SES WORLD SKIES Commissions SES-8 for Asian DTH Operations

Thursday, February 17th, 2011 
SES WORLD SKIES logo

Orbital Sciences to build new satellite for launch in 2013 to provide incremental capacity

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — In order to respond to the strong demand for additional DTH capacity in Asia, SES WORLD SKIES, a division of SES S.A. (Paris:SESG)(LuxX:SESG), today announced that it has commissioned the SES-8 spacecraft from Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) for a launch in the first quarter of 2013.

SES-8 will feature 33 high-power Ku-band (36 MHz-equivalent) transponders and will be co-positioned with the NSS-6 satellite at the orbital location of 95 degrees East. SES-8 is a medium-sized satellite with beams focused on South Asia (India) and Indo-China (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos) to support existing DTH customers with back-up and growth transponder capacity. The spacecraft will be built on Orbital’s flight-proven STAR spacecraft platform and will generate approximately 5.0 kilowatts of payload power.

The 95 degrees East orbital slot is a cornerstone of the SES strategy in Asia. NSS-6, the satellite currently located at 95 degrees East is operating at 95%+ fill rates and is home to the largest DTH operator in India, Dish TV, with over 9.6 Million subscribers. India is the fastest growing DTH market in the world with an estimated 30 million subscribers and is projected to overtake the US as the largest DTH market. The 95 degrees East orbital location is also home to major CATV and DTH operations for the Thai market supporting 4.5 Million viewers. In addition, 95 degrees East supports key customers in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Korea, including the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) Network distribution platform. SES continues to see robust growth in the emerging markets, particularly in West Asia, India, South East Asia. SES-8 thus provides the opportunity to support key strategic customers with their growth plans and to build on the extremely valuable video and data neighborhood.

States Rob Bednarek, President and CEO of SES WORLD SKIES: “SES-8 will provide incremental capacity at the well-established orbital position of 95 degrees East, which already features five DTH platforms and supports key telecom infrastructure and broadband networks across the Middle East and Asia. SES-8 is SES’ sixth procurement of a STAR series spacecraft from Orbital, and we look forward to another successful mission that will provide our customers in Asia with new, state-of-the-art capacity for growth.”

Commenting on the contract award, Christopher Richmond, Orbital’s Senior Vice President and head of its communications satellite unit, said, “We are very appreciative that SES continues to rely on our STAR satellites as a mainstay in their global fleet. With three Orbital-built spacecraft already deployed in the SES fleet, along with the two currently in production, the new SES-8 satellite will be the latest successful collaboration between our two companies. We will continue to work closely with the SES team to build on our already solid relationship and help ensure SES meets the needs of its customers.”