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Gascom signs deals for Mideast communications

MOSCOW, March 15 (RIA Novosti) - The telecommunications arm of Russia's energy giant Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] has signed contracts to provide satellite-based communications to clients in the Middle East, Gascom said Thursday.

Gascom signed the contracts to use the capacity of Yamal telecommunications satellites in the interests of Mideast clients during the largest annual Middle East cable and satellite show, Cabsat-2007, which was held in Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

The contract with Denmark's Emperion, a leading provider of global satellite and wireless IP broadband solutions and services, requires Gascom's satellites provide access to the World Wide Web for users in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, the company said.

"The fantastic footprint and strong technical performance were key factors in our decision to use Yamal 202. Moreover we see great potential for new business under the Yamal footprint. We are planning to offer both DVB/SCPC and DVB/RCS services on the satellite during 2007 and look forward to expanding our relationship with Gascom," Emperion CEO Morten Hald said.

The U.S.-based EMC, a premier provider of global communications, will also use the Yamal-202 satellite more broadly and has arranged new communications channels from Germany to Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Eritrea on its basis, the company said.

Gascom was founded in 1992. Its shareholders are Gazprom, space corporation Energia and Gazprombank. Currently, Gazprom accounts for 17% of the use of Gascom's services. Government structures use 10%, corporate and commercial service providers 51%, and commercial television companies 22%.

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