Editor ©RapidTVNews | 22-09-2011

At the end of what was one of the most auspicious days in the company’s history, satellite operator SES has announced that the SES-2 satellite is safely in orbit, the 48th the firm has in space.

Launched on an Ariane 5 rocket, the SES-2 satellite, with Chirp Hosted Payload on board and offering a hybrid C- and Ku-band technology, will replace its AMC-3 spacecraft at 87 degrees West and provide coverage of North America and the Caribbean. The satellite will continue distributing TV and digital media as well as supporting a variety of enterprise, VSAT and government customers.

SES-2 is based on Orbital’s Star 2.4 platform, claimed to be the largest and most powerful geostationary communications satellites. It carries 24 C-Band transponders and 24 Ku-Band transponders (36 MHz equivalents), generates approximately five kilowatts of payload power, and features a design life of 15 years.

Commented Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES: “Roughly two months after the successful launch of SES-3, the launch success of SES-2 on Ariane marks another important event for SES’ North American customers, completing SES’ encompassing satellite fleet renewal over North America. SES would like to thank Arianespace and Orbital for a mission well executed.”

The next SES launch is scheduled for September 30th, when an ILS Proton booster will orbit SES’ QuetzSat satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The launch came only hours after SES announced that the TNTSAT French digital terrestrial satellite offer broadcast via ASTRA reached a total of three million receivers sold at the end of August 2011 after just over four years of operation. With TNTSAT, viewers are able to receive the full French digital terrestrial offer: the 19 French free-to-air channels, the 24 regional channels of France 3 and TV8 Mont Blanc, as well as four channels in HD. TNTSAT has a range of more than 50 receiver models, many of them equipped for HD and 3D reception.