Satellite operators benchmarked

The operational performance and commercial practices of the top four satellite operators, Telesat, SES, Intelsat and Eutelsat, have been evaluated by teleport operators in a new research study undertaken by Futuresource Consulting. The study, commissioned by The World Teleport Association – the trade association focusing on the business of satellite communications – was carried out in response to member requests and expresses the collective voice of teleport operators on issues such as the quality of sales representation, pricing, competition, availability and the handling of outages and interference.

The findings, published in the WTA’s new report ‘Satellite Operator Benchmarks 2011’, are intended to drive positive industry improvements.

‘Satellite Operator Benchmarks 2011’ shows that teleport operators are less satisfied with the commercial performance of their satellite vendors than with their operational performance, highlighting the need for improvement in a number of areas. The study explored satisfaction with commercial and legal representatives, commercial communication, escalation, invoicing, pricing fairness, pricing consistency, commercial flexibility and a joint partnership approach to bidding.

Telesat was the satisfaction leader in overall commercial terms, with SES in the number two position. Scoring last, Intelsat and Eutelsat showed a similar profile of strengths and weaknesses, though Intelsatwas rated higher overall.

“The primary recommendation for improvement was for satellite operators to take an improved partnership approach to business with teleports,” says Robert Bell, Executive Director, WTA. “This reflects, in part, continuing concerns about competition with satellite operators that own teleports and have the opportunity to price their teleport services below market rates. Respondents identified Intelsat and Eutelsat as companies that represent a competitive threat, while viewing SES and particularly Telesat as being more ‘teleport-friendly’ in their policies and implementation.”

In operational terms, the all four operators scored well, receiving a ‘strong’ rating on 80 per cent of the measurement criteria. Telesat was again the satisfaction leader, followed by SES, Intelsat and Eutelsat.

Respondents rated satellite operators on attributes which included the communication and management of planned and unplanned outages, RF interference and frequency grooming. Teleport operators advised that performance could be improved with greater responsiveness and more proactive reporting on problems and solutions in progress.

In summing up, the survey asked respondents to rate on a scale from zero to ten – with ten being the highest – how likely they were to recommend the satellite operator to others. The resulting Net Promoter Score (NPS) gives the percentage of respondents who are promoters, less the percentage of respondents who are detractors. SES led the way, with Intelsat in second place, slightly ahead of Telesat, and Eutelsat receiving the lowest score of the group.

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