On the international front, Roussel says Eutelsat has created new partnerships and expanded existing ones. "Eutelsast has extended its partnership with RSCC recently (Russian Satellite Communications Company). We also have a partnership with Nilesat on the hot 7-degree position and a new partnership with Es'hailsat for its soon-to-be launched satellite at 25.5-degrees."
With the satellite business booming in the Middle East, Eutelsat needed to get closer to its customers, both to provide existing customers with enhanced service, as well as to scour the region for new customers. This was the reason Eutelsat decided on having a regional presence.
According to Roussel: "We needed to open an office in Dubai in order to be closer to our customers. We see a difference in culture, where the weekend is different and the religious holidays are different. We also see more customers moving to a complete solution, besides adding to the terrestrial contribution, they were also asking us to manage their complete services. Hence we wanted to be closer to them. We also wanted to feel the difference of how people do business here compared to Europe."
"We wanted to be closer to events and shows in the region, as well as to the local media and press here. We are looking to grow our business in the region, not just in broadcast, but also in data, and sell value-added services for video exchange like for the World Cup in Qatar and hopefully the World Expo in Dubai and other big events and games in the future. We want to be prepared to help our customers and provide interconnectivity," Roussel says.
Roussel says he sees a need in the region for broadcasters looking to carry the signal from the TV stations to terrestrial TV towers in the Middle East. For this he says there is a need to use satellite capacity to bring the signal to these towers. "We have seen such deployments here in KSA, UAE and Egypt. We also think countries like Iraq, Oman and Yemen will also have a full deployment and migration to digital terrestrial TV, and we could help customers, not only with satellite capacity, but also a complete design and consultancy or even managed services for their requirements. This is another reason we have moved to the region, to not just provide DTH services, but also other value added services," explains Roussel.
Eutelsat thinks Ka band will soon take over. It is being used by more broadcasters, and will be especially important for the future with the advent of ultra-HD. There is an increasing need for capacity, and that is why Eutelsat is investing in very flexible steerable beams for the broadcast community that want to exchange video.