Middle East key market for satellite communication services

Regional demand for Iridium satellite communication services grows at the rate of 20% every month.

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By  Vijaya George Published  July 25, 2002

Satellite communications system operator Iridium Satellite LLC, which bought over the assets of its bankrupt predecessor, Iridium LLC, has identified the Middle East as a key growth market for its satellite services. Regional demand for Iridium satellite communication services is reported to have grown at a rate of over 20% per month.

“With its dynamic business environment, the Middle East region offers many new growth opportunities in key vertical market segments such as oil & gas, maritime and aviation,” stated Gino Picasso, chief executive officer (CEO), Iridium Satellite LLC. He added that prohibitive costs had prevented customers from availing of satellite communication services previously. “Iridium however, with its affordable pricing, business model and leadership, has succeeded in overcoming these barriers, thereby making satellite communications accessible to a wider customer segment.”

Also commenting on the potential in the regional market was Hans Kuijit, managing director of one of Iridium’s Dubai-based service providers Glocall Middle East. “In the last few months, Glocall has sold hundreds of thousands of minutes of Iridium satellite time globally. We have also entered into bulk agreements with several reputed companies in the oil & gas industries and aid agencies that are very active in the region, for a variety of Iridium services,” he said.

Iridium currently claims to be the sole provider of global satellite voice and data solutions with complete coverage of the earth, including oceans, airways and the polar regions. Through a constellation of 66 low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellites operated by the Boeing Company, Iridium delivers essential data and voice communications services to and from remote areas where other forms of communication are unavailable, unreliable or nonexistent.

“Multinational companies, governments and individual users seeking remote communications capabilities have several new options to purchase Iridium services. Iridium fills a critical infrastructure void as 86 percent of the world’s landmass and oceans are not covered by terrestrial wireless services,” said Mr. Picasso.

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