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New satellite operator benchmarks report from WTA

March 23, 2011


The World Teleport Association has published a new report, Satellite Operator Benchmarks 2011, in which teleport operators worldwide rate the commercial and operational performance of the top satellite operators, with the intention of driving positive industry improvements.  

Satellite Operator Benchmarks 2011 provides satisfaction ratings and feedback from 70 interviews with teleport executives around the world on the commercial practices and operational performance of the top four satellite operators.  Based on a survey by a third-party research firm, the report expresses the collective voice of teleport operators on the quality of sales representation, pricing, competition, availability, handling of outages and interference, and more. 

Teleport operators were less satisfied with the commercial performance of their satellite vendors than with their operational performance, and saw the need for improvement in many areas.  The study explored satisfaction with commercial and legal representatives, commercial communication, escalation, invoicing, pricing fairness, pricing consistency, commercial flexibility and a joint partnership approach to bidding.

Telesat was the satisfaction leader in overall commercial terms, with SES in the number two position.  Scoring last, Intelsat and Eutelsat showed a similar profile of strengths and weaknesses, though Intelsat was rated higher overall.

The primary recommendation for improvement was for satellite operators to take "an improved partnership approach to business" with teleports.   This reflects in part continuing concerns about competition with satellite operators that own teleports and have the opportunity to price their teleport services below market rates.  Respondents identified Intelsat and Eutelsat as companies offering a competitive threat, while viewing SES and particularly Telesat as being more "teleport-friendly" in their policies and implementation.  

Operationally, the Big Four scored well, receiving a “strong” rating on 80% of factors across all operators.  Telesat was again the satisfaction leader, followed by SES, Intelsat and Eutelsat.  

Respondents rated satellite operators on attributes including availability and the communication and management of planned and unplanned outages, RF interference and frequency grooming.  Teleport operators advised performance could be improved with greater responsiveness and more pro-active reporting on problems and solutions in progress.

 “WTA stands ready,” says the conclusion of the report, “to promote a continuing dialogue between teleport and satellite operators to improve commercial and operational practices for the benefit of their mutual customers.”  

The survey, funded by WTA, was conducted by an independent research organization, which conducted interviews with multi-regional and regional teleport operators, large and small, in the Americas, Europe and Asia.  A total of 70 interviews were conducted with technical and commercial contacts at 35 teleport operators, with teleports rating the multiple satellite operators with which they do business.