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The Euro50 Q&A: Andrew Wallace, Eutelsat

Eutelsat’s chief commercial officer, Andrew Wallace, has had a busy year, not least overseeing the commercialisation of the satellite operator’s all Ka-band Ka-Sat, as well as the strengthening of its position in emerging markets in North Africa, the Middle East and central Europe.

Age 49

Education Natural Sciences (Maths & Physics) and Engineering, Cambridge University; MBA INSEAD.

Previous positions Pace: marketing director; Cable & Wireless: general manager France, global operations director business networks; RAF officer.

Last year’s highlight The entry into service of our Ka-Sat satellite, Europe’s first high throughput satellite was a watershed for us and for the satellite sector at large. In the broadband market, Ka-Sat represents the opportunity for users beyond range of terrestrial high-speed networks across Europe and the Mediterranean Basin to benefit from immediate access to a 10 Mbps service. As a new infrastructure that lowers the cost per megabit, it’s a powerful platform for broadening the scope of satellite-based services, in complement to Ku and C-band capacities. Other highlights were the launches of Atlantic Bird 7 and W3C that between them serve 800 TV channels. And they deliver capacity to expand video services at key video neighbourhoods serving North Africa, the Middle East, central Europe and Indian Ocean islands.

Most significant industry development The Arab Spring showed the power of the media, namely satellite TV, mobile phones and the Internet, to transform a political landscape. Broadcast TV got massive attention and the images and messages were scrutinised as never before.

Goals for next year We will continue to roll out service on Ka-Sat through strong partnerships that leverage the full potential of this infrastructure. 2012 will be a strong year for special events, including the London Olympics, the UEFA Cup in Poland and the Ukraine and elections in France. We are working closely with service broadcasters, news agencies and service providers to provide the capacity and quality of service they will need, both for the planned and the unexpected. And we will use these events to validate new products and processes such as Ka-band satellite newsgathering feeds routed to IP addresses and booked on-line.

Industry challenges and opportunities Responsible and organised use of spectrum is a key issue, particularly as networks are progressively absorbed by interactive services. We predict increasing use of hybrid networks, with broadcast satellites and DTT delivering linear TV, while ADSL delivers lower bandwidth interactive services.

Alternative career choice Display pilot

Life outside work Family and mountains (usually together on foot, bikes, skis or on the run).

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