State-owned Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) has drawn up plans to sell communications capacity on its orbiters to clients in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
The company currently has a fleet of 15 satellites in orbit and has plans to launch an equal number by 2015, Sergey Tsekhmistrov, regional sales director, RSCC, told Emirates Business.
RSCC is investing $800 million (Dh2.9 billion) as part of a state-backed programme of renovating the Russian communications and broadcasting satellite constellation.
The 15 new satellites to be launched in the next seven years will offer more frequency and bandwidth services to international clients.
“Russia has been a world leader in satellite communications and our satellite capacity is used by European telecommunication companies that provide telecom services in the Middle East,” said Tsekhmistrov.
“We have 40 years of experience with clients in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and Libya using Russian satellites for telecommunications and VSAT.
“We don’t have direct contacts with many end-users of Russian satellites, but in the Middle East some of the crucial oil fields, marine vehicles and telecommunication companies use Russian satellites for communication. Eutelsat is also a major client for RSCC. The Iraqi Ministry of Energy is using Russian satellites for communications,” said Tsekhmistrov, adding the company also has commercial contracts with Iranian clients.
Officials with the company predicted there would be growing demand for satellite space in the Middle East in the next few years. Ludmila A Mikhailina, head of international sales at RSCC, said: “The Middle East market is growing and there will be scarcity of satellite capacity in two years due to demand from direct to home television, mobile phone and multimedia services.”
She said satellites provide telecommunication services such as TV and radio broadcasting, telephony, data and broadband internet access, video conferencing and corporate network deployment. RSCC currently provides telecommunications services in 35 countries and its satellites cover the territory from the Eastern coast of the United States to Australia.
The Russian satellite firm was founded in 1967 and inherited the Soviet expertise in the global space industry with 15 satellites and terrestrial infrastructure after the collapse of the former Soviet Union.
It owns the largest GEO broadcasting and communication fleet and an extensive terrestrial infrastructure consisting of six teleports and a fibre optics communications network.
The company’s newest satellite, Express-AM33, was launched on January 28. After completing the tests this month the satellite will be put into operation within the RSCC orbital constellation.
It is designed to provide digital TV and radio, broadband internet access, data transmission, video conferencing, multi-service networks as well as mobile presidential communications.