Satellite industry has fundamental role to play in digital equality

May 16, 2018 | Singapore | Industry Insights

Leading satellite operator SES believes that there will be an unequivocal push towards digital equality in the coming years, especially by governments and companies that want to realise the opportunities that connectivity can bring.

Can you please provide an overview of your company?
SES provides value-added, end-to-end satellite-based communications solutions through our two business units, SES Video and SES Networks.

We connect and enable customers such as broadcasters, content owners, telcos, mobile network operators, aeronautics service providers, maritime service providers, cruise liners, and governments and institutions, to enrich and transform the lives of billions of people worldwide.

As the world’s first company to offer this unique combination of comprehensive and powerful geostationary satellite coverage and fibre-like medium earth orbit connectivity, we empower our customers to deliver premium and unparalleled delivery of broadcasting and connectivity services.

Why did your company decide to participate in SatComm/CommunicAsia?
CommunicAsia presents an ideal platform for us to reconnect with our customers and partners. It also serves as an avenue where we can showcase our latest innovations, services and solutions each year, and potentially connect to new business opportunities.

Today’s rapidly evolving market needs call for us to respond equally fast to anticipate and adapt to new demands. At CommunicAsia, we engage and exchange views with fellow solutions providers, thought leaders and industry experts to collectively grow and move forward as an industry. This enables us to get ahead of challenges and effectively capitalise on new growth opportunities and trends.

Year after year, CommunicAsia, as the region’s most established telecommunications trade show, continues to draw senior professionals from a spectrum of companies and industries. This congregation of key stakeholders from across the satellite ecosystem brings about immense opportunities for networking, sharing insights and sparking of new ideas.

Can you share with us the new solutions/technologies your company will launch at the show?
This year is an extremely exciting and eventful one for SES. We are proud to grow our O3b MEO constellation to 16 satellites, with the addition of 4 new satellites that took to the skies in March. These satellites have improved connectivity capabilities and improved performance, greatly augmenting our fleet’s ability to offer more capacity, enhanced coverage, increased efficiencies and greater reliability to our customers.

Our first hybrid GEO satellite dedicated to Asia-Pacific, SES-12, will also launch in May. SES-12 features the best of both wide beams and high throughput spot beams to serve the diverse connectivity needs of data, mobility, government and video customers in the region.

In terms of services, we are looking forward to connecting with our customers in the Pacific Islands, many of whom have just seen fibre arrive at their coasts. At the same time, the reliability they have grown to rely on is not something they are willing to give up. Individual one-on-one meetings with our customer will allow us to deepen our understanding of their needs and enable us to cater to them.

Video is the core of SES’s business – how has it changed over the last decade, and what must industry players do to stay at the top of their game?
In the past decade there had been speculative talk of the imminent death of TV, OTT replacing TV – neither has come to fruition. However, what these point to are a natural and ongoing evolution in viewers’ video consumption habits. People are today consuming vastly more video content, and demanding more quality content than ever. At the same time, they want to watch this content anywhere, anytime and on their device of choice.

A decade ago, our role as a satellite operator would have been primarily to provide bandwidth to deliver the best quality video content to viewers’ TV screens. Today, we provide a vast range of services and solutions for our customers’ diverse requirements, whether it is purely bandwidth or an end-to-end video solution through our affiliate, MX1, with ground infrastructure, to empower them to provide the viewing options that consumers seek.

Globally, the demand for data is also growing exponentially, which is why our data business, SES Networks, is the fastest-growing part of SES. We see growth within the telecommunications, mobility and government landscapes, and the needs of customers within these sectors too are continuously changing. As solutions providers, we need to become more agile and dextrous to address their needs. We need to speak the language of our customers, constantly innovate and develop partnerships with customers to develop new and value-added solutions, and tailor services for the different requirements of each customer.

In your opinion, are there any key trends that will shape the satellite industry in the next few years?
The goal to experience immersive video experience and digital equality are what will be driving changes in the coming years.

With Asia being the fastest-growing region, and a huge emerging middle class in some of the world’s most populous countries, there is a hungry desire for consumers to want to improve their standard of living. They want to be able to enjoy good entertainment, whether it’s on TV, or on the internet. As a result, content owners and broadcasters are busy churning out better content, and also thinking of ways to stream them online. Meanwhile, mobile operators have to ensure they have good cellular coverage to deliver high-speed broadband service for consumers who prefer to consume content outside of home.

Separately, while great strides have been made towards digital equality, the digital divide persists between rural villages and metropolitan cities within countries. There will be an unequivocal push towards digital equality in the coming years, especially by governments and companies that want to realise the opportunities that connectivity can bring.

The satellite industry has a fundamental role to play in this equation to bring about equal Internet access for people, communities and businesses around the globe.



Catch SES (Booth 1R2-01) at CommunicAsia (Marina Bay Sands Singapore) from 26-28 June 2018! Register your visit here.

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