CASBAA: Collaboration and innovation key to satellite future

Industry experts gathered in Singapore for the annual CASBAA Satellite Industry Forum 2014, recently concluded on June 16th at the Shangri-La Singapore. Over 230 speakers, delegates and media were on hand to explore how the satellite industry will be ‘Remaining Relevant in a Time of Transition’.

“With a speaker pool drawn from the biggest and most trusted names in the industry, our attendees experienced the best of the business at the CASBAA Satellite Industry Forum 2014,” said Christopher Slaughter, CEO, CASBAA. “And despite the ever changing multichannel TV landscape, CASBAA remains committed to supporting the satellite industry to foster continued growth and expansion in the region.”

Delivering the opening keynote address, Karim Michel Sabbagh, President and CEO, SES, gave a resounding call for greater collaboration within the satellite industry to meet market challenges, where other players in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry are actively looking for new market opportunities, and to meet regulatory and spectrum challenges, where terrestrial industries are looking to increase their bandwidth at the expense of satellite.

On a customer basis, Sabbagh said that more cooperation was needed to meet the demands of customers who are increasingly global: “Whether you are global, regional, or local, your ambition is to serve your customers around the world.” To that end, Sabbagh suggested that not only more collaboration was needed within the satellite industry, but also with other service providers in ICT.

Innovation and why innovation is important to the satellite industry was one of the key messages during the ‘Satellite Leadership Round Table’ later in the day.

While the general consensus was that there was a good amount of innovation taking place, there wasn’t enough innovation from satellite companies themselves.

“TV broadcasting demand for satellites will remain the bedrock for most Asian markets that rely on the technology to meet their entertainment needs,” said Thomas Choi, Founder and CEO, ABS. “While we may see a two-to-three per cent growth, we need to look for the next wave of innovation which could require better compensation to attract the best and the brightest to our industry. If we don’t innovate, we will be wiped out.”

With the steady growth of DTH and a large and growing middle class in the Asia Pacific region, satellites remain a cost effective way of getting television signals to the consumer.

Bill Wade, President and CEO, AsiaSat took an optimistic viewpoint of the future of the market and mentioned there were great opportunities for the industry with Asia growing strongly. “We need to take advantage of the technology and skill sets we already have but, to stimulate innovation, we need to look at our human resources and attract younger talent.”

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