What better way to garner European Satellite Markets expertise than to talk directly with the executives whose companies are involved in numerous business efforts in this region of the world? A number of company leaders were generous enough to discuss their thoughts and plans for their firms continued activity in the various market segments within the European SatCom environs. Due to the number of executives involved, we present in alphabetical order each participating company and their executive spokesperson answering the first question. We hope you find this roundtable to be interesting...
Please explain to our readers what your Companys presence is within the European satellite communications and ancillary markets. What sort of experience does your Company possess within the European satellite markets?
Paul Weldon, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, ASC Signal
Our Company designs and manufactures satellite Earth station antennas from 3.5m to 9.4m apertures operating at the full commercial satellite frequency spectrum from C- to Ka-band, deployed within networks for broadcast and enterprise applications. The company has provided hubs through the major VSAT OEMs such as Gilat, and iDirect, broadcasters (BBC, ITN, and RAI), and for DVB applications. These antennas have also been deployed for other applications, such as government surveillance and monitoring systems. ASC Signals experience extends beyond the antenna system itself to the complete Earth station configuration and integration, including RF amplifiers, up/down converters, redundancy threads, receive chain electronics and network management software.
Joerg Schmidt, Managing Director + CEO, DEV Systemtechnik
DEV Systemtechnik is a leading technology supplier for the transmission and distribution of radio frequency signals within satellite Earth stations and head ends. We develop and produce leading-edge products and systems for the entire signal transmission path, from antenna/LNB to receiver. Our products are deployed in major cable and satellite installations throughout Europe including companies such as Astra, Eutelsat, GlobeCast, the European Broadcasting Union, ZDF, Kabel Deutschland, Canal Digital Kabel TV and others as they meet the highest demands on system availability, reliability, and controllability.
Jani Lyrintzis, Vice President + G.M., Wireless Solutions, EB
EB develops advanced technology product that enriches end user experiences. The company specializes in embedded software and hardware solutions for the automotive industry and wireless technologies. Our technical core competencies are in automotive-grade software, wireless technologies, solutions and system and software architecture. The EB Wireless Business Segment turns the next generation wireless technologies into state-of-the-art products, services and solutions that include wireless device development and infrastructure solutions; device offering and platform development, reference designs and technology demos and products; infrastructure offerings; Mobile WiMAX base station framework and RF variants; R&D service and test tools for measuring, modeling, and emulating the radio channel environments.
Dimitrios Papaharalabos, Head of Sales + Marketing, Europe Media Port
EMP (Europe Media Port) is a global service provider for distribution of Video, Internet and Data connectivity solutions to the Media, ISPs and Governmental markets, via the Nemea teleport located in Greece. EMP delivers the highest quality transmissions of data, IP, video and audio to broadcasters, teleports, satellite operators, enterprises, ISP providers, PTP data carriers and governments. From our strategic geographical position, EMP offers high quality access to all satellites in the 45 degrees West to 90 degrees East range, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas and Asia. EMP is a leading global service provider in the new and fast growing Ka-band satellite high speed data market.
Catherine De Peuter,
Senior Program Manager, Futron
Futron celebrated its 25th anniversary last month (August 2011). While the main focus of the company in the past quarter century has been on commercial and government space (in particular serving government agencies such as NASA), our Space and Telecommunications (S&T) division has concentrated its research on satellite communications. Futron has a large number of European clients who use our standardized research and strategic consulting services. Futrons expertise encompasses all aspects of satellite communications in that its clients are active in the launch industry, satellite operations, satellite manufacturing and ground segment sectors alike. We have also support a number of financial transactions ranging for private financial due diligence to export credit analysis.
Doron Elinav, V. P., Marketing and Business Development,
Gilat Satellite Networks
Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (Nasdaq: GILT) is a leading provider of products, solutions and services for high performance satellite-based networks, and enables communications across the globe. Founded in 1987, we introduced our first VSAT product for the satellite communications industry and we have not stopped since then. Recently, we have expanded our capabilities with two acquisitions; Raysat Antenna Systems and Wavestream.
