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The Asia-Pacific Satellite Market
by Hartley and Pattie Lesser

The opportunities, and challenges, facing the Asia-Pacific satellite market are enormous. Issues are significant and include everything from; capacity; installation and support of new technologies; and investments required by firms, both long imbedded as well as new to the market. This article presents the thoughts and the view of leading company executives and research analysts — those “more than knowledgeable” — regarding operations in this market. Also included is a review of operators based in the Asia-Pacific market as well as their services and in orbit satellites.

Chats With The Experts
Northern Sky Research (NSR) reports that markets other than North America are growing quickly when it comes to broadband VSAT networking services. NSR’s Broadband Satellite Markets: 7th Edition reports they are . . . “expecting Asia to outpace North America within six to seven years given the strong growth coming from government USO, rural connectivity and educational networks.” This account offers a worldwide analysis of industry trends as well as market forecasts from 2007 to 2017.

In NSR’s Global Assessment of Satellite Demand, 4th Edition, they find . . . “demand growth delayed in markets like South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa because of a lack of supply. This in turn is leading to a wave of satellite operators rushing to launch new capacity to capture this demand and even raising the specter of potential oversupply two to three years down the line.” The C- and Ku-band TPE demand share by region in 2006 reveals East Asia with 10 percent, South Asia with 5 percent, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean region with 3 percent of the total market share.

We asked Wally Martland, President of NewPoint Technologies (a firm well known for their suite of network management solutions products) how he perceived the market growth for Asia-Pacific. He replied, “With the recent satellite launches that have taken place over the past 12-18 months, we are seeing a flurry of activity by the network providers to install the ground networks to take advantage of the bandwidth that is now available. This is mostly in installing the cellular back haul networks and smaller remote terminals to bring the voice data and video out to remote regions in countries such as Vietnam and Korea where there is not a lot of terrestrial infrastructure. Management of these remote unmanned facilities has always been one of the strong points of the Newpoint Network Management Solution, and I think this trend will continue for the next few years, and expect we will see the demand for these types of solutions going forward for the next few years.”

He added, “Many of our customers in Asia are very concerned at the bandwidth, and the cost of bandwidth, as they are rolling out these services to the public. They do have the need to monitor and control these remote sites, and do it from a centralized facility. (Newpoint’s Compass product provides that capability.) The focus of most of our R&D efforts over the past year has been to reduce the amount of bandwidth required to manage these remote sites using the inband ESC or overhead channels. We also provide the means to manage the sites through ’out of band methods’, such as through the Iridium or Inmarsat terminals as well as using cellular GSM and CDMA networks. By doing so, we can keep the ongoing costs of managing these networks to an absolute minimum but still allow them to ensure a high Quality of Service (QoS) on the network.

“For the Asia-Pacific Marketplace, I think the initial issues are simply to meet the demand of a very large, and bandwidth hungry consumer marketplace before other technologies move in and fulfill this need,” Martland answered when asked about the prospects for this segment over the next five years or so. “The Asian community, in general, has many of the same issues that are faced in Africa, where sites are difficult to reach and access, and yet people still want their access to mobile phones, data and video. Meeting these needs by providing reliable and affordable services to the consumer is a big challenge—that is why having a remote monitoring solution like our Mercury product can help these operators keep the cost of managing the site down, while increasing the reliability of the overall network.”

A satellite operator with a huge investment in the Asia-Pacific market is AsiaSat. Peter Jackson, the CEO of AsiaSat, offered his ideas regarding the future of this crucial market segment. “With the economies in the region improving, the Asian transponder market is showing some signs of encouraging development. We see notable growth in the broadcast sectors in terms of the number of new channels introduced by local or foreign TV operators to the region, new distribution platforms including DTH, cable, IPTV and mobile TV being created, and in addition we see the introduction of HD channels to Asia.”

Regarding growth areas, he added, “The growth driver for satellite services comes largely from the broadcast sector, stimulated in part because of the new policies implemented by the Asian governments to promote competition and deregulate the media sector. This has encouraged new players to create additional distribution platforms, and that, in turn, has stimulated the demand for new and exclusive content. The telecommunications sector is increasingly looking to satellites to provide back-up and emergency networks.

