NENT Group VP & Head of Pay TV Sweden: “I’m honoured to follow Sahar Kupersmidt in leading the Viasat Sweden success story. We have an unrivalled position in pay TV and have rapidly developed a world class broadband product. We want Viasat’s offering of the very best sports, films and series to be as broadly available as possible. Our priorities are to reinforce our position in satellite, expand our broadband footprint and work even more closely with our partners.”

Both Sahar Kupersmidt and Mahmoud Mustapha take on their new roles with immediate effect.

(On the picture Sahar Kupersmidt and Mahmoud Mustafa)

Playboy TV Europe choses M7 as satellite partner

By Robert Briel

MIPCOM 2018 – CANNES. M7 Group has concluded a long term agreement with adult channel provider Marc Dorcel for the satellite distribution of Playboy TV Europe.

As part of the agreement, the channel is distributed via the M7 platform at 9 degrees East for the digital delivery of Playboy TV Europe to third party operators within the footprint of the Eurobird 9B satellite.

For this purpose, M7 Platform Services provides a full end-to-end satellite distribution solution, including encryption, encoding and multiplexing as well as first level help desk support for third party operators.

Moreover, from the December 1, 2018 Playboy TV Europe will be included in the M7 Germany offering, targeting B2B customers in the German speaking markets, while M7’s Austrian B2C platform HD Austria will add Playboy TV Europe to its linear OTT offering, available via hybrid set-top boxes and the M7 smart TV app (already available via Samsung and LG smart TV’s). Other M7 markets to follow shortly.

Playboy TV Europe features European localised content, original series and new TV shows focusing on lifestyle and social media. Playboy TV Europe is already partnering with exclusive European directors, photographers and models, and takes great pride to bring a unique European touch to its programs through fresh new faces.

“We are delighted with this technical partnership with M7”, said Gregory Dorcel CEO of Marc Dorcel.

“Playboy TV Europe is a premium quality channel that requires a flawless infrastructure and the highest technical service standards. This collaboration with the M7 Group, allows us to guarantee this values to all our customers.

“We are very happy with this new agreement. Playboy TV Europe is a world-wide renowned brand and we are proud to be selected at its satellite distribution partner for Europe. Furthermore, the channel is an attractive addition to the line-up for our various channel bouquets and we look forward to a fruitful cooperation”, added Bill Wijdeveld, VP Business Development of M7 Group.

Restructuring costs continue to hit A1 Telekom Austria

By JΓΆrn Krieger

A1 Telekom Austria Group, in which the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s América Móvil holds a majority stake, continued to post less profit in Q3 2018 following a brand value write-down as a result of the group-wide rebranding.

Without this effect, net income would have been unchanged, the company announced in its quarterly figures report.

“Our growth strategy continues to be successful, the operating performance in the first three quarters was solid,” said Thomas Arnoldner, CEO of A1 Telekom Austria Group. Revenues increased from January to September 2018 by 1.3% (pro forma basis) and by 2.8% excluding foreign exchange and one-off effects.

EBITDA, on a pro forma basis decreased, by 2.1%. Taking into account foreign exchange, restructuring and one-off effects, EBITDA increased by 2.4%.

“As expected, brand value amortisation due to the group-wide rebranding had a negative impact of around €190 million on the net result this year, without which we were able to achieve a stable development,” said Arnoldner.

In the third quarter, A1 saw revenue growth of 1.4% (on a pro forma basis). EBITDA fell by 4.9% on a pro forma basis, excluding restructuring effects the development was flat at 0.3%.

“We are thus well placed to position our group for the digital future in a highly competitive environment. The group-wide roll-out of the A1 brand and thus the implementation of the single-brand-strategy is progressing rapidly and supports our position as a strong international group that is evolving from a convergent telco to a provider of advanced IT, IoT, cloud and content solutions,” said Arnoldner.

4KUniverse launches on Eutelsat Hotbird

By Robert Briel

MIPCOM 2018 – CANNES. 4KUniverse, a 24/7 4K HDR general entertainment TV channel will be launching on the Hotbird video neighbourhood on November 1, 2018.

4KUniverse is encrypted and encoded with Wide Colour Gamut, at 50 frames per second (50p), HLG HDR and colour space enabling 1.07 billion colours.