Raysat Antenna Systems provides low-profile Satellite-on-the-Move (SOTM) antennas, mostly to government customers. They are the market leader in the low-profile antenna segment. Wavestream is a leading provider of SSPA (Solid State Power Amplifier) technology. Their products are used mostly by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) today and they are now expanding to International markets as well as to commercial customers.
Gilat has been active in Europe for many years, focused up until now mostly on the enterprise and government sectors. These include a range of users such as retail Point-of-Sale, lottery, SCADA and secure connectivity between sites. Our sales today are to service providers who provide technology and satellite capacity to the users. Some of these service providers also provide coverage to other regions, such as Africa and the Middle East. Recently, Gilat entered the consumer market in Europe, having been selected by SES to bring Ka-band terminals to its European service Astra2Connect. Gilats Ka-band platform will allow SES to deliver significantly faster Internet and Voice-over-IP services to private households and small businesses across Europe. SES is currently serving more than 80,000 ASTRA2Connect end users and operates the largest satellite-based broadband network in Europe.
Phillippe Manzano, Head of Satellite Product Management, Globecast
GlobeCast is a leading service provider for audiovisual content management and delivery. Broadcast via satellite is our core business, but our market presence today is much broader, to help broadcasters manage their content and deliver it seamlessly to viewers on five continents via satellite and fiber. In Europe, we offer services on the leading contribution, cable distribution, and direct-to-home (DTH) birds, with several offices and teleports in the region.
Roberto López, CEO, Hisdesat
Hisdesat has a long experience in the global satellite market as an operator of secure communications services, both in X- and Ka- military bands. Our system of government communications is based on two satellites covering two-thirds of the globe a third satellite is in development in cooperation with the Norwegian Ministry of Defense, which will expand the coverage of our system and increase the supply of services. Additionally, we are developing other constellations of satellites in the field of Earth Observation and AIS to improve safety in maritime traffic.
On the communications side, we currently have two satellites in operation. The Spain Sat is positioned at 30 degrees West, and offers coverage that includes virtually all the Americas, Africa, Europe, as well as reaching the Middle East. The second satellite, Xtar-Eur, is positioned at 29 degrees East, and provides coverage from Brazil to Indonesia, including Europe, Africa, the Middle East and much of Asia. The third communications satellite in development is Hisnorsat and will be managed through a cooperation program between Hisdesat and the Norwegian Armed Forces. Hisnorsat will feature active transponders in X- and Ka- military bands.
In Earth Observation, we have a system comprised of two satellites which use spatial observation technologies, optical and radar (SAR) for civilian and military use. The radar satellite (Paz) will be in orbit in late 2012 and the optical satellite (Ingenio) will be launched in late 2014. Our maritime satellite information system (AIS) is managed through the Canadian society, Exact Earth, a joint venture between COMDEV and Hisdesat. There are currently three microsatellites in orbit and three more will be added by the close of 2011. The complete constellation, consisting of 10 microsatellites, will be completed in 2014 and will provide updated information of world maritime traffic every 60 minutes.
Mary Cotton, CEO, iDirect
Our experience within these markets is extensive, and increasingly so. As time has gone by, weve increased our footprint significantly. I think one of the main drivers for this is the level of trust we have with our customers. As we dont compete directly with our customers, weve positioned ourselves as trusted advisors. This has given us considerable credibility in the market, which has allowed us to penetrate across the region and become more focused on vertical markets.
We define the European market to include West Europe, East Europe, the Nordics, Russia and the CIS, which geographically is quite broad. Our metrics illustrate considerable success in Europe over the years: Just looking at Russia and the CIS alone, we have approximately 58 hubs deployed. In Europe, we are leading our competition.
Bruno Dupas, President, Integral Systems Europe
Integral Systems Europe (ISE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Integral Systems, has been committed to offering industry-leading, commercial-based ground segment products, solutions and services for more than 10 years. We currently operate out of two sites, our headquarters in Toulouse, France and Newcastle in the United Kingdom. From these two locations, we provide European-based satellite operators, satellite manufacturers, space agencies, broadcasters, service providers, government agencies and the military the following services;
Satellite Command & Control/Fleet Management via our EPOCH Integrated Product Suite (EPOCH IPS) which has long dominated the market for satellite C2 and fleet management. As the leading commercial-based satellite C2 solution, it supports satellite designs from every major commercial geostationary satellite manufacturer.
