Es’hailSat, the new Middle East satellite is preparing to launch in Q2 2013 with a mix of governmental and broadcast clients.
Philip Haines, chief commercial officer of the Qatar Satellite Company (Es’hailSat) described the footprint of the service as being “classic Mena coverage”. In addition to Ku-band capacity there are also higher frequency Ka-band transponders available.
The platform is being shared with Eutelsat, which has branded its portion of capacity Euteslat 25B.
Once in-orbit testing has been completed Es’hail will be located at 25.5 degrees East, a position it will effectively share with a Eutelsat and three Badr craft, however there is no shortage of demand for capacity.
Already Es’hailSat has entered into a strategic agreement with Al Jazeera, though no specifics have been released.
Haines says Es’hailSat will be at a hot spot position and as such will have to work to differentiate itself from the established platforms. “We will do as little or as much as the broadcasters want us to do. We’re not going to speculatively set-up services and then start competing with our customers.”
Es’hailSat has selected the Ariane 5 launch vehicle.