Via Satellite

Will WRC-2015 Cast a Shadow over AfricaCom This Year?

Editor's note for Via Satellite Middle East and Africa 2015

Over the last few years, AfricaCom has become the key event for the satellite community in Africa. Via Satellite is delighted once again to prepare a special Middle East & Africa edition for this event, as well for the community. The event really comes at an interesting time this year, partly because of the timing of WRC-2015 and the battles the satellite industry must fight there to keep prized spectrum. The results of WRC-2015 could be keenly felt in Africa, given that so many players are targeting this market.

With so many players involved, and looking to find a niche in the market, it does make me wonder whether an over-supply of capacity situation could develop in the region. While the market offers great potential, it remains to be seen the real potential for broadcast/DTH, cellular backhaul, digital divide projects, oil and gas, government, etc. Certainly, capacity prices have been very aggressive in the region, and it will be interesting to see if that trend continues.

In this edition of the publication, we take a closer look at the pay-TV market in the region and talk to a number of major players about the potential for DTH, as well as how it fits alongside OTT and access to video content via mobile. We also talk to a number of regional operators who have aggressively targeted the market to see where they feel it will grow going forward. We also have a feature looking at the issue of satellite interference, which is a constant battle that the satellite industry faces.

There is little doubt that companies remain excited about the prospects to do business in the Middle East and Africa. Eutelsat’s recent deal with Facebook is really testament to that. Also, with LEO and MEO operators also targeting the region, it is a bewildering mix of players looking to do business there. We hope all players can find their niche and we wish them every success in the region.

Mark Holmes is the editorial director of Via Satellite and Avionics magazines.