Earth Station Integration Services (ESIS), which includes turnkey antenna/RF system design and integrated Earth stations for satellite service providers, broadcasters, and critical VSAT network operators.
Network Management using our award-winning COMPASS Network Management System (NMS) which provides complete network management and monitoring control, as well as remote site management.
RF Mitigation, where ISE combines industry-leading products from Integral Systems Monics®, SAT-DSA® and satID® to offer the markets only integrated carrier monitoring, RF interference analysis, detection and geolocation system. Satellite operators are able to identify costly RF interference in a matter of seconds and locate the source within 10 kilometers.
Integrated Ground System Solutions, comprised of turnkey, end-to-end ground system solution for all types of satellites, providing antenna and RF facilities, network equipment, C2/TT&C control system, Network Management and Monitoring, Carrier Monitoring and RF Interference Detection and Geolocation.
Svend Lykke Larsen, Managing Director, KVH Europe A/S
The European satellite markets are a major focus for KVH. We offer satellite communications systems and service, as well as satellite TV systems, for commercial and leisure mariners throughout Europe. This area is such a focus for KVH that we have subsidiaries in Denmark and Norway, along with distributors and dealers in virtually every country in Europe. KVH has been involved in the European maritime market for more than 20 years, and we continue to expand our product offerings and support network on a regular basis. Most recently, we acquired Virtek Communications (now KVH Norway) with the aim of fully integrating its powerful CommBox Ship/Shore Network Manager within our comprehensive SATCOM solution as well as establishing a new office in Norway.
Howard Hausman, President + CEO, MITEQ
MITEQ is a diversified microwave engineering company with a major presence in satellite Earth station equipment and microwave components for military and space applications. In satellite Earth stations, MITEQ designs and produces all of the microwave equipment from the output of the modem to the input of the antenna. We have equipment in more than a hundred countries on seven continents, with Europe being our largest market outside of the United States. As a qualified aerospace manufacturer, certified to the applicable ISO standards and AS9100 (a quality standard above ISO standards), we have produced space equipment for major satellite space systems including the European Herschel Space Telescope. These high quality, high reliability and state-of-the-art technology techniques are used in the manufacture of all of our equipment and make our satellite Earth station subsystems known for these attributes around the world.
Ahsun Murad, President + CEO, Optimal SATCOM
Optimal SATCOM is the only provider of COTS-based enterprise-level satellite capacity management systems in the world, catering to commercial satellite operators, satellite service providers, and MILSATCOM users. The European market is of great interest to us at this time. Commercial satellite operators are launching major new satellite systems such as O3b, and are using larger and more complex satellites. There is increasing use of the Ka-band with both partial Ka-band payloads and dedicated Ka-band satellites launched or being planned. Satellite service providers are increasingly moving towards bandwidth-efficient technologies such as carrier-in-carrier and adaptive/variable coding and modulation features of DVB-S2, and more importantly, structuring product offerings that take advantage of their unique features. On the MILSATCOM front, new military satellite systems are now in the planning stages. At the same time, corporations are pushing towards higher operational efficiency and greater profitability, and there is significant M&A activity amongst the satellite operators. All of these present potential new challenges in capacity management, and new opportunities for us. In addition, the European players are technology trendsetters for their corresponding market segments in other high-growth areas of the world, such as Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Emerging players in those markets often look to their European counterparts for cues regarding best practices, and our maturity in the European market positions us well for pursuing opportunities elsewhere.
