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CASBAA: Satellite operators face “winter” of oversupply

The CASBAA-sponsored Satellite Industry Forum heard some grave warnings that the local satellite operators face a “winter” of oversupply capacity.

Speaker after speaker warned that there’s a high risk of over-supply even, while other speakers said they also wanted a slice of the action. Myanmar, for example, doesn’t have its own satellite, and U Thaung Tin, the country’s deputy telecoms minister, told delegates: “There is a national desire for a satellite, which we would like to see in orbit as soon as possible.”

However, Huang Baozhong, EVP at Hong Kong-based APT Satellite, was blunt, saying that operators faced a winter of over-supply, and that demand was not keeping up with expectations.

His comments were echoed by Japan’s JSAT who said despite the extra bandwidth needed by Ultra-HD: “Japan was reaching saturation,” said Mitsutoshi Akao, executive officer for satellite at SkyPerfect-JSAT.

William Wade, CEO at AsiaSat of Hong Kong told delegates that the over-supply problems had already led to price cutting. “We are seeing unsustainable market conditions,” he said.

Stephen Spengler, CEO at Intelsat, added his voice to the debate, arguing that there was a supply/demand imbalance looming which is a threat to the entire industry.

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