Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc) has announced it has signed a contract with Arianespace for the launch services of its Thor 7 satellite. The satellite will be launched into geostationary transfer orbit in Q4 2013 on an Ariane 5 launcher from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana.

Built by Space Systems/ Loral, Thor 7 will be based upon SS/L’s 1300 series platform and be fitted with two payloads. The Thor 7 satellite will be equipped with 11 Ku-band transponders providing dedicated capacity for broadcast services in Central and Eastern Europe. The Ka band payload will be used to meet the growing demand for broadband communications within the maritime industry and will include spot beams over the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, Red Sea, Baltic Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean.

“Arianespace was chosen as the primary launch provider for our Thor 7 satellite as they have a proven track record in the delivery of excellent launch services and solutions”, said Cato Halsaa, VP and CEO of Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, in a statement. “We were extremely pleased with the number of competitive bids received from the industry and evaluated all offers thoroughly. Throughout the bid process, Arianespace consistently demonstrated a high degree of credibility derived from their vast experience and we are looking forward to working with them.”

Thor 7 is scheduled to commence commercial service in Q1 2014.