Delivering high-quality, advanced satellite services to the Middle Eastern and North African countries

We talked with Mr. Hamad Al Mannai, Vice President – Commercial about the company and the challenges of the African market.

Tell us a little bit about Es’hailSat?

Al Mannai: Es’hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company, is a communications satellite operator headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Es’hailSat was established in 2010 with the goal of managing and developing Qatar’s presence in the space, and provide independent, high-quality, advanced satellite services to broadcasters, enterprises and governments in the MENA region and beyond.

Es’hailSat provides the region with the most advanced and sophisticated services including broadcast, telecommunications and broadband.

Mr. Hamad Al Mannai
Vice President – Commercial at Es’hailSat

Es’hailSat currently operates two satellites, Es’hail-1 launched in 2013 and located at 25.5⁰E, and Es’hail-2 launched in 2018 and located at 26⁰E orbital position. Having both Ku-band and Ka-band payload on satellites co-located at 25.5⁰E / 26⁰E broadcast hotspot enables Es’hailSat to provide the region with the most advanced and sophisticated services including broadcast, telecommunications and broadband. 

What markets is Es’hailSat targeting in Africa currently?

Al Mannai: In terms of geographical locations, the footprint of our current two satellites covers all of Middle East and North Africa, and region of interest for us in Africa at the moment is the Arabic and French-speaking countries in North Africa.

In terms of verticals, broadcasting via satellite for Pay-TV and FTA markets have been our primary service since the launch of our first satellite. Both Es’hail-1 and Es’hail-2 satellites transmit some of the region’s top video channels, and the 25.5°E/26°E orbital position is a hotspot for Middle East and North Africa for television content.

Another vertical where we have been active in is the telecommunication market, to provide telecommunications services via satellite, such as GSM backhaul and managed VSAT services. 

Which projects have you already implemented in Africa?

Al Mannai: Multiple networks of channels are currently using Es’hailSat satellites to distribute their channels and to reach consumers in the Northern African region. With hundreds of free to air and Pay TV channels on our satellites, and with millions of dishes pointed to the satellites; channel owners can reach a large number of viewers instantaneously. We have also supported GSM backhaul, and backup services for telecommunications service providers in North Africa.

What are your key solutions and which market segments do they address?

Es’hailSat’s high powered Ku-band payload provides consumers with high-quality services such as Direct-to-Home (DTH) linear TV, video on demand, high definition TV and 4K TV.

Mr. Hamad Al Mannai
Vice President – Commercial at Es’hailSat

Al Mannai: Some of the key services we offer are content distribution, playout services, VSAT services and mobility services. We provide end-to-end services on our satellite through our teleport in Doha or through our partner teleports or service providers.

Broadcasters, be it a major network or single channel operator, can use Es’hailSat’s high powered Ku-band payload to provide consumers with high-quality services such as Direct-to-Home (DTH) linear TV, video on demand, high definition TV and 4K TV. We can support these networks or channel operators with playout services, from aggregation to content prep to format conversions and other services as required, without the need for the channel operators to invest in capital intensive systems. 

Telecommunication solutions is another one of our key services that supports various market segments that require connectivity in areas with limited or no terrestrial networks. We offer voice, data and broadband services for enterprises, O&G companies and service providers within the industry from our managed VSAT hub or SCPC. These can be for fixed locations or land and maritime mobile services.

Artist’s Rendering of the Es’hail-1 in space

What are the key benefits of your solutions?

Viewers are able to receive a wide variety of video content using a single satellite dish from the 25.5°E/26°E orbital hotspot, without the need to change or repoint their satellite dishes.

Mr. Hamad Al Mannai
Vice President – Commercial at Es’hailSat

Al Mannai: Es’hail-1 and Es’hail-2 satellites are located at an orbital location that has over 700 TV channels, from high-quality premier sports channels to movies and entertainment content. Viewers are able to receive a wider variety of video content using a single satellite dish from the 25.5°E/26°E orbital hotspot, without the need to change or repoint their satellite dishes. Broadcasters wishing to use Es’hailSat satellites to distribute their channels will be joining a video neighbourhood with high-quality content reaching millions of viewers over a wide geographical area throughout the MENA region. 

Leveraging on our teleport and working with key partners within the region and internationally, we provide customized solutions for the telecommunication sector. These solutions range from small bandwidths for voice, data and internet services to large bandwidths for images, video and data backhaul. We provide capacity and customized managed services that cater to individual needs of the customer, with flexibility, speed and high quality of service.

Looking into the future of satellite: What is the next big thing for you?

Al Mannai: In short-term to mid-term, we are looking to enhance the services we provide within the whole eco system for broadcast and telecommunications sectors. For example, integrating on-premise and cloud-based playout solutions along with an OTT solution enhances the value we provide to broadcast customers in terms of flexible on-ground solutions and widening their reach. 

In the long term, we will continue to work with our customers to meet their connectivity requirements with services such as IoT, M2M and EO, which we believe will require large amounts of satellite capacity. We also see much potential in the mobility area, both on land and in maritime, where satellites remain the primary solution for connectivity. 

Hence Es’hailSat plans to build scale through partnerships with leading international satellite operators, with newer state-of-the-art satellites in other prime orbital locations around the globe, offering customers with flexible and reliable services.

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About Es’hailSat

Es’hailSat, a Qatar Satellite Company, provides independent, high-quality, advanced satellite services to broadcasters, enterprises and governments in the MENA region and beyond.

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