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Azercosmos is a leading satellite operator, serving as the Space Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan. With over a decade of experience, the company delivers satellite-based telecommunications and Earth Observation services to its partners. Telecom Review recently conducted an exclusive interview with Sanan Hasanov, the company’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Sales Director, during CABSAT 2024.

Can you briefly outline Azercosmos’ presence in the EMEA region? What are the key customized solutions Azercosmos offers in this particular region?

It’s already been 13 years since we began providing satellite services via Azerspace-1 and Azerspace-2 satellites in the EMEA region. We have wide coverage beams, which allows us to provide connectivity to the African continent, connecting Africa to Europe, Africa to Middle East, and vice versa.

In the EMEA region, we mainly provide data, video, broadcasting, maritime, GSM barcoding, IFC, and broadband services.

For the broadband sector, Azercosmos is working with telecom operators, mobile network operators (MNOs), governmental entities and enterprises; while on the video side, we offer video distribution and live feeds.

As an example, we are contributing to the video segment by broadcasting some huge, global events, like the World Cup Qatar 2022, where we provided video contribution across the continent via our satellites. It's a good advantage that allows us to showcase our services.

Additionally, Azercosmos is also involved in investing—especially in the teleports of the region—whereby we aim to expand our services and improve our service delivery to customers.

Right now, Azerbaijan proudly has a very good—and rapidly increasing—relationship with African countries. This year, we established a new embassy in the Kenya Republic and we hope that we will have a new embassy in West Africa soon. This new development brings us a new opportunity to increase our partnerships on a government-to-government (G2G) level, allowing us to expand our coverage area, footprint, and services in the region.

What makes the EMEA region a key market for Azercosmos? How do you attract or maintain customers and partners in the region?

The key advantage of Azercosmos for the EMEA region is: we have a wide beam on our Azerspace satellites, which allows us to cover multiple continents—Europe, Middle East, and Africa. It is very important to provide this intercontinental connectivity. In fact, by providing internet connectivity from Europe to Africa, we minimize the cost-of-service, which is very important in the African market.

We are also actively participating in global events like CABSAT and AfricaCom, which allows us to understand the market and create new partnerships or find new customers. Accordingly, we will introduce our services to various partners, and extend these services to other industries, including end-users and service providers.

What is Azercosmos showcasing at CABSAT 2024, and how do you expect this to spark greater interest on both a regional and global scale?

CABSAT is very important for us because it is one of the biggest events within the EMEA region, bearing in mind that a large share of our services is dedicated to this region. Currently, Azercosmos is providing services to approximately 80% of African and Middle Eastern countries.

With this in mind, CABSAT is the right place to meet with our customers and introduce new solutions and products, along with establishing new strategic partnerships.

This year, we signed agreements with Intelsat and Turksat for the Ku-band capacity to expand our coverage in Africa. We have an existing Ku-band coverage for Africa and the Sub Saharan regions. We already utilized more than 90% of our capacity which is a very good result for Azercomos, and now we are looking for third-party capacity.

These two agreements, which we signed with our partners, will allow us to expand our services and provide a wider range of solutions in the region.

The UAE and Azerbaijan is known to collaborate in strengthening digital infrastructure. How will Azercosmos play a role in this, and boost the space-tech economy between countries?

As a satellite operator, Azercosmos plays a very important role in digital infrastructure development and has formed a strategic partnership within these two countries. What we will do, over and above our satellite fleet, is provide satellite connectivity to the platforms nearest the border areas, which are under developed and don't have infrastructure.

As Azercosmos, we will also work on the Space Program—a new satellite program, which aims to improve and contribute to the digital transformation of the UAE. We are keen to collaborate with UAE space professionals and researchers, as well as service providers, to develop space technology and its utilization in the region.

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