“We are very pleased to welcome 4KUniverse on board our UHD platform in the Hotbird neighbourhood. Their exciting range of UHD series, movies and documentaries as well as a burgeoning live sports offering promises to delight and enthrall new audiences across Europe, Middle East and North Africa,” stated Gerry O’Sullivan, Eutelsat’s Executive Vice President Global TV and Video.

“4KUniverse will enjoy rapid growth across Europe, Middle East and North Africa thanks to our long-term agreement with Eutelsat’s Hotbird satellite. It’s exciting to be at the forefront of TV technology and together with Hotbird, we’ll be able to fulfill customer demand of wanting the highest quality picture on television: 4K HDR,” says 4KUniverse’s Founder & CEO, Matthew Mancinelli.

4KUniverse is the new 24-hour 4K HDR general entertainment TV channel, airing original TV series, movies, documentaries, sports and primetime programming all in stunning 4K HDR. 4KUniverse is available as a 4K HDR cable TV channel and as a direct-to-consumer streaming service priced at $10 per month.

Radio Nikita TV HD to launch on Hellas Sat

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Greek radio station Radio Nikita 89.9 will launch a TV channel on Hellas Sat (39° East) on October 20, 2018.

Radio Nikita TV HD will be operated by German TV and radio presenter Nick Stein, CEO of Nikita Media LTD based in Rethymno on the island of Crete. The TV channel and the radio station will broadcast free-to-air on the frequency 12,441 GHz V (SR 23.666, FEC 2/3).

From its launch, Radio Nikita TV HD will also be available on the satellite platforms operated by Cosmote (Greece) and Bulsatcom (Bulgaria). By spring 2019, the channel wants to expand to the Greek Nova platform and Wind Vision.

Radio Nikita TV HD will broadcast in English, German and Bulgarian language and offer a range of programming from visual radio – live images from the radio studio of Radio Nikita 89.9 – to recently released movies (partially with subtitles) and documentaries about the sea, landscape and people in Greece.

Fix&Foxi and RiC join simpliTV in Austria

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Austrian TV platform simpliTV has added the children’s and family channels Fix&Foxi and RiC to its line-up.

The two channels, which are operated by German media company Your Family Entertainment, reach the viewers as live streams via the internet.

The streaming service adds additional channels and services to the simpliTV platform distributed via Astra (19.2° East) and DVB-T2.

SES launches FTA local channel bouquet for Nigeria

By Robert Briel

Premium Free is launching a new bouquet of 13 channels supplied by AfricaXP and delivered using SES satellites at 28.2 degrees East.

AfricaXP is an independent African channel network, content distributor and producer, which owns and operates over 20 different themed channels supplied to African broadcasters and African diaspora platforms worldwide. This new bouquet of FTA channels includes premium channels, which are custom-made for African viewers and blend premium African programming with top-flight international content across a diverse range of themes from sports to movies, telenovelas, kids, factual, reality and lifestyle programming.

“By choosing to work with SES, Premium Free offers our channels full regional coverage for multinational language channels like Hausa. SES also offers the best possible verified reach in dynamic and important markets like Nigeria,” said Craig Kelly, CEO of AfricaXP.

“AfricaXP is well known for its compelling Nollywood catalogue and longstanding partnerships with prominent West African producers. We are confident that localization coupled with our fresh international rights will provide the kind of content blend that modern West African audiences demand. Transmitted free-to-air, this is obviously a great offer at a price point that can’t be beaten.”

SES reaches over 9 million Direct-to-Home households across West Africa from its orbital position of 28.2 degrees East. Those households with existing FTA set-top boxes (STBs) will be able to start watching the new channels on their existing STBs for free.

In addition to hosting these TV channels on the ASTRA 2G satellite, SES’ media subsidiary, MX1, is providing the necessary ground services such as uplinking, encoding, playout servers, and ad-insertion.

“The Nigerian FTA market in particular offers great opportunities for growth, and we are proud to have engaged with Premium Free to deliver a differentiated content package for Nigeria and offer more choice for viewers,” said Clint Brown, VP of Sales and Market Development, Africa for SES Video.

