Q: What are some challenges that the satellite communications industry will face this year?

A: Terrestrial players, both wired and wireless, continue to pose a threat and competition to satellite communications. In the broadcasting arena, we are seeing more players coming to play from fibre, over-the-top (OTT), over-the-air (OTA) and cloud applications competing for the broadcast space. However, the unique advantage of its broad reach, immediate access, and reliability that satellite broadcasting can offer will allow it to play a key role in all forms of communications. The other challenge the industry is facing is the situation where there is a sudden sharp increase of supply in a particular market, which is what we are seeing today in Africa. In parallel, the terrestrial fibre providers saw this as an opportunity to make the investment into building a fibre network to meet the growing demand.

For the satellite operators to remain relevant in these times of oversupply, one of the key objectives is to be able to remain competitive in terms of price by finding creative ways to procure satellites and deliver capacity to the end users more affordably.

Q: What can you say about the current state of broadcasters’ HD transition/ digitisation plans?