New Skies set to fly high

In three years time AAPT's former satellite business, AAPT Sat-Tel, expects to generate almost half its revenues from the broadcast market, an area it is yet to compete in.

The organisation, now known as New Skies Networks following its acquisition by Dutch-based satellite operator New Skies Satellites in March, is set is embark on a major expansion plan in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

Maureen Murphy, CEO of New Skies Network, said the shift to broadcasting is just one area the business will be moving into.

With the backing of the new parent company, New Skies is planning to offer new services including multicasting, broadcast distribution, video streaming, extranet and intranet services for corporates, high-speed internet access, managed private networks and content aggregation, she said.

To date, New Skies has focused on providing internet connectivity, managed voice and data satellite communications, and satellite engineering and operations services to corporate and government customers, internet service providers and satellite operators.

According to Murphy, New Skies Network now has access to five satellites owned by New Skies Satellites, two of which service Australia. Two additional satellites are expected to be launched by the company within the next two years, which will provide twice as much capability for New Skies, Murphy said.

"With 50 per cent more power we will be able to deliver broadcast services to small antennae," Murphy said. In time, New Skies will be able to provide traditional broadcasting, pay TV services, and ISP services, she added.

Despite the shift in focus, Murphy said she expects ISPs to continue to be a large part of New Skies' business going forward.

Currently, 60 per cent of New Skies' revenues come from providing internet backbone connectivity to ISPs. "I believe services to ISPs will be a growth market because of the changing nature of the way of delivering services . . . they will essentially become broadcasters in their own right in the IP environment," she said.

In the near future, Murphy said that in six weeks time a new IP-based platform will go live in New Skies' US uplink site. In the Sydney-based earth station, the new architecture will provide capabilities for video and audio streaming and high-speed internet.

Additionally, the company is considering building a new earth teleport to replace its Sydney earth station. Murphy said it is possible the new teleport will be located in a regional area.

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