SES-Astra to expand 23.5 position

SES-Astra will be further strengthened the orbital position at 23.5 degrees East by the launch of Astra 3B by the end of the year. The news follows the move of the Astra 1G satellite to this position (see Broadband TV News passim).

The satellite, which is currently being built by EADS Astrium in Toulouse, will house 52 transponders designed for the distribution of both DTH broadcast services and two-way broadband services across Europe. Astra 3B will provide more flexibility to 23.5 degrees East. Over time, the satellite will replace all existing capacity on 23.5 degrees East, thereby securing capacity on this orbital position for at least 15 years.

Ferdinand Kayser, president and CEO of SES Astra, said in a statement: “The continuous gain in reach on 23.5 degrees East demonstrates how SES Astra has successfully entered into new markets. With the move of Astra 1G and the launch of Astra 3B later this year. we further strengthen this orbital position to serve the growing demand for high quality digital and High Definition broadcasting from the very dynamic Central and Eastern European and Benelux markets and offer additional capacity to the satellite broadband markets.