SES ASTRA Develops Orbital Hot Spot For Broadcasting23 Oct 2007
23.5° East is a new orbital slot for Direct to Home and ASTRA2Connect / ASTRA 1E replaces ASTRA 1D
Betzdorf (Luxembourg), 23 October 2007. – SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), announced today that it has moved its satellite ASTRA 1E from the orbital position 19.2° East to 23.5° East to replace the satellite ASTRA 1D which is approaching the end of its design life.
At its new position, ASTRA 1E joins ASTRA 3A and will become operational by the end of this month. The move of ASTRA 1E was made possible by the successful launch of ASTRA 1L, which started its services at 19.2° East in July. To further enhance the 23.5° East position, another new satellite, ASTRA 3B, is scheduled to be launched by the end of 2009, adding 19 transponders to the 37 transponders available on ASTRA 3A and ASTRA 1E at this orbital position today.
SES ASTRA is building 23.5° East into a new prime orbital slot for Direct-to-Home (DTH) reception, focusing specifically on the dynamic Benelux and Central and Eastern European markets. Today, more than 330 TV and radio channels are available from 23.5° East, including the satellite platform operators Sky Link from Slovakia and CS Link from the Czech Republic. CS Link now disposes of 250,000 activated smart cards in the market; the Czech broadcaster Nova TV launches its new first Czech High Definition (HD) pilot channel on CS Link.
23.5° East also transmits the Dutch regional broadcasters and the Netherlands’ satellite TV provider Canal Digitaal. SES ASTRA has recently concluded an agreement with Canal Digitaal to use further capacity on 23.5° East for the launch of a new thematic bouquet at the end of this month and for a new HD bouquet next year. The successful introduction of satellite dish devices for the simultaneous reception of signals from 19.2° and 23.5° East with Duo LNBs allows satellite homes to receive nearly 1,500 digital free- and pay-TV and radio programs and services from these two orbital slots of SES ASTRA.
The innovative satellite broadband service ASTRA2Connect is transmitted from 23.5° East and will be further developed. The change of satellites at 23.5° East will have no impact on customer services as the two satellites are using the same frequencies.
“The move of ASTRA 1E is an important step for SES ASTRA to further extend our DTH services for broadcasters across Europe at our orbital position 23.5° East”, said Alexander Oudendijk, Chief Commercial Officer of SES ASTRA. “It builds a basis for additional growth in the DTH and two-way broadband business. With ASTRA 1E and the launch of ASTRA 3B, we will continue to develop our satellite fleet significantly and increase the attractiveness and the high quality of our services to customers.”
About SES ASTRA www.ses-astra.com
SES ASTRA is the leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite system in Europe, delivering services to more than 109 million DTH and cable households. The ASTRA satellite fleet currently comprises 13 satellites, transmitting 1,864 analogue and digital television and radio channels. SES ASTRA also provides satellite-based multimedia, internet and telecommunication services to enterprises, governments and their agencies. With 26 High Definition (HD) channels available via its satellites today, ASTRA is also the most important HDTV broadcasting platform in Europe. ASTRA's prime orbital positions are 19.2° East, 28.2° East, and 23.5° East.
SES ASTRA is an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG). SES owns three market-leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, SES AMERICOM in North America, and SES NEW SKIES, which provide global coverage and connectivity. The Company also holds strategic participations in SES Sirius in Europe, Ciel in Canada and Quetzsat in Mexico. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 37 satellites in 25 orbital positions around the globe. Additional information on SES is available at: www.ses.com
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