by Andrew Jordan
2008: This past year was a buoyant year in the Pacific, with demand for Ku- and C-band capacity growing steadily. SAT-GE has been able to benefit from this demand having a unique satellite positioned directory over the region with multiple spot beams giving almost complete coverage in both C- and Ku-band. Typical applications include GSM backhaul, aeronautical, maritime, military and just added cable head-end video distribution. A growing proportion of usage also includes data and Internet trunking for remote islands who, in order to keep up with the rest of the world, have begun to deliver greater bandwidths for Internet access to their communities.
Operationally, SAT-GE has tightened-up its control of GE-23, having its inauguration in May of 2007. The Company now has over a full year under its belt and understands its assets, its customers, and its markets to a level of detail that makes it responsive and accurate, able to deliver with speed and at the highest quality. During this period, SAT-GE implemented state-of-the-art systems to model loading and usage on the complex GE-23 payload which will enable us to optimize utilization.
As a data-oriented satellite, GE-23 was not launched as a DTH platform but has the capability to deliver video programming for cable head-ends. With the advent and rapidly growing prevalence of HD, SAT-GE was able to collaborate on a market innovation with Arqiva to deliver HD delivery capability, via the Arqiva teleport in California, across the Pacific, and into Asia.
The combination of a state-of-the-art MPEG-4 DVB-S2 8PSK platform and quality capacity on GE-23 has already opened opportunities for U.S.-based international broadcasters to reach key growth markets in Asia with relevant programming, particularly in the growing HD sector. In addition to SES Americom & Arqiva, we have also opened up new U.S. connectivity to the satellite with teleport operators including Vizada, Agiosat, STM Networks, and Hawaii Pacific teleport.
2009: Looking ahead, we see 2009 continuing to grow despite the financial troubles in other sectors. Although there will be a downturn globally, the industries that we support have longer term funding models which we believe will weather the current financial and consumer spending oriented storms. Having said that, the financial crisis will mean inevitably that some new services will be unable to launch due to lack of funding, but satellite companies work typically on 15 year business plans.
About the author
Andrew is the President and CEO of SAT-GE and is also responsible for the Asian territories as Vice President Sales. He has over 20 years experience in management and development of new markets and products throughout Asia. Graduating in Chinese from the School of Oriental & African Studies in London, Andrew started his career in sales and progressed quickly into executive management of media and satellite businesses in Asia. Former roles include: General Manager (Intermedia International), Marketing General Manager (Asiasat), Senior VP (PanAmSat) and Executive Director (Measat). Before joining SAT-GE Andrew founded Loft Communications, as Managing Director, providing consultancy services to the Satellite, Television and Telecommunications industries.
About the company
SAT-GE, a subsidiary of GE, provides satellite capacity on GE-23 (former name AMC-23) across the Pacific basin, encompassing 6 individual beams, 5 Ku-band and 1 C-band that give almost total coverage of both land mass and ocean, in the Pacific region; from Perth in Australia to Los Angeles in the USA and from Alaska to South New Zealand. GE-23 offers Ku-band cross-connectivity capability, allowing uplink in any of the 5 Ku-band beams and downlink in the same or another beam. This feature allows — for example, for the provision of DTH services in Australia or New Zealand, while uplinking directly from Hong Kong or Los Angeles; or it could allow a SNG uplink in Asia to feed a broadcaster located in the US or Australia / New Zealand. In C-band, a single Trans-Pacific beam allows uplink from anywhere within that beam and simultaneous downlink to everywhere within that beam.