“The recent terrible natural disasters that have occurred in the world have proven that satellites can provide communications when the terrestrial systems fail. The telecommunications operators that had such back-up systems in place, or had the capability available, were immediately able to meet the communications’ needs of the emergency services in the very important first few days of relief efforts.”

What strategies will AsiaSat have in place to meet upcoming satellite industry “challenges”? Jackson answered, “We still see an imbalance of supply and demand in certain Asian markets, and with additional supply from national satellites being launched in the next 12 months; the competition will remain demanding. Our strategy is to achieve growth by continuing to exploit the advantages of satellites for television distribution and private networks. We must also further differentiate ourselves from our competitors by offering high quality services with emphasis on value, good coordination and the superior market access that our satellites provide.

“The construction and launch program of our new satellite AsiaSat 5 is in full swing. This new satellite will be a replacement for AsiaSat-2, which is currently operating at the orbital location of 100.5° E. When AsiaSat-5 is launched, now scheduled for the first half of 2009, we will be able to expand the C- and Ku-band capacity on our AsiaSat fleet. AsiaSat-5 will offer an additional, very powerful Ku-band beam over South Asia and a similarly powerful in-orbit steerable Ku-beam capable of supporting DTH and broadband services to any country within our coverage area.

“We are also presently installing equipment that will further diversify our services and provide additional transmission solutions to our clients by expanding our facilities at our Tai Po Earth Station in Hong Kong. This will further improve our capability to provide uplink and turnaround services for our clients’ traffic. This new capability will be in addition to the AsiaSat-2 and AsiaSat-3S MCPC platforms that are currently operated from our Tai Po station.”

Even regional issues for satellite providers affect the global scope of our industry. Jackson addressed this inquiry by stating, “There are several unsettling economic factors appearing globally that will have some effect on Asian market growth. Besides these economic factors, regulatory barriers and satellite coordination issues have always affected the healthy growth of the satellite market. In certain Asian countries, we see slow progress on deregulation and protected domestic markets continue to exist where foreign satellite operators are either discriminated against, or simply not allowed to provide capacity to local service providers, whether it’s for broadcast or telecom applications.”

He added, “Another worrying issue is the entry into the Asian market of a satellite operator who appears to be blatantly ignoring the ITU rules on satellite coordination. We are aware of the situation in that new satellites are being planned to launch into orbital slots without completing the required international coordination with their neighboring satellites. From previous experience of such cases without coordination, these new satellites may well cause interference to the existing satellites and, in that case, they have to switch off the interfering transponders. This reduction in the number of available transponders inevitably causes the satellite to become uneconomic causing their financial backers to become disillusioned, and this reflects badly on the whole satellite industry.”

Arnold Friedman, who is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), also provided his thoughts on the Asia-Pacific market. “In the 2008 to 2009 time frame, Space Systems/Loral will deliver a number of satellites that are planned for use in the Asia-Pacific region. These include satellites for ProtoStar, Telesat, and AsiaSat, which are expected to meet the strong demand for direct-to-user entertainment as well as fixed satellite services.

“Growth in satellite demand in the Asia-Pacific is driven by the economics of point-to-multipoint distribution as well as the need for services in areas where it is not practical to build out terrestrial infrastructure. Satellite is also the best solution for all types of communications in areas where countries and regions in close proximity have differing languages and cultures and there is significant demand for a diversity of content and types of programming.”

Mr. Friedman continued by addressing some of the significant issues ahead for this market segment. He added, “Space Systems/Loral has been delivering satellites for use in the Asia-Pacific region for more than 30 years. This is a very important region for us and we have a strong commitment to continue to work with operators there. We see a steady demand for both replacement satellites as well as new services. The operators that are replacing satellites that are reaching end-of-life are generally ordering larger and more powerful satellites to keep up with demand for advanced services such as high-definition television and broadband Internet.”

Andrea Maléter, the Technical Director, Space and Communications Division, at Futron Corporation, a leading consultant firm to the aerospace and telecommunications industries, offered her insight into the Asia-Pacific market and said, “Obviously the big item this year is video, driven by the Beijing Olympics. While everyone is waiting to see how the Chinese manage to sustain the planned Olympics activities and broadcasts in light of their need to pour resources into earthquake recovery efforts, the Olympics program seems to be well enough advanced that it will continue unabated. Thus, the biggest outgrowth of the Olympics efforts will be the dramatic growth in infrastructure and content for HD content production and distribution. This will have a lasting impact on satellite demand around the region, with spillover elsewhere. The convergence of this with the opening of the Indian DTH market will provide a solid opportunity for further growth as locally produced programming expands, not just within China and India, but to overseas populations seeking content from home.”

