June 30, 2014
The Spanish satellite communications company was founded on the 30th of June, 1989 and over the years, has become one of the industry's main operators across the globe.
The first event held to celebrate this anniversary will involve awarding a prize for the best innovation project in the telecommunication satellite field.
Today, Spanish satellite telecommunications operator, HISPASAT, is celebrating its 25th birthday. On the 30th of June, 1989, the HISPASAT company was founded as a public initiative, ratified in an agreement with the Council of Ministers on the 7th of April, 1989. It had a clear vocation as a driving force in the Spanish aero-space industry. HISPASAT began its course as a local operator, to whom exploration rights were granted at orbital position 30º West. Two satellites were to be set into service from this position, namely the Hispasat 1A and 1B. Over the first few years, the Company began to serve as a communications bridge between Spain and America, owing to services such as RTVE broadcasts to the Americas, from New York to the “Land of Fire” at the southernmost tip of Latin America.
This trend was reinforced upon acquiring new orbital rights at 61º West in 2000, alongside the creation of HISPAMAR, HISPASAT’s Brazilian subsidiary, in 2001. The company therefore launched an internationalisation process, which would lead it to become a regional benchmark operator in Latin America and set it amongst the top companies in the world in terms of income. Choosing Brazil as a platform for expansion meant breaking out of the Spanish speaking area in order to become much vaster and expand into the Americas. This step towards the international market was fully successful and has enabled HISPASAT to continue growing over the past few years, despite the economic crisis and the concentration of European markets, in which the Spanish operator began its activity. Indeed, in 2013, 55.6% of the company’s income made from renting spatial capacity was generated in the Americas, whilst the remaining 44.4% came from the European and North African markets.
HISPASAT currently ranks as the ninth satellite telecommunications operator in the world and has four orbital positions, seven satellites in orbit and a further three under construction. It continues to fulfil its vocation as a driving force for the Spanish aero-space industry, which has enabled it to generate 1,000 million Euros in industrial returns for Spanish companies in the aero-space sector over its 25 years.
Indeed, throughout this time, HISPASAT has also paid special attention to innovation, aimed at both technologically improving satellites to make them more efficient and capable and developing new, better services for its clients, which provide an exact response to new market demands. The Spanish operator has therefore always been at the cutting edge of its field and known how to incorporate the most effective advancements into its satellites at all times. Right now, it is developing a new satellite, namely the AG1, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and German manufacturer OHB. This satellite will have the regenerative REDSAT payload built into it on the innovative SmallGeo platform. HISPASAT is also working on several I+D+i projects in the services sector, researching compression technologies, developments in mobile connectivity and new network architectures that make it possible to make satellite telecommunications more efficient and useful. Hispasat’s leadership in the Ultra High Definition (UHD or 4K) field must be noted, in which the open satellite channel, Hispasat 4K, made available to the industry to drive the development of this technology, stands out.
The favourable evolution of the Company and the satellite market, alongside the support of Abertis, the Company’s majority partner, means that HISPASAT is currently immersed in a new growth and expansion process, aiming to convert the Group into a global player in the satellite communications industry. Investment in new satellite programmes has therefore been increased, with the aim of doubling the size of the fleet, which is set to grow from 5 to 10 satellites between 2012 and 2016. HISPASAT is working towards finding new positions by means of adjudication processes or forming partnerships with other operators, for example the agreement they made with Intelsat at 55.5º West. Furthermore, the Company is looking into inorganic growth opportunities that make it possible to expand coverage and the Group’s offer.
In the words of Elena Pisonero, president of HISPASAT, “the company is immersed in a new stage of maturity and change, which will undoubtedly lead us to acquire greater specific weight and become more competitive in global terms, with the aim of being able to play a relevant role in a rapidly changing sector, such as the satellite telecommunications industry”.
Awarding the HISPASAT Prize
Various celebrations will be held to mark HISPASAT’s 25th anniversary, the first of which constitutes awarding the HISPASAT Prize for the best innovation project in the satellite telecommunications field. All those works presenting a solid innovation project for telecommunications satellites, which constitute an applicable improvement that may be used in any field related to satellite communications, may take part. Examples include payload, a flight system or on-ground segment. The works presented may come from both an academic or industrial background. The winning work will be rewarded with 12,000 euros and the finalist will win 5,000 euros. The award decision may be consulted on the HISPASAT website.
About HISPASAT Group
The HISPASAT Group is composed of companies with a foothold in Spain as well as in Latin America, where its Brazilian affiliate HISPAMAR, sells its services. The Group is a leading Spanish- and Portuguese-language content broadcaster and distributor, including over important direct-to-home television (DTH) and high-definition television (HDTV) digital platforms. HISPASAT is one of the world's largest companies in terms of revenue in its sector, and the main communications bridge between Europe and the Americas.