In related news, the opewrator will launch a fully managed service headend for a new direct-to-home (DTH) provider leveraging a complete headend solution from Harmonic.
Liquid Telecom’s satellite business is growing rapidly, providing both enterprise solutions and broadcasting services for pay TV. Its satellite network complements Liquid Telecom’s pan-African terrestrial network and enables the company to provide seamless services across Africa.
Liquid Telecom will use the Eutelsat 7B satellite in two ways: to service its new broadcast requirement for DTH services across the African continent; and to connect a growing number of enterprise customers located in areas where fibre is not available.
Liquid Telecom is the broadcast service provider for Africa’s largest new pay TV provider, KweséTV, which has been granted the exclusive rights for major sporting events including the English Premier League Free to Air and the NBA League.
Liquid Telecom’s satellite service offers speeds of up to 50 Mbps. 97% of Liquid Telecom’s satellite traffic is within Africa, with traffic outside the continent routed via its hub in London. Customers include Africa’s largest mobile network operators, ISPs, corporations and financial institutions, SMEs, government and public sector bodies as well as organisations wanting to connect remote rural communities.
Scott Mumford, Group Managing Executive of Satellite and VSAT at Liquid Telecom, said: “Broadcast still plays a massive part in the satellite business and we are extremely pleased to have secured this important contract, which will allow the launch of a new large scale broadcast offering.”
Michel Azibert, Eutelsat Commercial and Development Director, added: “We are delighted to welcome Liquid Telecom on board Eutelsat 7B, to increase the role of satellite in the digitisation of Africa’s TV landscape and to extend broadband connectivity. This new contract with Liquid Telecom underscores Eutelsat’s leading role as a premium provider of digital infrastructure across Africa.”
Liquid Telecom will utilise Harmonic’s ProView 8100 IRDs for digital turnaround satellite reception. They will be integrated with Harmonic’s Electra X2 advanced media processors for HEVC encoding of SD and HD video content. Powered by the Harmonic Pure Compression Engine, the media processors support a wide range of video formats and codecs for satellite delivery, simplifying operations and future upgrades for the service provider.
Tight integration between the Electra X2 processors and Harmonic’s ProStream 9100 stream processors with DiviTrackIP statmux technology will increase the efficiency and flexibility of Liquid Telecom’s statistical multiplexing operations. All of the headend components will be controlled by Harmonic’s NMX video network management solution.
“Harmonic is uniquely positioned to facilitate Liquid Telecom’s long-term business plans, providing a complete headend solution that enables agile video delivery, access to new markets and profitable growth,” said Ian Graham, vice president of sales, EMEA, at Harmonic.
“This project will be the first major DTH HEVC headend for Harmonic. The use of the HEVC codec and, in particular, Electra X2 media processors will allow Liquid Telecom to make the best use of available bandwidth on its three transponders and deliver pristine video quality to customers in Africa.”
“While our platform will launch imminently, the goal was to partner with a video infrastructure provider with demonstrated deployment experience, technology innovation and a forward-looking roadmap to support our wider ambitions to include multiscreen delivery,” said Scott Mumford, group managing executive, satellite and VSAT at Liquid Telecom.
“Within the marketplace there is only one company with the relevant suite of solutions, international expertise and pedigree we were looking for. Harmonic’s headend solution supports the latest video compression technologies, including MPEG-4 AVC and HEVC, as well as statistical multiplexing, allowing us to deliver superior video quality at low bit rates, with the flexibility to evolve via software upgrades.”