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Year In Review... Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS)

ABS_l_sm1210 2010 has been a very exciting and successful year for Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS). ABS has grown from a single satellite operator in 2006 to having five satellites in orbit under the ABS brand (ABS-1, ABS-1A, ABS-1B, ABS-5 and ABS-7).

ABS has enjoyed an impressive growth track record achieving over 95 percent utilization on ABS-1 within the first 2.5 years of operations, and approximately 20 compounded quarter-on-quarter growth in revenue from 2006 to 2010, serving over 80 customers in 30 countries.

ABS will also be launching a new state-of-the-art high powered satellite, ABS-2, that is scheduled to become operational in 2013. ABS-2 will be one of the most powerful commercial satellites launched for service in the Eastern Hemisphere and will have 87 active C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band transponders across 10 different beams bringing increased capacity and transmission power to the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and CIS/Russia. ABS-2 will be a Space Systems/Loral 1300 bus with a minimum life expectancy of 15 years.

ABS-2 will be located at 75° East, ABS’ prime orbital location where ABS-1, ABS-1A, and ABS-1B are currently positioned. ABS has already secured two top tier anchor customers for ABS-2 with two of Asia’s leading telecom companies Korea Telecom (KT) and Singapore Telecom (SingTel). Over the next 12 months ABS aims to aggressively fill the satellite’s capacity prior to launch.


Earlier this year, ABS successfully completed the transaction to acquire Koreasat-3 (renamed ABS-7) as part of its fleet expansion. This is the second successful transaction after the completion of the purchase of Koreasat-2 in 2009. ABS-7 will provide significant high powered Ku-band and Ka-band capacities to meet ABS’ customer demands for cellular backhaul, VSAT services, satellite broadband and US/NATO government requirements in the Middle East region and allow continued growth in revenues during the construction period of ABS-2.

ABS also recently announced the investment in ABS by Permira funds, a global private equity firm, to become the majority shareholders of ABS. The acquisition of ABS is entirely equity funded. The Permira funds have significant experience in the satellite sector with successful investments in Inmarsat, a leading provider of global mobile satellite communication services (2003) and Intelsat, the leading provider of fixed satellite services worldwide (2005). Permira funds support ABS’ ambition to become a leading satellite operator in our target markets. One of its key near-term initiatives is to build and launch the new ABS-2 satellite, which will be one of the largest fixed service satellites to be launched over the Eastern Hemisphere.

abs_pak_sm1210 Looking ahead, ABS will be enhancing its services and infrastructure with expansions of its Standard Definition and High Definition video playout capabilities and professional MCR facilities. ABS will also be opening up additional offices and teleport operations across the region, closer to the key markets which ABS serves today. ABS is very optimistic about maintaining the growth in 2011 with plans for developing new orbital locations and exploring opportunities to expand the business through further strategic acquisitions.