Measat Raises Forecast on Direct-broadcast Growth

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Satellite fleet operator Measat of Malaysia, which has more than doubled its revenue in the past five years, is forecasting a further increase of between 50 and 100 percent, to $150 million to $200 million, by 2015 as it expands its direct-broadcast television offer westward, Measat Chief Operating Officer Paul Brown-Kenyon said.

The company currently supports two satellite television platforms in India and two in Indonesia in addition to its core All-Astro network in Malaysia.

Measat, whose owners recently took the company private and have indicated they might outsource the satellite operations business to concentrate on television broadcasting, is now focused on striking partnerships for satellite broadcasts in Africa.

Measat has secured capacity on Thai operator Thaicom’s IPStar satellite for the equivalent of 7 percent of IPStar’s capacity — 3.3 gigabits per second of throughput — and will use the bandwidth to provide Malaysian government-backed broadband projects.

Brown-Kenyon said Measat has already presold one-third of the capacity on the Measat 3B satellite, an all-Ku-band spacecraft ordered only in June from Astrium Satellites of Europe and scheduled to be placed into Measat’s 91.5 degrees east orbital slot. “We will have committed the vast majority before launch,” he said. “We are now looking at a Measat 3C to provide backup and in-orbit redundancy.”

Measat currently operates four satellites in orbit, and has struck a deal with the government of Azerbaijan to jointly use 46 degrees east. The satellite is under construction by Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., and is scheduled for launch in late 2012.