Yahsat plans satellite system for Middle East, Africa

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Growing demand for bandwidth, telecom expansion and Internet services has spurred Al Yah Satellite Communications (Yahsat) to develop a satellite communications system for telecommunications, broadcast and Internet connectivity across Africa and the Middle East.

Many countries in Africa still rely on satellite communications, which are blamed for the high cost of telecom in the region. But Yahsat plans to provide offerings including voice, data, video and Internet connectivity for governments and commercial clients in the Middle East and Africa, according to CEO Jassem Mohamed Al Zaabi.

“The ever-growing hunger for bandwidth, telecom expansion, new satellite driven internet services and satellite broadcasting in the Middle East and Africa are some of the factors that have fuelled the development of the satellite,” Al Zaabi said via e-mail.

Yahsat 1A satellite will be launched in the second half of 2010 while the Yahsat 1B will be launched in the first half of 2011. Greater connectivity, Al Zaabi said, will bring economic prosperity and Yahsat is looking to drive this through the provision of cost- effective service to the African region.

The satellite service will cover all of Africa. Potential customers of the satellite communications system include banking and financial institutions, mobile telecommunications networks, ISPs (Internet service providers), nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and government departments.

Satellite communications, Al Zaabi said, also play an important role when natural disasters occur, especially in rural areas where traditional phones and mobile phone services are usually unavailable. The satellite service will make it easier for NGOs to communicate with affected areas and the authorities.

Yahsat is a nationally owned satellite communication company in the United Arab Emirates providing hybrid satellite communication services.

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