“New initiatives like this, which focus on delivering local and international content that is attractive for the end-consumer and is offered in high picture quality will further develop consumer choice in Nigeria.”

Successful launch for Intelsat 38 and Azerspace-2

By Chris Dziadul

WATCH VIDEO. Intelsat and Azercosmos, the national satellite operator of Azerbaijan, have announced the successful launch of the Intelsat 38 and Azerspace-2 satellite aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana.

Intelsat 38 is a Ku-band satellite and will be located in the 45 degrees orbital position. It will replace Intelsat 12 and DTH platforms for Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Asia-Pacific region. Intelsat 38 will also provide connectivity for corporate networks and government applications in Africa. Intelsat 38 was built by SSL, a Maxar Technologies Ltd. company (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd).

Commenting on the satellite, Stephen Spengler, CEO Intelsat, said: “Today’s successful launch is a great example of the power and value derived from collaborating with other satellite operators.

“Intelsat’s partnership with Azercosmos reflects a mutually beneficial collaboration that optimises capital investments, leverages spectrum rights and facilitates refreshed and expanded capacity for customer growth. Intelsat 38’s leading DTH platform will provide media customers with an opportunity to further expand their business as well as deliver enhanced services and differentiated content to viewers across Central and Eastern Europe and the Asia Pacific regions. It will also provide fast, resilient and redundant broadband connectivity to enterprise and government customers looking to expand their services in Africa.”

Rashad Nabiyev, chairman and chief Executive officer of Azercosmos, added: “Azerspace-2 is Azercosmos’ second telecommunications satellite and will further expand the service currently available from Azerspace-1.

“The satellite will also enable us to provide more reliable service by serving as back-up for Azerspace-1 located at 46 degrees East, which is only one degree away from Azerspace-2. We are pleased to have collaborated with leaders of the global satellite industry throughout the implementation of this project.”

Intelsat 38 and Azercosmos-2 are expected to enter into service in the first quarter of 2019.

Euroconsult: satellite revenues from video markets continue to erode

By Broadband TV News Correspondent

Euroconsult expects satellite operators’ revenues to move from DTH and video services to telco- and data-driven traffic.

Based on the latest market projections, wholesale capacity revenues from telecom applications will surpass video applications by 2021. The growth is largely supported by the influx of low cost capacity from new VHTS systems & NGSO broadband in the coming years. As a result, total capacity supply is projected to grow eight-fold from 1.3 Tbps in 2017 to nearly 10 Tbps by 2022.

Innovations in technology, services and in the ecosystem will make satellite connectivity relevant in the context of the communication sector of the 2020s, that will see the spread of terrestrial 5G and the rollout of a wider range of communication services, either between humans or driven by IoT exchanges,” said Pacôme Révillon, CEO of Euroconsult.

“In the short term, the impact on legacy services and the related pressure on the economic performance of operators could be unfortunately described as a necessary pain, and is certainly no different from the cycles observed in other industries navigating a breakthrough innovation period.”

The growth acceleration in HTS capacity demand confirms our view of the market shift from regular to HTS and the increasing demand for telecom applications. HTS capacity leased increased to around 594 Gbps in 2017, a new record high, and a clear acceleration (+36% y-o-y) in take-up across all telecom verticals. HTS capacity growth was driven by several factors, including increasing capacity usage for consumer broadband and backhaul as new system launches facilitated growth across multiple global regions. In addition, a number of operators succeeded in leasing entire payloads, which resulted in a stepped increase of the initial growth phase in certain markets.

Euroconsult’s forecast is predicated upon:
• A massive supply increase, despite some of the largest programs (including LEO constellations) not being fully financed yet
• Anticipated demand elasticity in price-sensitive verticals such as broadband access, aero IFC and trunking/backhaul, opening up new applications (smalls cells, WIFI hotspots) or regional markets
• Increasing capacity usage among existing users from mobility, broadband access, milsatcom, enterprise networks and trunking/backhaul.
The net growth in capacity usage in 2017 did not result in revenue growth as the FSS industry is still absorbing the impacts of the recent capacity price resets. Leased regular capacity decreased for the first time in more than a decade to around 6,920 TPEs in 2017. Growing requirements for video distribution, milsatcom and aero IFC are expected to mute regular capacity erosion until 2020.

