Eutelsat sees significant potential to expand its reach in the Middle East, says regional MD, Laurent Roussel.
With demand for digital content soaring in the Middle East, France-based satellite operator Eutelsat sees huge potential to expand its services in the region.
Eutelsat is a major global satellite operator with capacity commercialised on 31-satellites delivering reach of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, significant parts of the Americas and the Asia-Pacific. The group's satellites provide a wide range of services for television, corporate networks, and fixed and mobile broadband markets.
Laurent Roussel (pictured right) was recently employed as the MD and regional sales director for Eutelsat in the Middle East. He is the head of the regional office and thinks that the market in the Middle East is ripe for growth, in terms of both broadcast and communications services.
He says: "We have seen a slowdown in Europe, but things are picking up in the Middle East, in North America and South America. There is also growing interest in Russia and the ex- Russian republic. The slowdown in Europe is mainly because of the economic crisis, but also because the migration from SD to HD has already taken place. In the Middle East, this is still growing. We are also concentrating our efforts in Ultra-HD, and we have done a demo in the region with Digiturk, and also another in Europe where we broadcast the French Open in Ultra-HD. We also have a permanent channel for demonstration, which is meant to boost the deployment of TV sets in Europe, and hopefully also here in the region, in the future."
Roussel says the company has been performing well in terms of growth, and it has increased the number of transponders and capacity in general in the world, but also in this region, mainly an increase in DTH capacity to actually the opportunity for broadcasters to migrate from SD to HD distribution of their programmes.
"Regionally, one of our major customers is OSN which takes up a substantial amount of capacity on 7-degrees and 8-degrees satellites. Together with companies like Gulfsat and Noorsat, which have increased the number of channels, which doubled in that hotspot, we have also seen Al Jazeera buying multiple transponders on that key Middle East orbital position," says Roussel.