SES launches satellite
SES, a global leader in satellite operations, is set to launch a satellite aimed at helping bridge the yawning digital divide in the Philippines.
The SES 9 will be the largest satellite that will cater to the growing demand of connectivity in Asia Pacific.
Being an archipelago, the Philippines encounters difficulties laying out infrastructure on the ground.
Thus, tapping a satellite is deemed the most efficient way to connect all 7,107 islands.
The satellite, which consists of 81-high powered Ku-band transponders, will provide greater connectivity to over 20 countries in the region.
Through SES 9, local network operators will be able to deliver high-speed broadband services and mobile connectivity to remote areas in the country.
Glen Tindall, SES vice president for Asia Pacific region, considers the Philippines a high-potential client where demand for connectivity is growing exponentially.
The ultimate goal of the satellite is to complete the Philippines’ communication network and connect small businesses for them to better serve their customers, while enhancing the TV viewing experience.
Partnering with satellite television service provider Cignal, over a million subscribers are now enjoying high-quality TV viewing and more high-definition channels.
On Filipinos’ viewing habits, Tindall said “they seem to like their TV a lot. Filipinos have a natural ability to entertain. So the SES 9 is an excellent fit to bring in more high-grade content to the Philippines. We plan to deliver ultra high definition channels here.”
Once launched, SES looks forward to increased economic growth here.
“Where [there is] Internet penetration, the gross domestic product (GDP) also rises. The connectivity which the Internet brings leads to a dramatic difference to the lives of the people who need it. It brings about e-commerce and improved communications between family and consumers,” he said.
The satellite’s coverage over high-traffic maritime routes such as the Suez Canal and Strait of Malacca also supports the demand of cruise tourism markets such as the Philippines.
“People want convenience, more choices. The satellite is the most economical path to connectivity,” Tindall explained.
The satellite is expected to be launched in December in Florida and will be fully operational by the first half of 2016.
Through increased connectivity, Tindall added that the satellite would be of service when natural disasters strike the country.
“We know that your country is constantly battered by typhoons. We hope that through this satellite, we can aid in disaster and relief operations. It is no secret that communication is the first step to save more lives. With the first step already achieved, we can move on to the next,” he said.
The global operator with more than 50 satellites worldwide plans to buy three more satellites. Each satellite is estimated to cost $250 million.
Among its customers are AT&T, Vodacom, Startimes and Comcast.
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