UAE grants Al Maisan Satellite Communications a DTH Services License

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

The TRA grants Al Maisan Satellite Communications Company a Satellite Transmission Services License

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) on 8th August 2011 has awarded Al Maisan Satellite Communications Company (YahLive) a ten-year satellite services license for Broadcasting Satellite Transmission of Services. This license enables YahLive to transmit direct-to-home satellite television services from the UAE. YahLive’s services will be available throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Southwest Asia and Europe. YahLive’s dedicated European coverage will provide regional and local channels to Arab Audiences in Europe. The signing ceremony was held in TRA’s head office in Abu Dhabi.

The license states that Al Maisan Satellite Communications Company, a joint venture between Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), a private joint stock company owned by Mubadala – an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi Government and SES Astra (Europe’s leading DTH satellite operator), will provide Direct-to-Home satellite services to free-to-air and pay-TV broadcasters in this region.

The Yahsat 1A spacecraft, procured by YahLive from a consortium of EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, was successfully launched on April 23rd, 2011. YahLive will commercialize 23 Ku-Band BSS-transponders on the Yahsat 1A spacecraft. Yahsat 1A is located at the 52.5 degrees East orbital position.

Commenting on the signing of the agreement, H.E. Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA Director General said: “The UAE telecommunications sector continues its achievements in this field, as this is the second license granted within less than one month. We aim through granting such licenses to promote fair competition between operators and other companies working in the ICT sector, because we firmly believe that this competition will enable us to optimize the services in the UAE market.”

“We are confident that the new license will add value to the spectrum of services provided in this sector, especially that we are keen to ensure licensees providing services of high quality, in addition to ensuring they meet the criteria and requirements we seek which are based on the satisfaction and convenience of users on one hand, and on our telecommunications strategic goals in achieving competitive levels of services regionally and internationally on the other. We wish the new licensee all the best ahead.” Al Ghanim added.

Meanwhile, CEO of YahLive, Mohamed Youssif said after the signing ceremony: “We are honored and would like to thank the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the UAE for its confidence in YahLive. We believe this is an exciting opportunity to deliver an extensive range of services allowing consumers to receive a new TV experience via a new satellite. YahLive is striving to be the hot spot for HD TV in the region. We look to our continued cooperation with the TRA.”

It’s worth noting that on 18th July, 2011, the TRA signed a similar agreement granting a license to MZ intaj FZ LLC (twofour54). In accordance with the license issued, twofour54 from its base in Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi, will provide both full time and occasional satellite uplink services for broadcasting purposes and TVRO (Television receive only) downlink satellite services. Twofour54 customers will be companies located in and carrying out business in the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi.