Satellite operator Arabsat has officially unveiled its plans to offer satellite-based broadband services in the MENA region.
The company first disclosed its intentions at an industry conference in Dubai last December but has now spoken publicly of the service – branded Ar@b Surf – for the first time.
The expense of installing terrestrial networks throughout the sparsely populated areas of the MENA region has left broadband services constrained to major cities. Satellite broadband can be received through a relatively small 0.6m dish in any part of the service’s coverage. The proposed coverage area is made up of 10 spot beams, five over KSA, two in Iraq and one each in Yemen, Jordan and Afghanistan.
UAE-based satellite operator Yahsat announced its own plans for a satellite broadband service – YahClick – telling DPME.com last year that it would charge around US $30 per month for its service. The service will be based on the company’s second satellite Yahsat 1B, scheduled for launch in the second half of 2011.