SES to Rename Americom/New Skies Unit

Satellite operator SES has merged its North American (Americom) and international (New Skies) units.

Now it’s about a month away from adopting a new moniker for the combined group, according to Rob Bednarek, president and CEO of what is currently being called SES Americom/New Skies. He said the company is in the process of getting trademark clearance for a new name.

The rebranding is needed because “we don’t want folks to focus on the fact that there were two companies being brought together,” he explained.

However, Bednarek said, “SES” will definitely be part of the new name. “The SES portion of our name is very important,” he said. In addition, he noted, the company intends to retain the existing names of the satellites.

The Americom/News Skies combined group, based in Princeton, N.J., operates 25 satellites worldwide with 900 transponders across the combined entity. The group has a little less than 400 employees; another 300 employees work in SES’s engineering unit which works with Bednarek’s group. Major facilities and offices include The Hague, The Netherlands; Washington, D.C.; and Singapore.

SES, the Luxembourg-based parent company put Bednarek in charge of both Americom and New Skies in July 2008.

Bednarek made the decision last December to shut down SES Americom’s IPTV service for small and midsize telcos, explaining in a statement at the time that “with a subscriber base of less than 10,000 at the end of November and after more than two years of service, the consumer uptake is insufficient to justify continuing operations.”