Arabsat and Avanti settle Ka-band spat
September 10, 2019
By Chris Forrester
Avanti Communications and Arabsat, helped by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), have come to an agreement over disputed access to orbital Ka-band frequencies at 30.5/31 degrees East.
Arabsat 6A, with its Ka-band payload also offering spot beams, operates from 30.5 degrees East, just half a degree away from Avanti’s Hylas 2 at 31 degrees East. Hylas 3 also operates from 31 degrees East.
Arabsat CEO Khalid Balkheyour said: “Our teams’ coordination meetings were held in a very professional way that resulted in a productive agreement. We are looking towards more future business cooperation and partnerships.”
Kyle Whitehall, Avanti’s CEO, said: “Avanti and Arabsat have been working together constructively since the start of the year under the auspices of the ITU to find a solution that enables both companies to serve their core markets. The agreement with Arabsat on Hylas 2 and 3 combined with Hylas 4 — which was unaffected by these discussions — puts Avanti in an optimal position to continue to serve its existing customers and to expand confidently in the future.”
Details of the actual agreement are scarce, but in essence Arabsat retains its frequency rights over the MENA region. Avanti can use frequencies targeting Iran at least until the end-of-life of Avanti’s Hylas 2 satellite. Frequencies covering Southern Africa (including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe) are to be shared.