News Analysis

Reaching Out to the "Other 3 Billion"

by B.H. Schneiderman

Editor, Latin America

In these challenging economic times, it’s encouraging to know that there are still visionary companies that have ambitious plans aimed not at the most saturated, advanced countries but in the underserved developing countries. Denver, CO-based O3b Networks (registered in St. John, Jersey, Channel Islands) headed by Greg Wyler is one such company. Unlike other companies before that were high on ideals and low in practicality, O3b Networks, which stands for the "Other 3 billion," seems to know have a sound business plan to back up their lofty goals.

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Government Space Program Expenditures Worldwide Hit a Record $62 billion in 2008

610 government satellite planned for launch in the next decade

World government space program expenditures reached a historic high of more than $62 billion dollars in 2008, with planned satellite launches in the next ten years to increase 38% over the previous decade according to a report released in December 2008  by Euroconsult.

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Commercial Satellite Industry Set to Grow Even in Troubled Economic Times

New NSR Report Projects More than 1,500 New Transponder Leases in Next Ten Years, and Revenues to Hit US$12.9 Billion

With many industries around the world in the doldrums due to the current economic crisis, NSR's latest multi-client market research report released December 3rd, 2008 entitled the Global Assessment of Satellite Demand, 5th Edition, projects that the commercial satellite transponder leasing market should emerge relatively unscathed. This new NSR report provides the industry's most complete examination of commercial satellite supply and demand in all regions and for each application over the next ten years.

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160 MSS Satellites Will Launch by 2018 According to NSR

Mobile Satellite Services Sector Enters Heavy Launch Phase amidst Financial and Economic Uncertainty

"The next ten years will rival the heydays of the late 1990s for the MSS industry with the launch of up to 160 MSS satellites," stated Claude Rousseau, Senior Analyst for NSR and author of the report. "That total does not count the number of FSS transponders in C-, Ku- and X-band that will be also available to the mobile satellite market. However, despite positive launch and supply trends, the stakes have never been so high given the turbulence in global financial and economic markets, which may affect demand."

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Obama Win Signals Administration Change, but Minimal Impact Expected in Military Demand for Commercial Satellite Services-NSR

Many vendors anticipate a decline in U.S. Military demand for commercial satellite services, and indeed President-elect Barack Obama has promised to withdraw troops from Iraq within a 16-month period, or by mid-2010. The impending pullout suggests limited presence and thus a decrease in military needs for satellite services, at least from outsourcing capabilities to commercial assets. However, President-elect Obama has likewise indicated that in Afghanistan, troop levels should actually increase.

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US Faces "Sputnik Moment" in Broadband

Once considered the fertile crescent of Internet innovation, the United States now finds itself increasingly trailing the world in broadband, according to a report just released by Strategy Analytics. The report, “Sputnik Moment: The Call for a National Broadband Policy,?” suggests that only a coordinated and coherent national broadband plan will allow the US to regain its leadership role.

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Leadership, Change and the Future

by Lou Zacharilla, Director of Development

Society of Satellite Professionals International

As we head towards the end of 2008, leadership, change and the future are the three most prominent words in speeches  given in the world of politics. Both Senators Barack Obama and John McCain in their quest to be the future leader of the United States have campaigned hard on a theme of “change,” (although their definition “change” seems to change with each day’s headline!)  Theirs follows last May’s election in France, where  President Sarkozy  was swept into power on the winds of change.  In Russia and Latin America new leaders, verbally dedicated to the changes needed to create a better world, have been installed.  Sit quietly for a moment and you will no doubt hear the sighing of cynics, who maintain that in politics plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.   Perhaps in politics this will again be proven.  However, there is one business where change is taking place quietly and with results.

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The Eurasian Satellite Market: Poised for Growth

by Virgil Labrador, Editor-in-Chief

With the global financial downturn, satellite companies are always looking for new and emerging markets to sell their products and services.  But with the increasingly global nature of the world’s economies, there are fewer markets left to explore.

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The Year of the Middle Kingdom- Satellites Take Center Stage at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

by NSR

The first modern Olympics held in Athens in 1896 featured some 241 athletes and were probably witnessed by several thousand spectators. Well over 10,000 athletes are expected for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and the best estimates are that the TV viewership records broken during the 2004 Olympics will be smashed once again this year with the possibility of over 4 billion people watching the events in the coming days. This represents three out of every five people on the face of the planet and, quite simply, is a feat that would be essentially impossible to achieve without the use of satellites.

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Why Do FSS Operators Borrow So Much Money?

by Bruce Elbert

President, Application Technology Strategy, Inc.

The Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) satellite operator business is the most established of the satellite industry, with leaders like Intelsat and SES representing many billions of dollars of investment and revenue. In the past, these companies and their predecessors like Hughes Communications Galaxy and RCA American Communications exclusively relied on investor risk capital and internally ground funds. What has changed to make these companies behave more like debt-leveraged industries like wireless/cellular telephone and airlines?

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