Africa-2015: SES to launch five satellites

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SES, a global telecommunications satellite operator, with a fleet of more than 40 geo-stationary satellites that can reach 99 percent of the world's population has unveiled its plans to launch five additional satellites with capacity dedicated to providing services to customers in Africa over the next four years. In March 2011, Regional Director, North, Central & West Africa,  Theodore Asampong said that "right now, SES has satellites over Africa providing broadband and broadcast connectivity - but the demand is great and more reach and services are required,"

He added, "today, only one out of three homes in Africa has a TV set, but this number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. The digital migration in Africa is already being driven by satellite, and the markets are ready and eager for assistance which SES is ready and able to provide."

Asampong said that SES plans to expand its presence in Africa by providing the much-needed additional capacity to the continent, as well as adding staff and new local offices to foster long-term customer relationships in order to meet the diverse needs of Africa’s numerous markets.

He disclosed that Ghana’s digital migration was well underway with an impressively structured strategy in action to meet its deadline of 2013. In terms of services, MultiTV, a free2Air TV service that broadcasts digitally to more than 300,000 TV homes via the SES satellite Astra 2B, made Accra a worthy host for Discop where local African broadcasters, producers and regulators rubbed shoulders with their overseas counterparts. Senior Director at SES for Market Development in Africa , Mr. Christopher Limmer, said "Broadcasters realised that digital terrestrial television (DTT) cannot achieve a maximum audience reach on its own"

He added that "cable and satellite need to be seen as enabling partners for Africa 's digital migration. Satellite can feed and complement DTT roll-out if network architecture is aligned, and digital terrestrial coverage in combination with satellite can notably reduce infrastructure investments and costs."