In addition, when it comes to the critical issues facing this market segment, Ms. Maléter added, “The Asia-Pacific market is seeing an explosion in new Ku-Band capacity. The region is overcoming the past resistance to such capacity. Despite the high growth in DTH services, it remains to be seen how all of this capacity will be absorbed, and what the impact will be on pricing in the region. Within the past decade, Asia has seen some serious price declines, and while this has recently reversed, the balance is still somewhat fragile. A lot of this new capacity comes from the somewhat surprisingly high growth in new operators in a region already overwhelmed with domestic systems. In contrast to the general trend of operator consolidation, Asia has been sprouting new systems, on both a national and regional level, meaning competition, and not capacity, will be the biggest issue facing this market.”

Thomas Choi, the CEO of Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS), believes the next five years for the Asia-Pacific market will be rather challenging. “The Asia Pacific region will continue to be challenged by pricing pressures due to the continual investments in additional satellite capacity by new national and commercial operators. The emergence of the newly merged Chinese satellite operator (composed of the merger between SinoSat and ChinaSat), along with their new satellites, has resulted in a significant reduction of capacity demand for both AsiaSat and APT Telecommunications. The companies used to be the dominant satellite operators for video distribution in the China market.

“This reallocation of satellite capacity outside of China will result in an increase of supply into the rest of the Asia Pacific region. Both Indonesian satellite operators will be launching new and larger satellites in the next three years and they’ll be adding significant amount of Ku-band capacity over Southeast Asia. Protostar will be launching two satellites in 2008 and 2009 and VinaSat just successfully launched their new satellite VinaSat-1. Ku-band over China and C-band over Asia will continue to be under pricing pressure for many years to come.

“The demand for satellite capacity in Asia is currently being driven by growth in cellular trunking, VSAT, and local cable TV distribution channels,” Choi said. “Currently a lot of C-band capacity in Asia Pacific is being used for IP-transit point-to-point backbone services, but this segment of the market is diminishing in profitability as well as volume. From the 75º E position we see a lot more of the world than only Asia, and Asia remains a relatively small market for us. However, we are bullish in the growth of CATV distribution, DTH cellular back-haul, as well as the emergence of low cost Ku-band VSAT terminals for affordable rural connectivity services.”

Given such issues, the manner in which a company confronts the “challenges” is important in the terms of future growth. Choi responded, “The satellite market in Asia will continue to be a fiercely competitive landscape, with the emergence of new, domestic operators as well as other regional operators joining the market. The CATV distribution market is being fragmented on domestic/local levels and the days of paying premium for one or two satellite positions for a pan-Asian distribution will diminish over time. The IP-backbone market will continue to dwindle and result in low revenue yields per transponder, due to increasing competition from fiber. The cellular backhaul market segments will stay strong, if not actually growing in the intermediate future. This segment, too, will be substituted with domestic fiber and microwave links.

“ABS will strive to be competitive in the local video distribution markets for both CATV and DTH services, while seeking profitable niches in serving our customers in the data communications services sector. We already have more than 90 CATV & DTH channels on our satellite, with most of these channels coming on line during the past 24 months. We are planning to expand this by a factor of 150 percent in the next 24 months. We also boast one of the largest Ku-band VSAT networks in the Asia Pacific market.” He continued, “We will also be launching, shortly, service for broadcasters to deliver their programming to IPTV and mobile operators. This will enable a low-cost and low risk ways to reach these emerging and growing market segments for the broadcast community.”

The CEO of ABS added, “In the past 12 months, ABS has seen unprecedented growth of our business. We achieved our fill factor from 50 to 90 percent and increased the number of television channels available on our satellite to more than 90 channels.

“ABS is now one of the top satellite distribution platforms for CATV distribution in the Indian Ocean Region. ABS has also made significant investments to the tune of $5M in teleport facilities for video and data distribution services. We’ve invested in MCPC platforms to access our satellite from Germany as well as Hong Kong using MPEG-2/DVB-S as well as MPEG-4/DVB-S2 for SD and HD video distribution for our customers. From our orbital position at 75° E, we can access 4/5ths of the world’s population, so we feel that we provide significant value to our customers.”

