A new satellite is now in the works, a satellite designed to deliver streaming media, digital broadcast content and additional comms services to Sub-Saharan Africa.
Boeing (NYSE:BA) is the firm that has been contracted to build a 702 satellite that is being named GiSAT. The craft will offer a payload of twice the previous digital payload design capacity. The customer is Cayman Islands-based Global IP and they will use the satellite to offer coverage to 35 countries and 750 million people—GiSAT will deliver higher data rates at lower costs than previous satellites serving this part of the world.
Scheduled to enter service in 2019, GiSAT is designed to operate with more than 10 gateways in Europe and multiple gateways within Africa.
Privately owned Global IP was founded by three satellite industry veterans with 75 years of combined experience providing satellite products and services in emerging markets. The company CEO, Bahram Pourmand, was until recently Executive Vice President and General Manager, International Division of Hughes Network Systems LLC. The other two founders, Emil Youssefzadeh and Umar Javed, were founders and executives of STM, one of the VSAT industry pioneers with a 15 year track record in Africa before the sale of STM in 2013 in a private equity transaction.
According to Bahram Pourmand, the CEO of Global IP, the company's vision for GiSAT is to provide end users with connectivity and services that are affordable, rich in local content and truly broadband in nature. With the ability to reconfigure the GiSAT on-board processor, the Boeing digital payload will allow the firm to broadcast different channels to different beams from different locations, providing better service to broadcasters, mobile operators and ISPs.