Arabsat and Emerging Markets Communications sign $85 million deal

Deal will guarantee EMC Corp capacity on Arabsat’s fleet for the next ten years

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By  Roger Field Published  July 9, 2008

Emerging Markets Communications (EMC) and Arabsat have signed an agreement worth $85 million, guaranteeing the US-based satellite services company high power capacity on Arabsat's broadcast and telecommunications satellite fleet for the next ten years.

The deal, which came shortly after the launch of Arabsat's fourth satellite, BADR-6, will allow EMC, a US-based satellite services company, to grow its business in Africa and Central Asia.

Abel Avellan, president of EMC, said the deal is significant given the current dearth of satellite bandwidth. "It is no secret that getting satellite capacity is one of the major challenges the industry is facing for the years to come. This agreement with Arabsat allows EMC to keep providing its customers a full range of options and will assure capacity for their network," he said.

"The UN, IMF, WB, and different 500 fortune companies are among our customers. These are organisations for which the quality and stability of their communications are critical factors in their day-to-day operations," he added. "We have to make sure we deliver that, and to assure the satellite capacity for the future is one of our top priorities."

Khalid Balkheyour, Arabsat's president and CEO, said: "We consider the signature of this major contract as a milestone in our ambitious deployment plan towards the sub-Saharan African market, and trust it marks the beginning of a long-term partnership with EMC whose expansion we'll be equipped to support further with our forthcoming three 5th generation satellites in 2009, 2010, and 2011."

EMC offers maritime services, teleport services, and private, end-to-end satellite networks in more than 140 countries.

KSA-based Arabsat owns and operates four satellites at two orbital positions, and intends to increase its fleet with the launch of one new satellite a year until 2012.Another satellite, Arabsat-5A is due to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2009.

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