ABS has also been working diligently to complete the financing work for their new satellite ABS-2, which will be collocated at the 75° E location with ABS-1. Packing more than 60 C- and Ku-band transponders, ABS-2 will provide dedicated beams over Southeast Asia, India, Russia, the Middle East, and Africa (MENA). The spacecraft will have significant power to enable DTH services in those markets.

Choi continued, “ABS-2 will also act as an in-orbit spare and back up for ABS-1. We feel our customers will receive a lot of value for placing their traffic on a satellite operator with two collocated satellites. We are reviewing the final proposals from the satellite manufacturing industry and negotiating the procurement contract. We hope to announce the contract award sometime in Q3 of 2008 for an in-orbit delivery by Q4 of 2010. With new, high powered satellite project investments close to $300M, we believe that this will be the most significant development for ABS and the future.”

Euroconsult’s Pacome Revillon believes it is difficult to make a blanket statement regarding Asia, “as growth dynamics can be highly different between different areas. This year, the fastest growing area is terms of capacity requirements is expected to be India, due to the launch of additional platforms and to the global increase in the number of channels broadcast by each DTH player, including Dish TV, Tata Sky, Big TV... A double-digit growth in capacity used there would be likely in 2008.

“The most challenging market could prove to be North East Asia (Japan and Korea). Despite the planned introduction of HD channels by SkyPerfecTV in Japan and Skylife in Korea, merger processes in Japan, as well as a strong competition from terrestrial infrastructure for telecom services should continue to limit growth.”

Revillon adds some thoughts regarding how the Olympics will impact this segment. “In the China area, this year should be boosted by the Olympic games, and by the increase in the number of channels broadcast in the area, as well as by the introduction of a few HD channels. On the telecom side, the installation of VSAT networks could be accelerated by the current natural disasters that impact communication networks. However, an issue will be to see which, and how, foreign operators could benefit from growth of the Chinese market. On the broadcasting side at least, the transfer of channels from AsiaSat to the newly formed ChinaDBSat impacted growth for the operator last year.

“In South East Asia, requirements for both telecom traffic and video services, driven by Astro in Malaysia but also potentially by TrueVision in Thailand and competition in Indonesia, could support growth.” He continued, “In the Oceania and Pacific regions, limited growth in video services could come with the addition of content by pay-TV platforms in Australia and New Zealand, with HD initiatives, as well as from several niche players. Growth in demand for telecom traffic should remain limited.”

As all of these subject matter experts have indicated, there are, indeed, challenges ahead for all concerned, worldwide and in the Asia-Pacific region. Pacome’s thoughts on key issues for the global and Asian satellite markets included:
  • WiMAX & C-band, notably in Asia where C-band is largely used for telecom traffic.
  • Regulatory restrictions to the access to a number of markets will remain a key Asian issue.
  • The subprime crisis, in the case of a global impact on telecom and media markets, could impact a number of growth initiatives.
  • The adoption of new compression standards for video services will certainly be monitored with attention.
  • Limitations in the supply of launch solutions, and potentially of manufacturing solutions, will also impact the market.
  • For new projects, coordination of frequencies is an increasingly difficult issue.

Asia-Pacific Satellite Business Participants
Here are the Asia-Pacific operators and their active, commercial satellites that provide coverage and services for this area of our globe…

APT Satellite Holdings Limited (APT)
The APT Group has been offering satellite communications services, satellite TV broadcasting, and transponder use service, since 1992. The firm was incorporated in October of 1996 and the principal shareholders include…
  • China Telecommunications Broadcast Satellite Corporation
  • China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation
  • SingaSat Pte. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Telecommunications Limited
  • CASIL Satellite Holdings Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Aerospace International Holdings Limited
  • Kwang Hua Development and Investment Ltd, a Hong Kong corporation jointly owned by the Ruentex Group and China Development Corporation

The services are offered to broadcasting and telecom operators in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the United States. APT has completed the construction of teleports and a TV broadcasting center. The Group operates a fleet of satellites: APSTAR-IIR, APSTAR-V, and APSTAR-VI. Service coverage extends to Asia, Oceania, the South Pacific, and Hawaii, and includes satellite-based broadcasting and telecommunications.

