ILS Proton to launch S2M Satellite for Mobile TV Service in Middle East & North Africa

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008
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International Launch Services (ILS) announced a contract today with S2M, a provider of media-rich, mobile entertainment to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), to use a Proton Breeze M vehicle to launch the first dedicated mobile television satellite for the MENA region. The companies made the announcement during the Satellite 2008 industry conference in Washington, D.C.

The Proton Breeze M is Russia’s leading heavy-lift vehicle, which launches from facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. ILS has exclusive rights to market the Proton rocket worldwide to commercial satellite operators. Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow, one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry, manufactures the Proton and is in a partnership with ILS.

“It is exciting to see the growth of both satellite-delivered mobile entertainment and of S2M,” said ILS President Frank McKenna. “We are confident that Proton, with its performance capability and schedule assurance, will enable the S2M business to succeed in meeting the demands for these new mobile services.”

The satellite will be based on Space Systems/ Loral’s flight-proven 1300 platform. It will have a maximum launch mass of nearly six metric tons and a lifespan of more than 15 years, and will deliver 20kW of power. The satellite’s primary S-band payload, in conjunction with a terrestrial digital broadcasting network, will provide high-quality video and audio broadcasts via mobile phones and other personal mobile devices throughout the region.

“Our company will be implementing its service within the MENA region this year,” said Mario Hoek, director of marketing of S2M. “The satellite is instrumental to our expansion plans and one of many steps in defining S2M as the leading provider of media-rich, mobile entertainment to customers in the Middle East and North Africa. We have confidence that ILS and the Proton will deliver the performance we require to have the satellite in place to ensure continuous mobile entertainment service.”