Intelsat-20 on track to power MultiChoice
Satellite company Intelsat's IS-20 satellite, which will provide capacity to direct-to-home (DTH) television operator MultiChoice, is on target to be launched in the first quarter of next year.
The operator in 2009 signed a long-term, multi-transponder agreement for satellite capacity with Intelsat.
The agreement extends and expands MultiChoice's existing contract on the Intelsat 7 satellite at 68.5o E to the follow-on satellite IS-20.
The contract, which spans the 15-year expected life of IS-20, also provides restoration capacity, resulting in a more robust network platform, says the satellite company.
It adds that it collaborated with MultiChoice on the design of the South African Ku-band payload for IS-20, which will optimise the signal reception power for MultiChoice's customers throughout SA, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique.
MultiChoice says, as at 30 September 2011, it had 5.2 million subscribers across Africa, including SA. SA alone has 3.7 million subscribers, with the rest of Africa making up the remaining 1.5 million.
“Intelsat's 68.5o E orbital location is the leading video neighbourhood for Africa, and a high-value orbital location for DTH service providers like MultiChoice,” said Intelsat's former regional VP of Africa Flavien Bachabi.
The IS-20, which will also replace the Intelsat 10 satellite, will provide services to Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and India.
Intelsat says the satellite's Ku-band payload is specifically designed to provide enterprise network and DTH services into Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Last month, Intelsat said it has three planned launches in 2012 to add to its current fleet of 22 satellites serving Africa.
The Intelsat 20, Intelsat 22 and Intelsat 23 satellites will be launched in the next nine months.
“We also continue to build on our strong history of training our customers' engineers and technicians across Africa, as part of the industry's overall effort to reduce interference,” says Intelsat Africa MD Jonathan Osler.