The global government and military communications market is projected to be worth $9 billion by 2018, and the Middle East will be a key growth region for the commercial satellite industry, an expert said at the Milsatcom Middle East, which opened on January 23 at the Park Rotana Hotel, Abu Dhabi. Gordon McMillan, director of […]
The global government and military communications market is projected to be worth $9 billion by 2018, and the Middle East will be a key growth region for the commercial satellite industry, an expert said at the Milsatcom Middle East, which opened on January 23 at the Park Rotana Hotel, Abu Dhabi.
Gordon McMillan, director of government services for global satellite network provider Inmarsat, said that the increasing adoption of commercial satellite communication systems by government and military users, coupled with exponential demand for greater bandwidth, presents excellent opportunities for commercial satellite providers.
“As military budgets come under increasing pressure, the commercial satellite industry fulfils an increasingly greater proportion of the communications needs of government and military customers,” said McMillan.
Organised by Streamline Marketing Group, the two-day conference has been developed specifically to meet the satellite communications needs of the Middle East military, government and security agencies.
Added McMillan: “The impact of this is that in the future, fewer dedicated military satellite communications systems will be launched, and military forces will need to augment military systems with greater use of commercial satellite communications networks.
“Commercial satellite communication systems that are designed with military and government users in mind will provide these users with a greater degree of flexibility in how they fulfill their communications requirements, for land, sea and air operations.”
McMillan was one of thirteen industry speakers at Milsatcom Middle East today addressing delegates on the role of the commercial satellite industry in future military satellite communications operations. He said that the need for access to greater amounts of information in all forms,
including data imagery, live motion video, and voice on large platforms, whether at sea, on land or in the air is stretching the capacity and flexibility of military and commercial systems alike.
He added: “The fluid and asymmetric environments encountered by todays security forces will become more complex and challenging, both politically, and operationally, placing an even greater emphasis on the need for real-time, accurate information to support decision making.
“Among many others, these trends will present great opportunities for those commercial satellite providers that can assemble and deliver an adaptable combination of a global, secure communications network supported by products, services and applications that enable and enhance the flow of information for military commanders and soldiers.”
McMillan said that according to independent research the global government and military satellite communications market was worth an estimated US$4 billion in 2010. More than 40% of Inmarsats global business is from military and government customers, with the
company planning to launch four new satellites in the next three years, adding significantly greater bandwidth and in-orbit resilience to its overall network.
“The Middle East has been, and will continue to be a very important region in the context of government and military communications,” McMillan continued. “Milsatcom Middle East provides an ideal platform for the commercial satellite industry to speak directly with senior regional military commanders to better understand their current and future requirements for satellite communications.”
Milsatcom Middle East features 17 regional and international expert speakers from the commercial military satellite communications industry, discussing changing battleground realities, connectivity, network security, emerging trends and regulatory concerns of one of the most active military satellite communication markets in the world.
Staff Brigadier Hamad Juma al Niyadi, commander of electronic warfare for the UAE armed forces delivered the opening address, examining the evolution of military satellite communications in the Middle East. Joining him was Maj. Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Senior ICT Advisor Centre of Excellence & Development of the UAE Armed Forces.
Other panel discussions included military satellite communications trends and opportunities, and challenges while planning next generation military satellite communication services.
Other speakers included Koen Willems, director, Newtec, Tareq Al Hosani, CEO, Yahsat, Shawkat Ahmed, chief commercial office, Yahsat, Gerard Donelan, head of public sector projects, SES Astra, Nikolas Faller, director, EMEA, Astrium, and Robert Cleave, vice president, Lockheed Martin. The conference chairman was satellite communications consultant John Yates.