The company offers 24x7 monitoring and tech support through the firm’s Satellite Control Center and Network Operations Center, plus occasional use transponder service is offered. The original center provided Telemetry, Tracking, and Control (TT&C), monitoring of communication traffic, and tech support for the satellites. The location provides three 13-m, one 5.5-m, one 11-m, one 6.1-m, and one 9-m antenna for C-band. There are two 9-m and one 8.1-m antennas for Ku-band, plus 10 sets of transmit and other related equipment.

APSTAR Satellite Information

Asia Broadcast Satellite Limited (ABS)
ABS, headquartered in Hong Kong, was given birth when the company acquired the Lockheed Martin Intersputnik (LMI) satellite operations from Lockheed Martin in September of 2006. Those involved in the acquisition included:
  • Thomas Choi (ABS founder)
  • Gregg Daffner (ABS founder)
  • Citigroup Venture Capital International (CVCI)
  • Asia Debt Management (ADM)
LMI was renamed Asia Broadcast Satellite Limited (ABS) and the LMI-1 satellite renamed ABS-1 satellite. ABS serves a global customer base with representatives in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North America. ABS offers a complete range of services that include broadcasting and telecommunications, including GSM backhaul, IP backbone, Maritime, DTH, CATV, IPLC, and VSAT.

ABS has the following teleport partners:
  • MTI, Munich, Germany
  • RRSat Global Communications, Israel
  • ST Teleport, Singapore
  • PCCW Global, Hong Kong
  • Asix, Hong Kong

Lockheed Martin Space System Co. in Newtown, Pennsylvania, is the primary Tracking Telemetry & Control (TT&C) uplink center. Primary satellite monitoring is conducted by RSCC in Dubna, Russia.

ABS-1 Satellite Information

Asia Cellular Satellite (ACeS)
The first regional geo-mobile, handheld satellite system to provide digital voice, facsimile, and data transmission using a small handset was created through the combined forces of Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN) and Jasmine International. This resulted in the creation of Asia Cellular Satellite, otherwise known as ACeS. The company’s services are via its National Service Providers.
The partners include:
  • PT. Telekomunikasi Indonesia (PSN)
  • The Philippines Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT)
  • Jasmine International
  • Lockheed Martin Global Telecom

The company accesses the Garuda-1, Agila-2 (see Mabuhay Satellite Corporation later in this article), and Palapa-C.

Garuda-1 Satellite Information

Asia Satellite Telecom. Company (AsiaSat)
This company was formed in 1988 and was Asia’s first, privately owned, regional satellite operator. A wholly owned subsidiary of Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings Limited, the firm has two major shareholders, those being CITIC Group and General Electric Company. The company has two business segments, one for broadcasting and telecommunications services, and the other for broadband access services. Additionally, AsiaSat completed their acquisition of SpeedCast, a company involved in two-way VSAT and backbone broadband access services.

AsiaSat offers services to the broadcast and telecom industries, serving more than 100 public and private TV and radio broadcasters from the world. There are more than 240 TV channels served by the AsiaSat system, with additional telecom services including public telephone networks, private VSAT networks, high-speed Internet, and multimedia services available to customers. AsiaSat’s three in-orbit satellites are AsiaSat-2, AsiaSat-3S and AsiaSat-4. These satellites are designed to deliver performance, coverage, and connectivity across the Asia Pacific region. In April of 2006, AsiaSat awarded a contract for the building of AsiaSat-5—this will be a replacement satellite for AsiaSat-2 and is scheduled for launch in 2009.

AsiaSat’s satellites are monitored and controlled around the clock from its state-of-the-art satellite control facilities in Hong Kong. The ground stations are the Stanley Earth Station and the AsiaSat Tai Po Earth Station, located at the Tai Po Industrial Estate in the New Territories of Hong Kong. The antennas include four 7.3-m, one 11.3-m, and one 6.3-m. These are for tracking and monitoring AsiaSat’s satellites as well as other value-added services, such as C- and Ku-band traffic uplinking and backup services for customers.

