Eutelsat: ‘Well placed for future’

Executives at Eutelsat have suggested the satellite operator is well placed to benefit from future connectivity, with satellite having the potential to be on a par with IPTV distribution in the video sector in 2030.

Speaking at a press briefing at Eutelsat’s Rambouillet teleport, Jean Hubert Lenotte, Director of Strategy, noted that the company’s strategy was focused on video and broadband. “Broadband is basically using all the great progress we have in satellite delivery to provide service to consumers,” he said, adding that previously, Eutelsat had only provided data services for corporates only in remote areas. Advances in technology meant that satellite was now able to provide access at a cost equivalent to fibre.

“In some areas, satellite is more cost-effective than fibre, and this is why it is one of our strategic accesses, because we believe that typically in Europe, the last one or two per cent of the population can be reached very cost-effectively via satellite,” he suggested. In other areas such as Africa it could be very competitive.

The company’s regular reviews of its market sectors suggested that satellite as an infrastructure has momentum, and would continue to be one of the two leading infrastructures with IPTV. According to Hubert, the total number of TV homes would increase by 955 million to 1.7 billion by 2021, with satellite reception continuing to grow, by 50 million homes from 2016 to 2021. Satellite’s market share of TV homes was set to rise from 24 per cent to 26 per cent. “Running the numbers, satellite will be the second reception mode by 2025, and by 2030, it should be first, on a par with IPTV,” advised Hubert.

In terms of demand for HD and UHD connectivity, Gerry O’Sullivan, Executive Vice President, Global TV and Video, noted that the first broadcasters to get into HD were going to be the first getting into UHD, such as Asian broadcasters, in particular the Japanese market. “How they monetise that is a challenge for them,” he added.

Going forward, Eutelsat’s strategy was to diversify the video ecosystem and value for its clients. “We fully believe that satellite and IPTV will be the two main accesses long term, but we need to make sure that the services provided to customers are the same full suite of rich services as much as possible to our B2B customers,” he admitted.

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