Three months after the coronavirus pandemic brought large swaths of the global economy to a near halt, Asia-Pacific satellite operators say they are still trying to identify a new normal.
Thai satellite operator Thaicom logged a second year of declining revenue, but trimmed losses by selling its stake in a local telecom provider.
Thaicom is considering ways to prolong the life of IPstar, its pioneering high-throughput satellite currently projected to run out of fuel in 2022.
Satellite fleet operator Thaicom’s revenue fell by $60 million last year, a nearly 23 percent decline the regional operator blamed on a slowdown in Thailand’s broadcast sector.
China Great Wall Industry Corp.’s win of a contract for a high-throughput Ka-band broadband satellite for Thailand’s Thaicom is a breakthrough deal for China’s satellite export industry, which up to now has relied on domestic demand and special-circumstances orders, mainly from emerging-market governments.
Asian satellite fleet operators are divided over whether U.S.-based ViaSat Inc.’s terabit-per-second ViaSat-3 satellite or anything like it is viable in Asia, and whether Western fleet owners’ rush into mobility markets is a smart move.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on May 27 successfully placed the Thaicom 8 commercial telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit in the fifth of what SpaceX has said would be a year with up to 18 launches.
Satellite fleet operator Thaicom on Feb. 26 reported record profit for 2015 as its conventional satellites booked more television channels, including an increase in high-definition broadcasts, and its Thaicom 7 satellite reached 100 percent fill rate.
Thaicom expects all of its satellite-delivered TV channels to be in high definition by 2030, with ultra-high-definition making its full commercial impact starting in 2019.