Africa is set to enjoy the services of two new dedicated satellites, AFRICOM and AFRICOM-1, after leading Asian satellite operator Thaicom announced it would launch its operations in Africa early next year.
The new satellites will provide broadcasters and telecom operators in Africa with full range end-to-end satellite communication services, including modern telecommunication services, direct-to-home TV and digital TV.
AFRICOM and AFRICOM-1 will provide services via high-power C-band beams, with AFRICOM-1 being the payload dedicated to Africa on the Thaicom-6 satellite.
“The launch of AFRICOM by Thaicom is a strategic move by the company as we expand our services to regions beyond Asia, Australia and New Zealand,” said Suphajee Suthumpun, chairman of the executive committee and CEO, Thaicom.
“We see a lot of potential in the African satellite market, and we bring with us 20 years of experience in providing high-quality satellite services and solutions,” he added.
Thaicom’s senior vice president marketing and sales MEA, Pradeep Unni, said: “With the launch of AFRICOM, we will provide telecom operators and broadcasters providing services in Africa with the full range of end-to-end satellite communication services via AFRICOM-1’s high-power C-band beams.”
Unni added that they are already open for business and had launched their pre-launch marketing and sales campaign at the recent AfricaCom 2012 conference in Cape Town.
Thaicom currently has over 450 TV channels on its platform at 78.5 degrees East, the same orbital slot from where Africom-1 will provide service to the African continent, implying that Africa is set to benefit greatly from the positioning.
It is also the first satellite company in the world to develop and launch a high broadband satellite that is expected to boost Africa’s broadband penetration.
Africa has been a target of many satellite operators in the recent past. Thaicom’s announcement comes after another satellite operator, Al Yah Satellite Communications (Yahsat), announced its plans to launch its revolutionary satellite service dubbed “YahClick broadband everyone” in South Sudan in the next few months.