At the Cable & Satellite Broadcaster's Association of Asia (CASBAA), a Boeing Space and Communications official reported signs of recovery in the commercial satellite industry noting a recent commercial satellite contract, several in negotiation and high levels of long-term and new customer confidence.
Speaking before 150 people who attended Monday's luncheon event, Randy Brinkley, president of satellite manufacturer Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS), announced a new order from Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company for the manufacture of a third high-capacity GEO-Mobile satellite. BSS is part of Boeing Space and Communications, a unit of The Boeing Company [NYSE:BA].
Brinkley cited the growth of new satellite-based communications applications as encouraging signs for the commercial satellite industry. Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications is utilizing a Boeing-delivered turnkey network to expand telephone service to a region covering 2.5 billion people in the Middle East, Europe, North and Central Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia. He also mentioned the performance and quickly increasing subscriber base of XM Satellite Radio, a system that uses two Boeing-built satellites to deliver 100 channels of crystal clear, CD quality radio programming nationwide.
Brinkley also pointed to a major Boeing restructuring that focused on quality as a key element behind this renewed activity. Boeing Satellite Systems, acquired from Hughes Electronics in Oct. 2000, has incorporated Boeing best practices throughout its business as it looks to future growth.
"Quality is the lynch pin of every decision we make - even if getting it right costs us time and money in the short run," Brinkley stated. "That strategic view is a Boeing characteristicand whether it is building an International Space Station or a new Sonic Cruiser, Boeing is focused on the creation of long-term growth and value."
The recent highly successful digital broadcast of the latest Star Wars premiere in theaters across the U.S. equipped with Boeing Digital Cinema systems also points to new applications that will drive the demand for satellite capacity, according to Brinkley. Secure, digitally perfect copies of first run movies distributed across a combination of satellite and fiber links will provide large savings to the film industry and enhance the viewing experience of consumers. Brinkley described this as "a trailblazing example of the potential of Boeing Digital Media to enable secure point-to-multi-point distribution of large amounts of digital information in many other industries, including medicine, finance and oil and gas exploration."
Boeing S&C, headquartered in Seal Beach, Calif., is the world's largest space and communications company. A unit of The Boeing Company, S&C provides integrated solutions in launch services, human space flight and exploration, missile defense, and information and communications. It is NASA's largest contractor; a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; and a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The global enterprise has customers worldwide and manufacturing operations throughout the United States and Australia.