SES ASTRA Further Strengthens 23.5 Degrees East Orbital Position19 Feb 2009
Move of ASTRA 1G adds 19 transponders for DTH and broadband services / Launch of ASTRA 3B scheduled for Q4, 2009
Luxembourg 19 February 2009 – SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), announced today that it has moved its ASTRA 1G satellite from 19.2 degrees East to 23.5 degrees East, where it joined ASTRA 3A and ASTRA 1E to serve Central Europe, the Benelux countries and German cable networks, as well as offering the high-speed broadband service ASTRA2Connect.
The move follows the successful deployment of SES ASTRA’s new satellite ASTRA 1M which replaces ASTRA 1G at 19.2 degrees East. ASTRA 1G adds 19 transponders to 23.5 degrees East increasing the number of available transponders on this orbital position to 56. Over the past years, SES ASTRA has successfully developed 23.5 degrees East into a new prime orbital position for Direct-to-Home (DTH) and broadband services in particular for Benelux, Czech Republic and Slovakia, which have generated strong demand on this orbital position.
By the end of the year, the orbital position at 23.5 degrees East will be further strengthened by the launch of ASTRA 3B. The satellite which is currently being built by EADS ASTRIUM in Toulouse is a state-of-the-art spacecraft with 52 transponders designed for the distribution of both Direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcast services and two-way broadband services across Europe. ASTRA 3B will provide more flexibility to 23.5 degrees East. Over time, the satellite will replace all existing capacity on 23.5 degrees East thereby securing capacity on this orbital position for at least fifteen years.
Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES ASTRA, said: “The continuous gain in reach on 23.5 degrees East demonstrates how SES ASTRA has successfully entered into new markets. With the move of ASTRA 1G and the launch of ASTRA 3B later this year we further strengthen this orbital position to serve the growing demand for high quality digital and High Definition broadcasting from the very dynamic Central and Eastern European and Benelux markets and offer additional capacity to the satellite broadband markets.”
About SES ASTRA www.ses-astra.com
SES ASTRA is the leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite system in Europe. The satellite fleet currently comprises 14 ASTRA and two SIRIUS satellites. The combined satellite system delivers services to more than 117 million DTH and cable households and transmits nearly 2,500 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 more than 60 High Definition (HD) channels on its main orbital positions, ASTRA and SIRIUS represent the most important HDTV platform for Europe's leading broadcasters. The prime orbital positions for ASTRA and SIRIUS are 19.2° East, 28.2° East, 23.5° East, 5° East and 31.5° 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 provides global coverage and connectivity. The company owns 90 percent of SES SIRIUS in Europe, as well as strategic participations in Ciel in Canada and QuetzSat in Mexico. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 39 satellites in 26 orbital positions around the globe. Additional information on SES is available at: www.ses.com
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