The Way I Saw It…

by Staff Reporter | March 15th, 2012

Paul Scardino, VP, Corporate Sales & Marketing, Globecomm

Paul Scardino, VP of corporate sales and marketing, Globecomm, offers his impressions of CABSAT 2012.

Globecomm attends CABSAT annually as our Middle East Office is in Dubai’s Internet City and the show fits our core business of satellite communications as well as one of the main market verticals—media and entertainment.

CABSAT 2012 was more upbeat than in recent years as people are beginning to see some relief and recovery from the global recession. The fact that the MENA region is on a rebound was impressed upon me during my trip to Dubai as all flights seemed full and the airport was very crowded as I arrived after midnight, hours before the show.

Besides the obvious presence of the Ka-band capabilities at CABSAT, another noteworthy topic was the discussion of efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not necessarily military related. The challenge, like in most of the region, is to provide these countries with state-of-the- art communication technologies and services.

Our personnel has been involved in the region for over twenty years, designing and implementing much of the satellite communications infrastructure and providing ongoing services for the likes of Gulfsat, Thuraya, Samacom/du, Etisalat and Nilesat; so it was good to see that things were picking up at the show.

Certainly the satellite industry in the MENA region is busy with Ka-band, one of the hot topics during the event; Yahsat is launching its second satellite later this year, Eutelsat’s discussing its KA-SAT high throughput satellite, and others are touting Ka’s benefits.

Ka-band creates enormous opportunities for end-to-end service providers, from broadband internet and e-learning to broadcast applications, interactive TV and cellular backhaul. Ka-band is yet another tool to bring state-of-the-art solutions to the market. Progressive companies are taking advantage of its unique capabilities to meet changing demands for communications – including vast amounts of voice, video and data, and bringing broadband coverage to rural areas around the world.

Besides the obvious presence of the Ka-band capabilities at CABSAT, another noteworthy topic was the discussion of efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not necessarily military related. The challenge, like in most of the region, is to provide these countries with state-of-the- art communication technologies and services.

However, understanding the needs and cultures of these countries is of utmost importance. Beyond Iraq and Afghanistan of course, the satellite industry will continue to develop and expand in the MENA region where countrywide terrestrial infrastructure is not necessarily present and it becomes easier and less expensive to facilitate broadband communication using satellite technology.

This could not be more evident than on the show floor where talk of new opportunities was prevalent. Finally, as I walked the floor, I came to realize that every company defined itself in much the same way as Globecomm has been describing itself since our inception. From the product houses to the satellite owners, all companies were bragging that they were solutions providers of end-to-end managed services.

As part of the Globecomm family since the beginning, I couldn’t help but wonder if they really understood what that meant. Do they all have the right personnel and technology culture to always be right on the pulse of ‘state-of-the-art’ technology? Can they truly provide everything from consulting services and system design and integration to managed communications and life cycle support? Are they able to build, operate and transfer systems to a customer; or better yet, develop it onto their own global network to move their clients’ content from anywhere in the world to anywhere else in the world? I guess only time will tell.

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