AsiaSat Satellite Information

Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation
Based in Tokyo, Japan, B-SAT was established in April of 1993. The company operates broadcasting satellites (BS) in the 12 Ghz BSS band in Japan. It’s stockholders were firms involved in Hi-Vision broadcasting—the founding of B-SAT was their methodology to obtain and control broadcast satellites. B-SAT’s main satellite control center is at Kawaguchi, with an unmanned, backup station at Kimitsu. The main Earth station is at Shibuya and the second at Shobu.
  • Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK)
  • WOWOW Inc.
  • Tokyo Broadcasting Systems, Inc.
  • TV Asahi Corp.
  • BS Nippon Corp.
  • BS Fuji, Inc.

BSAT Satellite Information

Beijing Landview Mapping Info Tech
The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Beijing Municipal Government, as well as other government sectors, support BLMIT. This is a high-tech firm that manages and offers technical support to the microsatellite, Beijing-1.

Beijing-1 Satellite Information

China Aerospace Science & Technology (CASC)
CASC was established on July 1, 1999, by the Chinese government to reform the nation’s defense industry. More than 130 organizations and eight primary research and design centers, factories, and commercial companies joined forces to create CASC.

CASC is the main contractor of the Chinese space program and is the government authorized investment organization falling directly under the direct supervision of the State Council. The group brought together:

  • China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) —1st Academy is a complex located in southern Beijing that performs the R&D functions for liquid-propellant ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles
  • China Academy of Rocket Motor Technology (ARMT) —4th Academy is where the design of solid rocket motors is performed
  • China Academy of Space Technology (CAST)—5th Academy is responsible for all spacecraft development management and they develop and manufacture most of the Chinese satellites
  • China Aerospace Propellant Technology Academy (CAPA)—6th Academy oversees 11 factories and research facilities as well as handles the R&D for inertial guidance systems and liquid engines
  • China Great Wall Industry (CGWIC) Shanghai Academy of Space Flight Technology (SAST)—8th Academy designs, develops and manufactures various spacecraft as well as the Long March-4 family of launch vehicles, the FB-1 launch vehicle and components
  • China Academy of Space Electronic Technology (CASET)—9th Academy develops integrated circuits and microelectronics for CASC projects\China Academy of Aerospace Navigation Technology (CAANT)—10th Academy is also known as the Aerospace Time Instrument Company

BeiDou Satellite Information

China Direct Broadcast Satellite (CHINA DBSAT)
A joint venture of China Satellite Communications Company, Limited and Sino Satellite Communications Company, Limited, CHINA DBSAT was established in December of 2006. Then, in 2007, both companies agreed to consolidate, creating the new firm, which happens to be the exclusive, domestic, satellite operator in China.

There are four in orbit satellites operated by CHINA DBSAT as well as the ground facilities required to manage the spacecraft. Clients include telcos, broadcasters, government agencies, enterprises, with services including DTH and DBS, emergency, business continuity, Internet access, and other IP-based operations for the country and the region. CHINA DBSAT operates ChinaStar-1, –6B, –9, and Sinosat-1 and –3.

CHINA DBSAT Satellite Information

China Meteorological Administration
This is a public service agency directly affiliated to the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. Established in 1994, the CMA is responsible for the organizational and operational management of Chinese meteorological services. They have bureaus established in 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities.

CMA Satellite Information

GE International Holdings (SAT-GE)
A subsidiary of GE, this company offers capacity on their GE-23, which was formerly known as AMC-23. The satellite offers an uplink in any of the Ku-band beams and a downlink in the same, or another, beam. There are teleports in Hong Kong, Japan, two on the U.S. west coast, and one in Switzerland (accessed via U.S. fiber connectivity).

GE-23 Satellite Information

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
In 1969, the ISRO was established as India’s primary space R&D organization. They became responsible for developing launch and propulsion systems; launch sites, the satellites themselves, as well as the tracking networks. Antrix Corporation, Ltd., founded in 1992 handles the company’s marketing activities and commercial efforts. In April of 2008, the ISRO managed the successful launch of a single mission whose payload was 10 satellites, which included eight nano satellites manufactured in Canada and Germany as well as two Indian spacecraft, the CARTOSTAT-2 and IMS-1. In addition to domestic payloads, the ISRO also offers launch services.

