Press releases

ARABSAT Invests into Cutting Edge Satellite Technology by signing a contract with Thales Alenia Space to supply a Software-Defined satellite

Press releases

ARABSAT Invests into Cutting Edge Satellite Technology by signing a contract with Thales Alenia Space to supply a Software-Defined satellite

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    Riyadh, April 29, 2022 – ARABSAT, the leading regional satellite operator in the Middle East and Africa, and Thales Alenia Space, the joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), have signed a contract to build ARABSAT-7A, a fully flexible Software-Defined Satellite (SDS) based on the Space Inspire (INstant SPace In-orbit REconfiguration) platform by Thales Alenia Space.

    Thales Alenia Space

    With this contract, ARABSAT joins the exclusive club of geostationary satellite operators who have chosen this revolutionary technology to empower their business and transition from traditional bent-pipe GEO satellites to the highly agile and adaptable SDSs which are expected to change the face of the geostationary satcom industry. Indeed, the Space Inspire platform will enable seamless telecom mission and services reconfiguration of the ARABSAT-7A satellite, instant in-orbit adjustment to broadband connectivity demand, and superior video broadcasting performance while maximizing the effective use of satellite resources.

    ARABSAT 7A will join ARABSAT 6A and 5A at its data hotspot at 30.5E. It will replace the bulk of the existing C and Ku-band capacity on ARABSAT 5A as this satellite reaches end-of-life to ensure a seamless transition for customers and partners. It will also offer ample high-throughput Ku-band capacity to help ARABSAT expand its services into several verticals to enhance its portfolio of products and solutions over Middle East, Africa and beyond, to parts of Europe.

    “Following a lengthy and very rigorous evaluation of the various products currently available on the market, ARABSAT has decided to go with the Space Inspire platform and entrust Thales Alenia Space, whom we have partnered with for well over four decades on several programs. This program is fully aligned with ARABSAT’s new transformation strategy, which is aimed at bringing ARABSAT closer to its loyal customers to ensure sustainable growth for the satcom business in the region as well as partnering with governments and enterprises in various countries to bridge the digital divide and connect the unconnected which has become synonymous with economic prosperity and people empowerment.” said Dr. Badr N. Alsuwaidan, acting CEO of ARABSAT
    “I am delighted that we have signed this contract with ARABSAT, which opens a new chapter in the long-standing cooperation between our two companies", said Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space. “We are very proud to be contributing to ARABSAT’s development in the MENA region by providing our state-of-the art satellite platform that is fully reconfigurable in orbit. This latest success reflects Thales Alenia Space’s technological expertise and confirms that our Space Inspire product line, which is also supported by the European and French space agencies, perfectly matches the fast evolving needs of the satcom market in terms of agility and flexibility.”


    Founded in 1976 by the 21 member-states of the Arab League, Arabsat has been serving the growing needs of the Arab world for over 45 years, operating from its headquarter in Riyadh-KSA and two Satellite control stations in Riyadh and Tunis. Now one of the world’s top satellite operators and by far the leading satellite services provider in the Arab world, it carries over 500 TV channels, 200 radio stations, pay-tv networks and wide variety of HD channels reaching tens of millions of homes in more than 80 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Europe—including an audience of over 170 million viewers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region alone tuned into Arabsat’s video “hotspot” at 26°E. Operating a growing fleet of owned satellites at the 20°E, 26°E, 30.5°E and 39°E, ARABSAT is the only satellite operator in the MENA region offering the full spectrum of Broadcast, Telecommunications and Broadband services.


    Saad Al Tehaif

    Director, Public Relations & Media

    Phone : 00966112819603


    Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately 2.15 billion euros in 2021 and has around 8,900 employees in 10 countries with 17 sites in Europe and a plant in the US.


    Catherine des Arcis
    +33 (0)4 92 92 72 82

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