Gabriel Racah, Director of Marketing, ORBIT
ORBIT is a leading provider of mobile satellite communications systems for GEO satellites as well as tracking and telemetry solutions for LEO satellites. We entered the market of mobile satellite communication systems with TVRO and L-band SATCOM systems for aircraft, mainly business jets. Then, in 1999, we entered the maritime satellite communications market with a stabilized TVRO system which served the global TV reception needs of cruise liners. A year later we added stabilized VSAT solutions and, since then, we have installed more than 3,500 maritime systems worldwide in virtually every maritime segment: Commercial shipping, cruise liners, oil & gas rigs and support vessels, and navy fleets. Our portfolio of TVRO and VSAT solutions, spanning from 80cm to 3.1m systems, are in use by over 20 navies worldwide, 10 of which are European. We also specialize in low profile SATCOM terminals for high speed trains. ORBITs train system is being used by the TGV high speed train in France, through a joint project with Europes largest satellite provider, Eutelsat. In addition, we provide TT&C (Telemetry, Tracking and Command) and remote sensing solutions for LEO satellites navigation and Earth observation customers. These systems range from three to 10 meters in dish size and support in L-, S-, and X-bands.
John Restivo, Vice President + G.M., Teledyne Paradise Datacom
Teledyne Paradise Datacom is unique among satellite communications equipment manufacturers in that it retains engineering, manufacturing, customer support and sales capabilities, in Europe, and the U.S. The business was founded in the U.K. in 1988 with the design and manufacture of highly functional, software based, SCPC modems which have been used in strategic defence, intelligence, GSM backhaul and broadcast systems across Europe. SSPA, LNA and VSAT BUC products were added to the modem portfolio in the late 90s and have been adopted widely by European system integrators, telcos, military and broadcasters throughout the EMEA region for vital communication and broadcast applications
Dr. Harald Stange, CEO + Managing Director, Romantis GmbH
ROMANTIS Group is an international alliance of specialists and companies professionally engaged in satellite communications. The group consists of our German Headquarters and subsidiaries in Canada and Russia, plus minority interest in different telecommunication companies worldwide. We specialize in reselling satellite capacities, systems integration, research and development, ground segment equipment manufacturing. To succeed in satellite business these days, a company or organization needs to offer cutting-edge technology but also to have a thorough understanding of the whole value chain of the industry. We at Romantis have both: Advanced technology for multimedia and data networking over satellite and many years of successful experience in reselling satellite bandwidth and operating satellite networks.
Peter Guggenbach, CEO, RUAG Space
RUAG Space is the largest European space product supplier to the industry. We offer a broad portfolio of subsystems and equipment for satellites and launchers that comprise of launcher structures and separation systems, satellite structures and mechanisms, digital electronics, satellite communications equipment and satellite instruments. For commercial telecom customers we offer a wide range of space-proven subsystems, for example, antennas, receivers and converters, structures and mechanisms, multi-layer insulation and mechanical ground support equipment. We offer these products to customers all over the world and, from our point of view as an equipment supplier, it does not make much sense to talk about a European commercial market. Telecom operators procure their satellites and equipment globally. European providers use U.S. built satellites and vice versa.
David Hochner, CEO, SatLink
SatLink Communications delivers your content to every corner of the world. As a leading provider of global satellite transmission services, we emphasize global content distribution for television, radio and data channels over satellite, fiber and IP. In Europe, we supply an array of advanced solutions to broadcasters, payTV operators, satellite operators, ISP providers, large communication enterprises and maritime as well as to other teleports. Our strategic location, global satellite and fiber network make us the perfect gateway to Europe.
SatLink provides Direct to Home (DTH) distribution over Hot Bird and Eurobird 9 satellites to international broadcasters for European viewers. Moreover, broadcasters wishing to reach European payTV and IPTV operators, or those looking to deliver them a chunk of TV channels downlinked and aggregated from all over the world, SatLink offers reliable and cost effective fiber / satellite contribution, or via our iStream delivery solutions. For Occasional Use delivery of sports, news, and special events, a substantial part of the East to West (and vice versa) traffic is delivered via our teleport.
Our expertise is in high quality service as well as in the HD, 3D, and SD solutions our team of experts provides. As a believer in advanced technologies, I am always pushing our team to be creative and smart in supplying solutions based on these technologies. We are already transmitting 3D sports around the world and are moving forward with more HD channels and Over The Top (OTT) solutions. We also have a growing global data and government communications division handling requests and operations for a slew of agencies, organizations and corporate clients. These clients receive reliability, versatility and creativity in keeping their international communications traffic sound.
