SES lights up launch pad to meet growing global demand

At a press briefing on the eve of SATCON 2011, we outlined our key global, North American and government initiatives and how that will enable you -- our customers -- to meet growing demand for connectivity.

Following the successful send-off of Quetzsat-1 satellite less than two weeks ago, the SES-4 and SES-5 satellites are up next on the launch pad.

SES-4, set to replace the NSS-7 spacecraft with enhanced coverage for government, VSAT and video solutions over the Americas, Africa and Europe, is scheduled to liftoff later this year from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. SES-5, slated to follow, will enable everything from GSM backhaul to VSAT, maritime and video distribution services over Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Beyond the SES-5 liftoff, we will launch six more satellites by early 2014.

“We are investing in new capacity at a pace the industry has never seen before to meet the ongoing high demand for quality content and connectivity around the world,” noted Ferdinand Kayser, our Chief Commercial Officer.

Scott Sprague, our Senior Vice President of Global Sales, said, “Our newly-consolidated divisions have formed one global operator with one growing, global fleet committed to being one with our customers in every region. Every SES satellite is designed, built and launched with the needs of our customers in mind every step of the way.”

Sprague noted that we reach about 70 million DTH, cable and IPTV homes across North America. He pointed to the new capacity deal with Turner Broadcasting System as a prime example of how we are enabling leading networks and programmers to build and extend their reach into new markets around the world.

“We just signed new capacity agreements with Turner on four SES satellites, enabling Turner to deliver both SNG and entertainment to homes across North America and in key regions across the globe,” Sprague outlined.

Tip Osterthaler, President and CEO of SES Government Solutions, noted that 90% of US government satellite requirements are now met with commercial satellite capacity. He also outlined a new initiative with the US Air Force. “The launch of the SES-2 satellite in September has initiated the innovative Air Force CHIRP (Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload) programme, an experimental mission testing new technology for GEO orbit,” said Osterthaler. “It’s the first government payload hosted by us.”

Upcoming launches beyond SES-5

is expected to go up in late 2012. Like three other ASTRA satellites scheduled for launch from French Guyana over the next two years, ASTRA 2F will enable the delivery of next generation broadcast, VSAT and broadband solutions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

SES-6 and SES-8 are scheduled to launch in early 2013. SES-6 will replace NSS-806 to provide more capacity throughout Latin America for DTH, VSAT, government inclusion programmes and channel growth for one of the region’s key cable neighbourhoods. SES-8 will be co-located with NSS-6 to deliver new capacity to the Asia-Pacific region for DTH, VSAT and government services.

The busy launch calendar has ASTRA 2E and ASTRA 5B satellites set to roar into space in the spring or early summer of 2013. ASTRA 2E will enable advanced broadcast, VSAT and broadband in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, while ASTRA 5B will add capacity and reach over and beyond Eastern Europe for DTH, direct-to-cable and contribution feeds.

is scheduled to launch in early 2014, with Ku- and Ka-band payloads delivering broadcast, broadband and VSAT network services to Africa, Europe and the Middle East.