In your view, how important for an MSS operator, is the government and military sector, as compared to the other vertical markets you cater to? Robert Demers, VP, government services, Thuraya Telecommunications Company responds to SatellitePro ME
The government and military sectors have always been one of the major growth drivers of the mobile satellite services (MSS) industry. If we look at the figures, more than 80% of the satellite communications used by the government and military sector depend on commercial satellite communications operators. Research has proven that the size of the global military communications market in 2010 amounted to US$15.91bn.
Moreover, recent industry forecasts predict that defence departments across the globe will spend over $7 billion on the development, acquisition and maintenance of 25 different multi-mission communications programmes over the next ten years, with about 480,468 individual hardware units being sold. That being said, this sector is key to Thuraya and we have a strong dedicated team specialised in ensuring that our government and defence consumer demands are met.
We do not expect that the sector will significantly diminish following the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan and Iraq as deployable satellite communication solutions continue to be a necessity in other parts of our geographic footprint for various government missions.
More specifically in the MENA region, do you see this sector (government/military) growing or diminishing in the next few years considering the planned withdrawal of the American forces from Afghanistan and Iraq?
In the short term, the government and military sector will maintain its current position. We do not expect that the sector will significantly diminish following the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan and Iraq as deployable satellite communication solutions continue to be a necessity in other parts of our geographic footprint for various government missions.
Additionally, forces other than the US are deployed for peace-keeping missions as part of their international responsibilities in the region. From data and voice to video conferencing, which area do you see traffic increasing among your end-users?
In order of importance, in terms of traffic and revenue, video and video-conferencing is the main pillar alongside high-speed data usage, followed by satellite voice services. Military consumers rely heavily on broadband service as their needs are more data-centric. They need reliable, real-time information in support of mission-critical operations.