ISRO Satellite Information

JSAT Corporation
Established in February of 1985, JSAT was Japan’s first, private-sector satellite operator. Satellite communication services started in 1989 directly after the JCSAT-1 launch. The company owns nine communications satellites, including a backup satellite. JSAT International is based in Washington D.C. and handles sales and marketing activities that target digital video transmission as well as IP-based content distribution and other fields in North America that use the Horizons-1 satellite. Satellite Networks offers services that include two-way VSAT1 satellite communications, sports, and events live coverage for SKY PerfecTV! Horizons Satellite Holdings LLC is a joint venture between the company and Intelsat Corporation and both companies own the Horizons-1 and Horizons-2 satellites. The company operates the Yokohama Satellite Control Center and an earth station in Hawaii. JSAT Corporation’s Group company list includes:
  • JSAT International Inc.
  • Satellite Network, Inc.
  • Horizons Satellite Holdings LLC
  • Horizons-1 Satellite LLC
  • Horizons-2 Satellite LLC

JSAT Satellite Information

Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI)
For the country of South Korea, this is the nation’s aeronautics and space agency, which was established in 1989. Their concentration is in the development of satellites, space launch vehicles, and aircraft. KARI is located in the Daeduk Science Town (in Daejon), some 140-km south of the nation’s capital city of Seoul. KARI has collaborated with 34 organizations within 12 countries that include the U.S., Russia, U.K., France, Germany, Israel, and China.

KARI Satellite Information

KT Corporation
KT logo From its establishment in December of 1981 as Korea Telecom, KT Corporation provides telephone services, broadband Internet services and access, as well as LM, wireless and data services.

KT Satellite - Satellite Information

Mabuhay Satellite Corporation (MSC)
This company began in 1994 to establish, own, operate, and maintain an international satellite facility and other telecom services. The company is owned by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company and, with their full support, MSC launched Agila 2 in August of 1997 with full commercial operations initiated on January 1st in 1998. MSC is the first, and only, Philippine satellite operator. The company offers video, IP, and telecom solutions for clients in Asia and North America.

Mabuhay Satellite Information

Malaysia East Asia Satellite (MEASAT)
In 1993, a team of experienced and motivated experts met to develop a communications infrastructure for Malaysia. The project was named the Malaysia East Asia Satellite, or MEASAT for short. In 1996, two satellites were launched and they started to provide satellite services across South East Asia that same year. The satellite control facility is in Gunung Raya, Langkawl, and the company launched the world’s first DTH multi-channel TV service, Astro. In 1998, the satellite division became independent and the operating company MEASAT Satellite Systems Sdn Bhd, under the holding company MEASAT Global Bhd, came to fruition.

MEASAT Satellite Information

Mobile Broadcasting Corporation
This company was established in May of 1998 and is based in Tokyo, Japan. The company started their service in October of 2004 after they had successfully launched their satellite in March of that year. For the Japanese market, Toyota introduced a Mobile Broadcasting tuner as an option in their car navigation system in 2006. Then, in 2007, the company announced their plan to offer an earthquake early warning S-band emergency service. The shareholders include:
  • Toshiba Corporation
  • SK Telecom Co., Ltd.
  • Sharp Corporation
  • Toyota Motor Co.
  • Yokogawa Electric Co.
  • Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.
  • NTT Data Corporation
  • Usen Corporation

MBC Satellite Information

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT DoCoMo)
NTT DoCoMo is a leader in mobile communications, and in 2001, initiated the world’s first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA. The firm has branch offices throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. The company also offers i-mode, their mobile Internet service.

NTT DoCoMo Satellite Information

PT MNC Skyvision
Incorporated in August of 1988, INDOVISION initiated its service with five-channel C-band DBS analog service. The Palapa-C2 satellite was used for its transponder and broadcasting system. With headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, INDOVISION offers DTH, SMATV (Satellite Master Antenna TV), and hotel and hospital access via SMATV. In 1997, Cakrawarta-1 was launched, managed, and operated by PT Media Citra Indostar (MCi), which was established in July of 1991.

PT MNC Skyvision Satellite Information

PT Satelit Palapa Indonesia (SATELINDO)
This is an Indonesian private satellite operator based in Jakarta and is owned by Indosat. Satelindo has three national licenses for satellite service, international gateway service, and GSM cellular service. Satelindo owns and operates the Palapa-C2 satellite. The company’s control station is located at Daan Mogot, West Jakarta.

