Saturday, April 19, 2014

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Brazil, Mexico: Present and Future Stars
 
The latest report on the Ibero-American satellite industry confirms the leading role that operators have assigned to the two giants of the region. Video is and will be the main character.
 
By OMAR MÉNDEZ
Intelsat is at the front of the fleet for demand in 2010, occupying 38% of all transponders, followed by Star One with little over 17%. Hispasat-Hismar, Satmex and SES World Skies show equal share.
 
For satellite operators, Latin America is an interesting and potentially good territory for business, even though shadows hang over some countries. The shadows come up in low tones and off-the-record conversations between me and business executives when we talk about Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia and sometimes Ecuador. For their small size, Uruguay and Paraguay are hardly mentioned. It's not surprising, then, that Brazil and Mexico are the center of attention. This is what business is all about: the top seducer is always Mr. Money Bags. The highest demand -and the most useful numbers in order to examine the future- come from these two Ibero-American giants. This demand is important today not only because of size but also because of the recent economic slowdown. Brazil and Mexico, as is widely known, have huge populations and, in turn, have more people without access to culture than in the rest of the region. This slows down the expansion of satellite TV suppliers. There is much to be done.

Apart from satellite operators having their eyes on the region, there are consultancy agencies bold enough to put numbers behind what is expected in this market.
 
Dataxis NexTV, for example, has just released the report "Latin America's Satellite Capacity 2005-2015." It reviews the present as well as the prospects for geostationary satellite capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean. The study gives forecasts for the next five years in terms of demand by band type (C and Ku), regions (Brazil, Mexico and Central America, and the Southern Cone, Andean and Caribbean regions), service and turnover.

Demand for satellite capacity in Latin America for 2010 is forecast to reach 683 transponders, a record high that represents over 82% of available supply and revenues of US$1.02 billion. Since 2006, Dataxis points out, the satellite sector has experienced steady progress, with the greatest demand for capacity on Ku-band and from the video segment. In 2010, Intelsat is positioned at the front of the fleet leading the demand, with 39% share of all transponders currently occupied, followed by Star One, which is barely over 17%. Hispasat-Hispamar, Satmex and SES World Skies trail with 12%.

Dataxis NexTV forecasts that demand in 2015 will exceed the 900-transponder capacity. Proliferation of satellite TV platforms (DTH), implementation of Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) and new high-definition TV (HDTV) will account for the growth. Video services will dominate 68.5% of demand, more than 8 percentage points above the record for 2010, according to the study.

Beyond the numbers, the report makes references to a hard-to-predict future. What is the real situation in each country? This is something ttv will attempt to answer every week, not as a life-like X-ray but as signals coming in from each Latin American country.
 
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