Mustafa Murad, Gulfsat’s Chief operating Officer and Director of Planning & Operations, talks to Intercomms about
the company’s regional and international strategy.
Mustafa Murad joined Gulfsat November 2004 as
Satellite Operations Manager after previously
working at Al Harbi Telecom. In 2005 he was
promoted to Satellite planning Manager and
appointed Planning & Operations Director and
acting COO, in November of this year.
Q:What evidence is there for increased demand
for satellite-based services in the Middle-East
A: The main evidence for increased demand is that
80 to 85% of available satellite capacity in the
Middle East has already been sold.
Q:How do you distinguish your strategies
between your regional, international and local
A: Because we have good exposure to the
international satellite business, we have a good
understanding of regional market trends. This is
coupled with careful analysis of the requirements
of our business partners and market needs. Much
also depends on the market growth trends in
terms of our strategy and infrastructure planning.
Q:What are the metrics for success in the
markets you are pursuing?
A: Since we are following different market sectors,
metrics of success are different. But the common
metrics can be summarised as follows:
Matching the revenue/costing figures forecasted
in the service financial models;
Efficiency in educating the market for the new
Sold capacity, number of circuits, number of
Regional market penetration.
Q: Infrastructure can describe a range of
equipment that differs in quality, quantity and
reliability. How are you ensuring that you obtain a
competitive advantage in regards to your
infrastructure? A: We make sure our technical team has the edge
and is updated with any new technologies in the
satellite market. At the same time, we are closely
following development in new markets and the new
services provided by other companies in the
region. As a result, we are very selective when we
introduce any service inside or outside Kuwait.
Today we have seven satellite platforms in Kuwait,
Germany and Dubai and are also in the process of
building our new Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB)
platform from the United States.
Q:How important is the Kuwaiti Ministry of
Foreign Affairs contract for Gulfsat in providing
Internet Service, Data Communication Services,
Voice and Video Conferencing services for Kuwaiti
embassies in the 63 countries worldwide?
A: This project positioned Gulfsat as one of the
main telecom operators in the Gulf region. Also,
by having such a network in place, currently we
have the largest ground operator chain in the
region. This qualifies us to participate in any
major regional communication project.
Q:How important is government business to your
A: Government business is the one of the main
satellite market sectors we serve in Kuwait. We are
also looking to increase the government business
contribution share in Gulfsat’s overall business.
Q:How has your selection by the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MOFA) influenced take up of
related services by other Ministries and
businesses? Does it show your services meet the
demanding international requirements?
A: As Gulfsat owns the current MOFA satellite
platform, connecting all the Kuwaiti embassies
and consulates around the world, we are clearly a
first satellite company trusted by the Government
Q:What is the status of the TV Uplink project and
how does this fit into your overall strategy? A: As from 1 November, we have one TV uplink on
Eurobird 2 (also known as Badr 2 and Noorsat 1).
The TV channel (Al Bawadi) uses this platform.
A second platform on Nilesat 103 is expected to
be live by mid December 2006. In addition,
building a carrier class play-out centre is under
process and also expected to be ready for Gulfsat
TV clients by mid December.
Gulfsat is also providing a video contribution
services for TV and video producers in Kuwait to
transfer their content to their headquarters as well
as to their main uplink stations.
From the strategy point of view, as per our plan
for the Kuwaiti market, we are en route to be the
prime TV uplinker in Kuwait. Regionally, our target
is to position Gulfsat as a one of the main
broadcasters in the Gulf region.