Intelsat expands African interest

09.05 Europe/London, November 9, 2011 By Julian Clover

Intelsat has announced a series of customer wins and contract extension in the African market. The satellite operator has three planned launches for 2012 that will add to its current fleet of 22 craft serving Africa.
ďIntelsatís rich history of providing reliable and robust critical communications infrastructure to Africa, which spans more than 40 years, has resulted in many firsts on the continent. From introducing direct-to-home (DTH) platforms, to supporting reliable broadband in remote regions, Intelsatís satellite network has been a springboard for technology advancement in Africa, supporting the continentís socioeconomic development,Ē said Intelsatís SVP of global sales, Kurt Riegelman.
Pay-TV operator Multichoice has expanded its commitment for capacity on Intelsat 904 for contribution services. The agreement complements Multichoiceís DTH capacity on Intelsat 7, Intelsatís leading African media distribution neighbourhood at 68.5 degrees East.
Mumbai-based Zee Entertainment will also begin distributing its programming at 68.5 degrees East. The multi-year agreement spans Intelsat 10, and the follow-on Intelsat 20 satellite, scheduled for launch in mid-2012.
Finally, Dubai-based operator Strong Technologies has renewed its multi-year commitment to the Intelsat 10 video neighbourhood at 68.5 degrees East for its DTH platform. The service includes a mix of movies, sports, news and general interest content, carried on such networks as FOX and BBC World, and on several popular local African channels.
Intelsat will provide distribution on its industry-leading African video neighborhood on Intelsat 10, and the follow-on Intelsat 20 satellite, and will offer access to Sub-Saharan Africa as Strong expands its program offerings, regions served and subscribers.
The launch of Intelsat New Dawn earlier this year expands Intelsatís African fleet to 22 satellites, representing a multi-billion dollar investment in the region. The next ten months will see three more satellites Intelsat 20, Intelsat 22 and Intelsat 23, which will provide incremental capacity to the continent.