Mohamed Youssif, chief operating officer, Asia Broadcast Satellite says the new ABS-3a satellite launching from Cape Canaveral in February will expand the satellite operator’s ability to meet growing demand for 4G backhauling for video content in the MENA region.
“4G is what is providing the most growth for Asia Broadcast Satellite at the moment,” says Youssif. “As an example, if you look at smart phone penetration in Africa, it’s still in single digits, but once that grows to double digits it will place huge demand on networks and in Africa the infrastructure is not as developed as in other markets. So satellite will be the backbone of that growth.”
Youssif told Digital Broadcast Middle East that in the Middle East, Africa and other developing markets like South America growth is being driven by cellular backhauling as well, because they need a lot more bandwidth to cater to the different video platforms and video content that users are watching via mobile.
“This is driving much of our growth and we see it continuing into the future. We have six satellite and two new ones to be launched this year (one in February ABS-3a) and six months later we’ll launch another satellite (ABS-2a), with these eight satellite we’ll be covering fourth fifths of the world’s population,” says Youssif.
Asia Broadcast Satellite’s two new satellites will actually primarily be providing additional capacity over the Middle East and Africa to meet this expected surge in demand for backhauling for 4G content and other broadcast services.