Kuwait-based satellite solutions provider Gulfsat was recently awarded the coveted broadcast license by the Ministry of Information in Kuwait for its TV uplink business. The company has been operating in the region for 18 years with a VSAT license. The broadcast license will enable it to become a major uplink provider for TV as well as the VSAT business, which places it in a unique position in the region.
According to Mohammed Alhaj, Chairman of Gulfsat, the broadcast license is not easily acquired. “This license will give us the chance to strengthen our presence in Kuwait and open the door for new business opportunities abroad. It makes us the only official satellite broadcaster in the region”.
In conjunction with this, Gulfsat also announced at IBC that new satellite capacity will be available on a new transponder that is located at GSAT 7.8 degrees E8WC (Eutelsat 8 West C). Satellite capacity will also become available on the GSAT 7 degrees West satellite from October 1, 2013.
“At the moment there isn’t much capacity available on this orbit. However, the GSAT 7.8 is 2 or 3 degrees from Nilesat, therefore, offering similar exposure. It serves as a gap filler until it is replaced within a year by another transponder,” explained Alhaj.
The second AB7 GSAT 7 degrees west satellite covers another orbital location, which will also have available capacity starting from October 1, 2013.This satellite will be uplinked from Europe.
“All satellites that we operate are manufactured by Eutelsat with a 15-year contract to reserve capacity in specific regions on their satellite. Gulfsat has a ground infrastructure that connects nine international nodes.” Dubai, New York, Egypt, Singapore, Bahrain, Kuwait, UK, and more recently, Jordan and Cyprus serve as nodes for Gulfsat.
“These nodes are connected over international MPLS circuits to carry our clients content from point A to point B. Our playout center is in the UK, which is our hub. We operate an IP platform that is fully automated, where clients can upload and program their playout remotely,” he explained.
He also added that Gulfsat is the only company that broadcasts from the US and covers the MENA region.
“Companies that uplink from the Middle East are subject to regulations. The AB2 transponder uplinks from the US and is free of satellite interferences.”