$500 million satellite firm set up to service MENA

SmartSat will offer new services by launching the Arab World’s first private satellite

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  February 9, 2009

The region’s first private company that specialises in satellite services has been set up through a $500 million alliance between Jordanian and Kuwaiti companies.

SmartSat, which will be headquartered in Dubai Studio City, will offer services through the launch of the Arab World's first private satellite.

The company sees great potential in the regional market with commercial satellite-lease revenues reaching $752 million in 2007, according to studies by Euroconsult and The London Satellite Exchange.

With an aim of improving the quality of services offered by internet service providers, GSM providers, television companies and others, SmartSat will primarily serve the MENA region as well as international markets such as Eastern Europe.

"Being the first privately owned Arab company working in the satellite sector, SmartSat will contribute significantly to enhance and develop the satellite sector in the MENA region, as our entry is expected to create positive changes in terms of competitive prices, high-quality services and more options for customers," commented chairman and managing director Khaled Derbas.

SmartSat is a joint venture between Smartlink, the Jordanian broadband satellite services provider and a Kuwaiti investment firm whose identity has not been disclosed. Described only as a “leading Kuwaiti investment holding company”, it will act as the financial advisors for the venture.

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