Interviews Operators Satellite

Ghassan Murat on Eutelsat’s launches in 2019, trending topics and more

Eutelsat has four satellites scheduled to be launched in the coming 12 months: EUTELSAT 5 West B, EUTELSAT 7C, KONNECT and EUTELSAT QUANTUM.
Ghassan Murat.

What were Eutelsat’s 2018 achievements?

2018 was a particularly constructive year for consolidating video, our core vertical. In November, we announced the renewal of our Hotbird constellation, which distributes some 1,000 television channels throughout Europe and part of the Arab world. Hotbird broadcasts several FTA channels from leading broadcasters and telecom operators from MENA, including MBC, du and SNRT. In September, we also launched the Eutelsat CIRRUS platform, which will enable our clients to distribute their TV channels easily and at low cost, via satellite and also by internet, across all devices.

What’s coming up in 2019?

Eutelsat has four satellites scheduled to be launched in the coming 12 months: EUTELSAT 5 West B, EUTELSAT 7C, KONNECT and EUTELSAT QUANTUM.

Hotly anticipated for the Middle East is EUTELSAT 7C, a high-power broadcast satellite destined for Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Turkey. Ordered from Space Systems Loral, the satellite will be located at Eutelsat’s 7° East.

Verticals in which you expect to see maximum innovation?

Customer needs in government, mobility and data markets are fast evolving. The EUTELSAT QUANTUM satellite offers unprecedented customisation and flexibility. The satellite’s flexible behaviour enables it to adapt to its environment, giving customers in the government, mobility and data markets the ability to vary coverages based on their immediate needs and allocate resources between beams and regions, optimising their capacity use.

Coverage, power, frequency and bandwidth: each of these features can be reconfigured in-orbit throughout the satellite’s lifetime, to efficiently serve applications and ensure optimal use of resources at all times. Customers will no longer have to predict market requirements or anticipate changes in the future: with this new way of managing day-to-day operations, they will be able to tailor coverages to their immediate needs.

How important is the MENA market to Eutelsat?

MENA is the second largest region for Eutelsat after Western Europe. Two thirds of our entire fleet include MENA coverage. In 2017, Eutelsat acquired Noorsat, which provides services for over 300 TV channels almost exclusively from our leading MENA neighbourhoods at 7/8° West and 25.5° East. In November 2017, Eutelsat was one of 20 French companies sponsoring Le Louvre Abu Dhabi, and an extension of the Eutelsat offices in Dubai was just completed in January 2019.

GEO? MEO? LEO? Where lies the future?

Eutelsat has chosen to operate geostationary satellites located 36,000km from Earth, as this model is particularly cost-effective for providing internet connectivity or video. This does not prevent us, however, from looking at satellite constellations, as it is a technology that can be interesting for IoT. In this respect, we are planning to launch a test satellite named ELO this year.

Ghassan Murat will be at the Eutelsat stand (Hall 6, Stand C6-10) with his team.