John Suranyi, President + CEO, Sencore
Sencore has a strong following in the European satellite community as a leading provider of high-quality signal transmission solutions. Our company draws on more than 60 years of investment and success in engineering design and technology to offer a complete line of products to the European satellite community that supports reliable, consistent, and high-quality satellite signal delivery and monitoring. Our world-class portfolio includes video delivery products, system monitoring and analysis solutions, and test and measurement equipment, all designed to support system interoperability and backed by best-in-class customer support.
Throughout Europe and the Middle East, our solutions are represented by leading distributors including AsyaSat, CVE, Satlan, Consult Services, Bluebird TV, and Olvitech.
Romain Bausch, President + CEO, SES
SES is the preeminent satellite operator in the world and the clear DTH leader in Europe. We pioneered European DTH in 1989 when the company was founded to provide satellite-delivered television to homes across Europe without access to a wide choice of programming. At the time, the vast majority of households did not have access to cable networks, so most were limited to very small terrestrial offerings of three to five channels. Satellite just came naturally.
We launched SES ASTRA as a DTH satellite system to provide new programming and more channel choices to households throughout Europe. In the end, SES really opened the door to a whole new world of content and connectivity for the region. We continue to sign on new DTH subscribers and deliver new services, such as HD and 3D TV. The number of ASTRA DTH households, together with the cable platforms we are serving, now stands at more than 135 million TV viewers today.
By the way, IBC is always an important show for SES. More so this year than ever before, as SES brings SES ASTRA and SES WORLD SKIES together under the new SES brand thats become synonymous with innovation and financial stability. The launch of the One SES is aimed at further elevating the satellite operators customer-centric approach a strategy that has enabled SES to serve the European market very well over the years.
Steve Beaumont, Senior Vice President, Skyware Global
Skyware Global has a global presence in the satellite communications arena and, as such, is proud to be a major force in every region throughout the world but in particular, Europe. With a manufacturing plant based in the U.K. and a strong network of distributors representing Skyware Global in all major markets, our unrivalled ability to supply the needs of the European market locally makes us the natural choice when it comes to satellite systems.
Of course, presence is not the only requirement needed to be a competitive force in Europe or elsewhere. Skyware Global firmly believes in investing in its product range and is arguably the only supplier in this field with extensive research and development capability in both the antenna and the electronics sectors. Our research centres located in Scotland, Stockport, and Krefeld, Germany, are all outstanding facilities and home to some of the best engineers in the business. We have also been pleased to recently announce the opening of a new engineering facility in Washington DC to augment our existing facilities. This unrivalled talent pool is charged with developing both customer specific solutions as well as the more generic products needed to service this market place.
Gil Ilany, Vice President, Marketing, Spacecom
Spacecom is the multi-regional satellite operator of the AMOS satellite fleet currently consisting of the AMOS-2 and AMOS-3 satellites co-located at the 4 degrees West orbital location. Together, these satellites create a Hot-Spot in the Middle East and in Central-Eastern Europe where their transmissions are received by most cable head-ends. The AMOS satellites offer a wide range of communications and broadcast services throughout Europe and the Middle East, with cross-Atlantic connectivity to the U.S. East Coast. Among Spacecoms customers are DTH platforms such as T-Home SatTV in Hungary, Magio TV in Slovakia, and Yes in Israel.
With one of the strongest satellite presences in Central and Eastern Europe, AMOS works with leaders like HBO for its European cable distribution, Ukraines Inter Media Group, and MTV channels, among others.
Arnold Friedman, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Sales, SS/L
Space Systems/Loral is the worlds leading manufacturer of GEO commercial satellites. We design and build satellites for all of the major operators and in the last few years, about one third of our satellite contract awards have been with European companies. We have a long history of involvement with European customers. Most recently, we announced that we are building a satellite for Telenor Satellite Broadcasting in Norway. The satellite, THOR 7, will provide maritime broadband services for ships in the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, Red Sea, Baltic Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Mediterranean. It will also provide broadcast capacity in Central and Eastern Europe.