SES opens Isle of Man teleport

By Robert Briel

SES has opened its new teleport in the Isle of Man.

Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for Enterprise, formally opened the new state-of-the-art facility in the presence of Steve Collar, President and CEO of SES, and Martin Halliwell, CTOof SES.

“I welcome the investment by SES in the new teleport which will significantly enhance the Island’s status as a burgeoning media cluster and will provide further reassurance to potential investors in the technology sector that the Island’s infrastructure is well-placed to support a wide range of digital media and telecommunications activities,” said Minister Skelly.

The Teleport is situated on the outskirts of Douglas and has the capability to support up to four nine meter antennas, a fully backed-up power and telecommunications infrastructure, a control centre and connectivity to satellites in space and, via Sure’s fibre network, into SES’ global network. This connectivity allows the teleport to transport corporate data, voice or broadcast video to fixed and mobile locations around the globe.

“Since SES was established in the Isle of Man back in 2004, we have had a very positive and supportive relationship with the Isle of Man Government. In addition to being able to use this state-of-the-art teleport to provide services for SES’ own satellite fleet, we will be using the site to support the broadcast of the annual International Isle of Man TT motorcycle races and other events,” added Steve Collar.

The multi-million-pound facility was developed with the assistance of local telecoms firm Sure, with Stewart Clague Services commissioned to help with the design, installation, construction and maintenance of the purpose-built teleport.

Ariane to launch Horizons 3e and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38

By Robert Briel

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s dual-payload launch with the Horizons 3e and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 telecommunications satellites has rolled out to the launch zone at Europe’s Spaceport, clearing the way for the milestone 100th flight of this workhorse from French Guiana.

Riding atop one of two mobile launch tables for the heavy-lift vehicle, Ariane 5 has completed its transfer from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building – where payload integration occurred – to the dedicated ELA-3 launch complex. With this rollout completed, the final countdown will begin for a September 25 liftoff at the start of a 45-minute launch window opening at 6:53pm local time in French Guiana (21:53 GMT)
The mission is designated Flight VA243, and it has an estimated payload performance of 10,827 kg. – a total that factors in Horizons 3e and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38, plus the dual-satellite dispenser system and integration hardware. Both passengers are to be deployed to geostationary transfer orbit during a 42-minute flight sequence.

Horizons 3e is the mission’s upper passenger and will be released first in the flight sequence at 28 minutes after liftoff. Owned by a joint venture of Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, this Boeing-built spacecraft will provide coverage for aeronautical and maritime mobility, fixed and wireless operators, as well as mobility and government customers. Horizons 3e also is the first satellite in Intelsat’s EpicNG spacecraft series to feature entire Ku-band spot beams utilizing multiport amplifiers that optimize power across the spacecraft.

Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38, produced by SSL, is to be deployed 14 minutes later from Ariane 5’s lower passenger position. Azerspace-2 is Azerbaijan’s second geostationary satellite and will be operated by Azercosmos. Intelsat 38 will provide Ku-band capabilities and deliver continuity of service for the Intelsat 12 satellite located at 45 deg. East.

As the fourth heavy-lift Ariane 5 flight so far in 2018, tomorrow’s mission will continue an active year for Arianespace’s full family of launchers, which also has included one flight each with the medium-lift Soyuz and the lightweight Vega.

Sky D and Eurosport agree on Bundesliga for sports bars

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland has reached an agreement with Discovery regarding the distribution of Bundesliga channel Eurosport 2 HD Xtra, but this only covers the gastronomy sector.

Private Sky subscribers continue to require a subscription and hardware (set-top box/CI+ module) from DTH satellite platform HD+ for reception.

The partnership between Sky and Discovery runs until the 2020/21 Bundesliga season and enables Sky sports bars, hotel bars and clubhouses with satellite reception to show Eurosport 2 HD Xtra in their premises.

The channel transmits 40 mostly exclusive Bundesliga matches, mainly on Friday evening.

Prior to the cooperation with Sky, gastronomy businesses were able to show the Eurosport Bundesliga matches via OTT service Eurosport Player by signing up for an end-consumer subscription. According to Discovery, this option no longer exists with the Sky deal.