Satelindo Satellite Information

Republican Center For Space Communications
In January of 2005, a Russian-Kazakhstan summit meeting resulted in an agreement to developed the Karzat communications and broadcasting satellite. In addition, the countries agreed upon the protection of intellectual property being used and gained through bilateral military technical cooperation.

The Russian Federal Space Agency, the Ministry of Information Technology, Communications, and Kazakhstan’s Agency for Communications Informatization and the Ministry of Education and Science appointed authorization bodies to build, launch, and operate a satellite. The executors were Russia’s Khrunichev state production center and Space Communications state unitary company, as well as Kazakhstan’s Karzsat and Republican Center of Space Communications and Electromagentic Comatibility of Radio-electronic Systems.

Republican Center Satellite Information

Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC—Kosmicheskiya Svyaz)

In February of 1968, the USSR Ministry of Communications established “The Union Communications Node No. 9” when, one year previously, the Molnia-1 satellite transmitted TV and radio programs. That node became Russian Satellite Communications Company State Enterprise and was given the name known by today. In 1998, RSCC signed a contract with NPO PM, the Russian national spacecraft manufacturer, for the design and production of new Express-A satellites. Alcatel produced the payloads. The main concentration of this national satellite communications operator is on the deployment of satellite networks for Russia and C.I.S. countries. Their constellation of geostationary communication and broadcasting satellites, combined with teleports and fiber-optic communication links, allows RSCC to offer TV and radio broadcasting, telephony, high-rate data transmission, video conferencing as well as corporate network deployments.

Russian Satellite Communications Company Satellite Information

Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd.
Tracing its heritage to 1879 when Singapore became one of the first cities in the East to obtain telephone service, just three years after Alexander Graham Bell patented his invention. In 1955, the Singapore Telephone Board was incorporated with exclusive rights to operate telephone service within Singapore. In 1974, they merged with Telecommunications Authority of Singapore and, in 1988, the subsidiary Singapore Telecom International was formed. SingTel became incorporated in 1992. Singtel concluded their largest overseas investment ever when the company acquired Optus, the second largest telecom supplier in Australia. In addition to Optus, SingTel subsidiaries include SingTel Mobile, NCS Pte. Ltd., SingNet and associated company, Singapore Post. SingTel also has investments in Thailand, Hong Kong, India, The Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan.

SingTel is also an investor in APT Satellite Holdings of Hong Kong and has a 20.33 percent overall interest, and has six C-band transponders on APSTAR-V.

SingTel Satellite Information

Space Communications Corporation (SCC)
In Japan, in 1985, the satellite communications industry started. SCC is a fixed satellite service operator currently operating four satellites and a ground network infrastructure. The company is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. In February of 2008, SCC became a subsidiary of SKY Perfect JSAT. The company has two satellite control centers. The Superbird Platform East is located in Ibaraki and the Superbird Platform West is in Yamaguchi.

Space Communications Corporation Satellite Information

Thaicom Public Company Limited
Formerly known as Shin Satellite Public Company Limited, the original name of this company was Shinawatra Satellite. Shin was founded in 1991 when Thailand’s Ministry of Transport and Communications permitted the firm to launch and operate satellites. This was the first Thai company to be allowed as a satellite operator and was the first privately owned satellite company in Asia. The firm operates four businesses: Internet, telephone, media distribution and satellite transponder leasing and related services. The company’s subsidiaries include:
  • IPSTAR Company Limited (“IPSTARCO”)
  • CS LOXINFO Public Company Limited (“CSL”)
  • DTV Service Co., Ltd.
  • Shenington Investments Pte. Ltd. (“Shenington”)
  • Cambodia Shinawatra Company Limited (“CamShin”)
  • Lao Telecommunications Company Limited (“LTC”)
  • Cambodian DTV Network Limited (“CDN”)

Thaicom Public Company Limited Satellite Information

Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT)
In January of 2006, VNPT Group was established to build a strong economic group within Vietnam to become the key state economic group for telecommunications and IT. Provided through VNPT are a variety of services: VSAT, Inmarsat, data transmission, International TV, telephony, mobile, CDMA, VoIP, and NGN-based services.
VNPT Satellite Information