David Pollack

Israeli satellite operator Spacecom is not a big one (its fleet consists of just four satellites), but the company really outstands with its speed of growth for the last years and dynamical market position. The satellites cover territories of the Middle East, Europe, North America and Africa. The next challenge is to be the launch of the Amos – 6 in 2015, and the Eastern European spotbeam of this new satellite will be especially interesting for Ukraine. MediaSat met David Pollack, CEO, during the Spacecom annual event for customers which took place in the beautiful city Eilat near the Red Sea.

What does the Ukrainian market mean for Spacecom?

Ukraine is a part of the world team, so the Ukrainian market is important for us. First of all, I want to express my sympathy to Ukrainian people, to support them in difficult current situation. I wish peace to Ukraine and hope the war will be stopped as soon as possible. We have been working in the Ukrainian market for 17 years, during that time our first satellite, Amos – 1, was replaced and now we have Amos – 2 and Amos – 3. The first Ukrainian channel on the Amos satellite was STB in 1997 since that we are for now the leading satellite for Ukrainian private and national channels. Former STB technical director Dmytry Prykordonnyi is now Spacecom representative in Ukraine/ There are usually a lot of people from Ukraine who visit Spacecom annual events, and they are not only our partners but also our close friends.
Also we have plans with some of our Ukrainian partners to use Ka services.

Earlier this year it was reported that Spacecom was to be sold to Hispasat or to other operator. What can you tell us about that?

The idea was to sell Spacecom to rich owner who could finance and provide great possibilities for the development of our company, we are ambitious and we want to grow fast. The launch of satellite costs around $300 mln. In spite of we are quickly developing company we can’t do launches as frequently as we want to, it’s not easy for our shareholders. Speaking about the current situation, I would say that it seems we won’t sell Spacecom.

What are the following challenges?

We are going to launch three satellites in the next five years, so we’ll maintain our leadership in the Central and Eastern Europe and in the Middle East. Also we will penetrate some new markets, especially in Africa and Asia. We will develop DTH-platforms, communication services, Ka-beams services, etc.

When Amos-6 is expected to be launched?

The official date is discussed with the launching company because they depend on other launchers, but definitely it is to be in the end of the summer of 2015. It will be our first launch from the Cape Canaveral space port. All previous ones were taken from Baikonur by Soyuz or Zenit launchers.

Amos-6 main characteristics were presented by Spacecom operator:

Amos – 6 will replace the Amos – 2 (launched in 2003). The main goals of the new satellite are to expand Ku – services in Europe and to launch KaHTS services for Africa & Europe. Spacecom is proud of its Ka-Band Multi-Beam for Data Applications. It differs from traditional one due to:

  • Small beams enabling frequency re-use
  • Separated Forward and Return transponders
  • Return data from several beams is sent to a single Gateway
  • Forward data from one Gateway is sent to several beams