Dr. Matt Perkins, CEO, Surrey Satellite Technology, Ltd.
SSTL perceives a market need for cost-effective small geostationary communication satellites with less than 4.5kW power. To address this market, SSTL is developing a Geostationary Minisatellite Platform (GMP-T). The GMP-T development is being progressed in partnership with the European Space Agency through their ARTES program for telecommunications. The development builds on SSTLs heritage in the low and medium Earth orbits and is now quite advanced. SSTL is ready to take the GMP-T product to market over the coming year. Through our work on the Galileo program where we primed the first satellite GIOVE-A and are currently designing the payload for the first 14 EC-funded operational satellites we have developed the expertise to design and build communication satellite payloads.
Mark Dankberg, Chairman + CEO, ViaSat
ViaSat has been serving the European marketplace since the mid 90s with many products and services for both government and commercial customers and partners. We cover the whole European continent directly from offices located in the U.K., Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic and through representatives, distributors, and partnerships in most European countries. This physical presence in the old continent has been the key to our success, both in our satellite and in our non-satellite based business. We started our satellite business in Europe about 15 years ago, when we introduced the Skylinx product for a first responder telephone and data network in Spain, and the first LinkWay full-meshed network in Italy for monitoring and control of highway traffic. In 2001 we introduced the LinkStar star-based topology VSAT system which included terminals that sold for a disruptive price of less than US $1,000 for the first time in the history of VSAT networks. LinkStar has been extremely successful in Europe, and to-date we count more than 25 operational networks and an installed terminal base of more than 20,000 user terminals. Our experience in Europe also includes mobility networks. These are satellite-based turn-key services for commercial and government maritime, aviation, and ground mobile applications. We also provide high-tech antennas for remote sensing, teleport, and mobile applications. And now we are entering the largest and most exciting phase of European growth, with the launch of Eutelsat KA-SAT. We are proud to be their ground networking partner for many years now.
Jesse van Straaten, COO, Vizada
Vizada is the leading independent provider of global satellite-based mobility services. Within Europe, we are largest independent provider of satellite communications. Through our indirect network of over 400 service providers, we are able to commercialize our portfolio and are present in all segments that use commercial mobile satellite communications. Our more than 200,000 end users include merchant shipping vessels, emergency response organizations, government and military units, global media companies, telecoms and Internet service providers, and business, military and civil aviation.
Steffano Vittor, CEO, Vizada Networks
Our Company provides last mile connectivity to major European organizations when expanding their WAN architecture to include their emerging markets office locations. Services are provided as a seamless extension to their MPLS backbone and integrated with their terrestrial network supplier. The services comprise a wide variety of VAS and differentiated SLA options. From being in the European satellite industry for nearly 40 years, we have gained significant experience in the developing needs for business critical communication within our customer base. Accordingly we secure our customers ability to leverage on their ITC strategies and investments at all their locations.
Kai Koppenburg, Director of Sales + Marketing,
WORK Microwave, established in 1986, has 25 years of experience in RF design and manufacturing, and is an expert in microwave and digital signal processing know-how. Headquartered in Holzkirchen, (near Munich), Germany, there are four product divisions producing advanced products in the areas of SATCOM Technologies, Navigation Simulators, Sensors & Measurement and Defence Electronics. The Company works closely with system integrators, broadcasters, telecom operators, satellite operators, teleports, DSNG operators, developers of navigation systems and applications, as well as with government organizations and defence technologies companies to provide analog and digital RF-solutions. WORK Microwave also serves industrial production lines with high-precision microwave sensors for measurement applications, and has a long-standing reputation for product reliability and quality. As a result many high-profile customers in these industry sectors have chosen them as their trusted partner including; SES Astra, Eutelsat, ND SATCOM, Vertex Antennentechnik GmbH, EADS, Telenor, Telefonica, Thales, Rheinmetall Defence, and Siemens.