Fri, 09 May 2003

Arianespace optimistic about Asian demand

M. Taufiqurrahman, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Arianespace, a European commercial space transportation company, said on Thursday it expected higher demands for satellite launches by Asian countries on the back of the growing regional telecommunications sector.

Richard Bowles, director of Arianespace's Southeast Asia office, said that sound economic growth in the region would boost the market for the telecommunication industry.

"With the people in Asia now getting richer and richer, there will be a growing demand for telecommunications, particularly in broadcast technology," he said, adding that television broadcasts would, by its very nature, boost the demand for satellite launches.

Asian countries now account for 30 percent of Arianespace's commercial world market, while its largest market share is Europe.

Bowles declined to give a projection on future market shares.

The leader in commercial satellite transportation, Arianespace secured in November 2002 a contract from Indonesian telecommunication company PT Telkom to launch a communication satellite, called Telkom-2, after taking part in an open tender.

Telkom-2 will be launched at the end of 2004. Previously, Arianespace had successfully sent three Indonesian communication satellites -- Palapa C-2, Cakrawarta and Telkom-1 -- into their geostationary orbits.

Established in 1980 and currently owned by companies from 11 countries in Europe, Arianespace has made over 150 successful launches.