SES now Number 1
January 23, 2015
By Chris Forrester
Satellite operator SES has been close to the world’s Number 1 slot in the sector for some time based on revenues and fleet size, but a Press event in Paris on January 22nd saw CEO Karim Michel Sabbagh confirm that it expected to achieve the coveted position this year, and pushing Intelsat into second place. The satellite expansion strategy would continue, said Sabbagh.
He said that O3b was also becoming increasingly important. “Our objective is to increase turnover by 4 per cent. If this is achieved it will mean that SES will be Number 1 worldwide in terms of revenue. We are moving forward over the next three years with 7 satellite programmes mainly targeting emerging countries. This represents an investment of some €2 billion.”
SES will publish its full 2014 numbers in February. The group’s objective is to reinforce its international presence and increase its activities outside of the US and Europe, from 30 per cent of revenues to 50 percent of revenues.
SES has also given a valuable order to Arianespace to launch its SES-12 satellite (in Q4/2017). It will be the 40th launch by Arianespace of an SES satellite. SES-12 will go to 95 deg East, a well-established SES orbital position. It will be an all-electric craft, replacing NSS-6 and will be co-located with SES-8 and mainly serve South Asia. SES is already the key provider of DTH transmission to some 20 million India and Indochina homes.
SES-12 will be a serious satellite in terms of functionality. It will comprise 54 transponders on its NSS-6 replacement mission, and another 70 Ku-spot-beams and 11 Ka-band spot-beams for VSAT and speciality transmissions.
Interestingly, SES-12 also includes a Digital Transparent Processor (DTP) which provides anti-jamming capabilities as well as increased payload flexibility in order to provide customised bandwidth solutions to SES customers.