LatAm - Page 18

hispasat_hispasat 09/07/2014 15:38 Page 1 Hispasat in Latin America s a former Abertis executive, you must have been central to the decision for it to increase its stake and make Hispasat a subsidiary. What advantages does the deal bring to Hispasat? Will customers and the market in general notice any changes? After 25 years of dedicated service in the satellite telecommunications industry, the Hispasat story is marked by success and continued growth. The company was launched as a local operator, with just one orbital position and satellite, but is now a regional benchmark operator in Latin America, with presence in four orbital positions, seven satellites in orbit and a further three satellites under construction. Hispasat has therefore reached a point of maturity, from where it is possible to consider a more ambitious growth project, with the aim of becoming a global player and converting the company into one of the world’s top five operators. In order to develop our strategic plan, we required strong support from a partner who would decisively play all their cards on the project. This is exactly what Abertis did, thus giving us strength, knowledge, ambition and global perspective. This drive behind the project was one hundred percent positive for the company, which is now growing at a faster rate, both organically and inorganically, acquiring new orbital rights, launching new satellites, seeking partnerships to optimise resources and looking into M&A opportunities, which will enable us to expand our footprint. In terms of clients, we continue working with the same competition and at the same level of demand that we have until now, increasingly adapting our offer to clients’ needs and offering the highest quality of services. Technical innovation is in our genes. We are therefore driving several network architecture, signal compression, multi-screen broadcast and broadband projects, in which satellites constitute an optimal solution. In addition, we are pioneers in advanced developments such as Ultra High Definition TV and mobile telecommunications service connectivity. Our ambition is to continue working at the cutting edge of technology, in A 18 LATAM Briefing Advanced Television spoke to Carlos Espinós, CEO of satellite operator Hispasat, to learn more about the company's ambitions and expectations in the LatAm region. order to provide the best response to market demands. Latin America is obviously crucial; will there be more partnerships on orbital slots like the recent one with Intelsat? Because of its growth potential LatAm is a target for other providers, what are your advantages over others such as Eutelsat, who recently stepped up their regional commitment? Orbital rights are becoming increasingly scarce, at a time where there are an increasing number of national operators hoping to put their own satellites into space. Sharing orbital positions with partners may therefore be a good solution and is an excellent way to optimise the use of these resources. We wouldn’t therefore turn down the opportunity of being able to come to other such agreements. As far as the advantages Hispasat may have over new players in the Latin American market are concerned, the Company’s many years of experience working in the region and profound knowledge of this market must be highlighted. Furthermore, Hispasat has an orbital position at 61 degrees West, one of the most important orbital positions in the Latin American video market. We also have transatlantic positions, which enable us to bridge communications between Europe and America. In addition to all of this, we must not forget the cultural and linguistic ties that link us to most Latin American countries and our close relationship with Brazil, where the headquarters of our subsidiary company, Hispamar, is located. How much has the partial failure of Amazonas 4A compromised near term plans in LatAm? The failure in the power sub-system affecting the north panel of the Amazonas 4A is currently under investigation and as of yet, we do not have a conclusive report on the possible causes of the incident, nor on the exact effects this may have on the satellite. No matter what the results, the programmed capacity will be reduced to some degree. However, given that this is a growth satellite, rather than a replacement satellite, this will not have an immediate negative impact on services. Moreover, the satellite is covered by insurance for potential loss, thus meaning financial impact will be kept to a minimum. Furthermore, Hispasat is now making its final adjustments to the contingency plan, which makes it possible to make up the capacity lost in a short period of time, which I believe means this fault will not affect growth plans in the region too greatly. At the moment, the Amazonas 1, which has already been replaced and reached the end of its useful life, has been located at 55 degrees West, covering the audiovisual services for the football World Cup in Brazil that we planned to offer via the 4A. Hispasat is a mature, experienced company and is prepared to effectively tackle this kind of problem, which may nevertheless happen to any operator. At the time of the acquisition, Abertis set ambitious targets for increasing Hispasat revenues; which service sectors are you targeting most? In line with the most significant market studies, at Hispasat, we believe that audiovisual services are set to be one of the main growth drivers for space capacity demand in Latin America. This growth will be evident in terms of both increasing the number of channels, estimated at a 44 per cent increase over ten years and developing new television technologies that require greater broadband, such as HD, which has not yet been fully launched in Latin America or the recently arrived UHD. Communication services are also growing at a good rate in the region. Government