Arabsat named 'Satellite Operator of the Year' at SatCom Africa 2013

Arabsat SatCom Africa 2013 rikomatic FlickrArabsat last won a SatCom Africa award in 2010. (Image source: rikomatic/Flickr)Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat) has been named 'Satellite Operator of the Year' at the SatCom Africa 2013 exhibition and conference in Johannesburg, South Africa

The company, which operates satellites at the 20° East, 26° East, 30.5° East and 34.5° East positions of the geostationary orbit, received the award at a gala ceremony held during the event last month.

Arabsat said it was chosen for this year's award due to it "making a difference to the satellite industry in Africa" and accommodating the "changing needs of the [satellite] system in Africa".

Eng. Khalid bin Ahmed Balkhyour, President and CEO of Arabsat, remarked, "We are very pleased with this award as it crowned the efforts of Arabsat to expand the geographical coverage to serve all customers in the African continent and in all coverage areas."

Balkhyour noted that the award celebrated Arabsat's 'up-to-date fleet', which he described as "the youngest in the region". The firm has scheduled its Badr-7 satellite for launch in 2015 when it will become the company's first sixth generation broadcast and telecommunications satellite in orbit.

Arabsat last won a SatCom Africa award in 2010 for 'Best Satellite Service Provider'.

The company, which was founded in 1976, carries more than 450 TV channels, 160 radio stations, 4 pay-TV networks and wide variety of HD channels that reach millions of households across the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The company claimed it reached more than 170 million viewers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region alone.

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