SES ASTRA starts new orbital position at 31.5 degrees EastTuesday, April 29th, 2008
Up to 40 new broadcasting frequencies; Further development of Eastern Europe and Middle East; 26 transponders on Sirius 2 in a first step; Sirius 2 to be renamed ASTRA 5A
BETZDORF (Luxembourg) — SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), has announced today the start of a new orbital position at 31.5 degrees East. The new position will allow SES ASTRA to operate satellite services at up to 40 new broadcasting frequencies (BSS) and strongly support the development of the Eastern European and Middle East markets. The satellite Sirius 2, which is part of the SES fleet and is renamed ASTRA 5A, has been moved from 5 degrees East to the new position and will allow the commercialization of up to 26 transponders in a first step.
The move of Sirius 2 has been made possible by the successful launch of the new Sirius 4 satellite at the end of last year. The African beam that Sirius 4 carries is now commercialized under the name ASTRA 4A.
With the new position, SES ASTRA and SES SIRIUS operate five orbital positions with their fleet of now 13 ASTRA and 2 SIRIUS satellites: the prime orbital position 19.2 degrees East, serving the Direct-to-Home (DTH) markets in Western Europe, especially Germany, France and Spain, 28.2 degrees East, which focuses on the UK and Irish markets, 5 degrees East, for the Sirius satellites, serving the Northern and Eastern European countries, 23.5 degrees East, which is developing into a second important DTH position, especially for Benelux and Central European countries, and the new position at 31.5 degrees East.
“The start of the new orbital position adds significant growth possibilities to our business and allows us to continue our strategy of a successful expansion”, said Ferdinand Kayser, President and CEO of SES ASTRA. “It enlarges our offer to customers especially in the dynamic Eastern European markets and will represent an important growth driver for SES ASTRA and SES SIRIUS and their customers. It will also give us more flexibility on our orbital positions 23.5 and 5 degrees East in order to continue to develop them into strong DTH positions.”