SES Global and Eutelsat unite for mobile TV

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Satellite giants SES Global and Eutelsat are teaming up to provide a broadcast distribution platform for mobile media operators. The pair are investing £130m in a 50:50 joint venture company to operate the platform which will operate and commercialise S-band frequencies (2.0 and 2.2 GHz) on Eutelsat's W2A satellite, due to launch in the beginning of 2009.

SES Global said S-band frequencies were "optimised for supporting a wireless distribution network for delivering video and other services to mobile devices, including phones, PDAs, laptops and vehicle receivers".

"The development of mobile video services through a satellite-based hybrid network will provide content providers and operators with alternative or complementary solutions to terrestrial-based networks and will bring the benefit of universal coverage that satellites can provide," added SES Global.

Eutelsat has commissioned the W2A satellite from Alcatel Alenia Space. SES Global president and CEO Romain Bausch said: "This joint investment will allow for the development of new, innovative satellite delivered mobile broadcast services, thereby enabling satellite to compete with as well as to complement terrestrial infrastructure solutions in the mobile television and radio distribution chain.

"Satellite provides a unique and highly efficient coverage and the joint investment will therefore increase choice and convenience for consumers, content providers and service providers. Mobile applications form an important element of our strategic development plan, and by joining forces with Eutelsat, this infrastructure investment offers an attractive business opportunity in line with our internal investment hurdle rates."

Eutelsat chairman and CEO Giuliano Berretta said: "Digital content and the mobility afforded by new portable devices lie at the heart of the current dynamic in the communications landscape, bringing new revenue streams for electronics manufacturers, content and service providers, as well as new products for consumers.

"Through a resource, which is optimised in terms of bandwidth and universal coverage, satellite services using S-band frequencies can make a vital contribution to the overall success of the mobile broadcasting market while the design of the S-band payload is also fully suited for two-way communications. By adding this new payload to a platform using our traditional set of Ku-band and C-band frequencies it has also been possible to put in place an efficient and cost-effective solution for entering a new frequency band."

SES Global owns SES Astra in Europe and SES Americom in North America, and operates 44 satellites in 33 orbital positions around the globe. Eutelsat operates 23 satellites providing coverage of the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas.

Lovelace Consulting  |  31.10.2006

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