Operators Teleport

Talking Teleports

HorizonSat officially opened Horizon Teleports, in Munich, Germany, earlier this year. Clayton Vallabhan speaks with Waleed Al Heijailan, Chairman and CEO of HorizonSat Group, about how Horizon Teleports will enhance the scope of the company’s service offerings

Horizon Teleports is a division of Dubai-based HorizonSat, and is the result of the vertical integration of ground services into its current satellite services operations.

The satellite communications provider serves corporate, government and military clients, as well as telco operators, ISPs and TV broadcasters across the EMEA. With the addition of Horizon Teleports to its service portfolio, the company hopes to widen the scope of its service offerings to existing and potential customers in the field of transmission and digital media services.

The teleport’s core services include uplink and downlink services, broadband, IP trunking, GSM backhauling, carrier monitoring, media contribution and distribution, across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The teleport provides access to C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band satellites located at 55-degrees West to 78-degrees East, using its satellite partners such as Eutelsat, Intelsat, APT, RSCC, Yahsat and Africasat.

Speaking with SatellitePro ME regarding the launch of the teleport, and how it augment current business, Waleed Al Heijailan, Chairman and CEO of HorizonSat Group, says: “Horizon Teleports has been in the works for almost 12 years now since we created HorizonSat in the UAE. I think it’s an extremely exciting opportunity, in the sense that it allows us to vertically and horizontally integrate with our existing business model.

“We have gained a lot of experience in the years from third-party teleports, but we have managed to improve on a lot of the infrastructure that we have seen elsewhere, so we did not cut any corners and we went for high-end infrastructure to convince our clientele to park their capacity. It worked well because we had several long-term leads from satellite operators, who take us quite seriously because they know that HorizonSat has extremely good technical support with our dual NOC (Network Operations Centre), one in the UAE supporting the other in Germany,” continues Heijailan.

In 2013, HorizonSat completed the construction of the teleport in Moosburg, Munich, and began delivering a significant amount of customer services and traffic. It installed and began operating its first eight 7-metre and 9-metre antennas to service both existing customers and to be available as new customer requirements arose. Of the first eight, five are fixed and three are agile for occasional-use traffic. The company is continuing to build antennas, and will have 16 antennas installed by the end of this year, with over 30 operational antennas over the next few years.

Heijailan explained that all of Horizon Teleports’ antennas, barring the smaller ones, are manufactured by ASC Signal. The reason the company is using a single supplier is because of compliance with the interface it has at the NOC.

HorizonSat has transferred a lot of the capacity it has on seven different satellites to its teleport. “Our teleport has effectively became a sub-contractor to HorizonSat UAE. Other than that we are looking at TTNC (Telemetry, Tracking and Network Control) projects, up-linking projects for satellite operators who want to set up broadband services and sell them directly. We also have a lot of queries from telco operators because we are connected to the telco grid and hence this opens a new business line for us,” explains Heijailan.

According to Heijailan, the Middle East is a region which is highly regulated, which limits the deployment of broadband networks; hence the company believes it can win contracts from telco operators.

“Telco operators require satellite networks for backhauling solutions. There could be a potential for growth on the broadband side but this depends on the development of satellites over the region to have comparable rates to DSL pricing structures,” concludes Heijailan.