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Before yesterdayBroadband TV News: Satellite

Orby TV launches new DTH platform for the US on Eutelsat 117 West A

By Robert Briel

Eutelsat Americas has been selected by Orby TV for capacity on the Eutelsat 117 West A satellite.

The multi-year, multi-transponder agreement between the companies was announced at IBC 2019 following Orby TV’s recent launch of its new and affordable satellite service across the lower 48 continental United States.

Orby TV has two base programming packages priced at $40 (Essentials) or $50 (Extras) per month for up to four rooms, with optional premium network programming packages and DVR service available. All fees and taxes are included in the monthly prices. Local channels and unlimited use of the Orby TV interactive program guide is provided at no additional charge, even if the subscriber decides to turn off the monthly paid Orby TV service. Orby TV hardware is available for purchase in all US Best Buy and select Target US retail locations, with select independent dealers, or online with free shipping at www.OrbyTV.com.

Michael Thornton, CEO of Orby TV, said: “Orby TV is very pleased to enter into a multi-year agreement with Eutelsat to help us reliably deliver a quality, best in-class pay-TV experience that is affordable with no Internet streaming required. With Orby TV prices starting at just $40 per month and the flexibility of the prepaid model to turn the service on/off, while always enjoying free local programming and use of the interactive guide, Orby TV is filling a void in the US marketplace.”

Mike Antonovich, CEO of Eutelsat Americas, added: “We are delighted that Orby TV selected Eutelsat 117 West A for the first major mainstream English language DTH bouquet to launch in the US market in over 20 years. This groundbreaking deal showcases the important role satellite continues to play in TV distribution, even in well-established markets. We look forward to supporting Orby TV as their innovative business and offerings continue to grow.”

Canal+ Platforma selects ADB for new UHD box

By Julian Clover

ADB has been selected by Platforma Canal+ for its new Ultra High Definition satellite receiver.

The 4K UHD unit is powered by ADB’s own software. Its features include fast channel change and access to multiple video libraries. An internet connection also provides access to OTT content providers.

“We are delighted that we can introduce the next generation satellite platform to Canal+. ADB and Canal+ cooperation dates back to 2006, when we jointly launched the first HD platform in Poland; after 13 years, we are now introducing to the market yet another best-in-class solution,”said Jacek Galik, SVP Sales at ADB.

“ADB is well known for its high-quality solutions that make CANAL+ services perceived by the subscribers as very good and reliable,” added Jaroslaw Kordalewski, CTO, Platforma Canal+. “The quality of ADB systems, the successful long-time cooperation and the continued delivery of innovative features were the reasons why Canal+ once again has selected ADB as its solution provider.”

ADB will be demonstrating its complete offer of innovative systems and services for pay-TV and broadband operators at IBC 2019 (Hall 5.B60).

Orange Cinema Series renews Canal+ distribution agreement

By Julian Clover

Orange Cinema Series has renewed its multi-year distribution agreement with Canal+.

The pay-TV distributor is the greatest contributor to the OCS subscriber base of 3.3 million as at June 30, 2019.

“We are delighted to have renewed our distribution agreement with the Canal+ Group, which since 2012 has been a major partner of OCS. This agreement strengthens the links between our two groups and allows us to acquire new subscribers together,” says Serge Laroye, President, OCS.

“We are delighted to continue our association with OCS, which is one of the pillars of our Cinema/Series offering,” added Canal+ director for France Frank Cadoret. “Our ambition is to aggregate at the same place the best premium content to offer to the largest number of subscribers. ”

Launched in late 2008, OCS offers a 4-channel service that features first run films, screened 6 months after their cinema release, exclusive series direct from the United States, including new HBO series and the HBO catalogue on demand.

Globecast partners with Ad Insertion Platform in Europe

By Robert Briel

Globecast iscontinuing to expand its TV Everywhere OTT video platform via the integration of additional server-side dynamic ad insertion (SSDAI) capabilities, partnering with Switzerland-based Ad Insertion Platform (AIP) in Europe.

Frédéric Torasso, Product Manager TV Everywhere OTT Video with Globecast, said, “The growth in viewer numbers for OTT video services can be seen around the world. However, the monetisation of those services has proven more complex, particularly for linear broadcast services viewed via OTT platforms and apps. SSDAI changes this by providing a seamless, targeted and highly automated solution that increases viewer engagement through a far superior user experience. In turn, this expands the effectiveness, measurability and return from the targeted ads being shown.”

AIP has been active in the digital TV and ad insertion market since 2007, adding OTT technologies in 2011. In 2017 AIP launched DAIConnect, allowing TV stations and content providers to monetise their linear ad breaks when TV channels are viewed online. This year it also launched AIP Monetiz, which handles the commercial side.

AIP’s solutions allows operators, broadcasters and OTT providers to dynamically insert ads within any live or on-demand video streams, providing a seamless experience using ad stitching. New premium video advertising inventories can be created and monetised from day one. Adverts are fully validated from a channel brand perspective. AIP’s SSDAI solution is integrated into Globecast’s TV Everywhere OTT video service, enabling this monetisation feature for its existing and new OTT customers.

Globecast’s OTT TV Everywhere solution includes a fully secured and high-quality headend service, connectivity to multiple CDNs, including market-leaders Akamai and CenturyLink, plus player/apps as required. It also includes CDN off-load, an innovative feature enabling content providers to control their CDN costs while improving the quality of experience for viewers.

Laurent Potesta, Founder and CEO of AIP, said, “Partnering with Globecast and integrating our technology with theirs expands our reach and significantly increases the capabilities of their TV Everywhere solution. It will help broadcasters increase revenues while providing a high-quality end-user experience in a brand-safe environment for both broadcasters and advertisers.”

Torasso added, “Advertisers are increasingly expecting to buy linear TV ad inventories programmatically, the same way they buy digital ads. With SSDAI, in partnership with AIP in Europe, Globecast clients are able to deploy automated dynamic ad insertion with limited CAPEX infrastructure investments, supplying targeted ads automatically to OTT viewers.”

SES selects SpaceX to launch O3b mPower MEO communications system

By Robert Briel

SES has selected SpaceX as a launch partner to deliver its next-generation Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite constellation into space on board Falcon 9 rockets from Cape Canaveral.

The global O3b mPower system comprises an initial constellation of seven high-throughput, low-latency MEO satellites, each capable of generating thousands of electronically-steered beams that can be dynamically adjusted to serve customers in various markets including telecom and cloud, communications-on-the-move and government. O3b mPower also will include a variety of intelligent, application-specific Customer Edge Terminals integrated with SES’s terrestrial network and dynamically optimised using the recently announced Adaptive Resource Control (ARC) software system, further boosting O3b mPOWER’s market-leading flexibility.

“Momentum in the O3b mPower ecosystem is accelerating quickly as we continue to build the right partnerships to bring this massively innovative communications system to market,” said Steve Collar, CEO of SES.

“Working with SpaceX as our launch provider is fitting because in the last seven years we have already jointly made multiple revolutionary industry advancements that make access to space innovation more cost-efficient and unlock new opportunities in critical markets. We are delighted to have SpaceX as partners for our historic O3b mPOWER launch, and together, we will extend high-performance connectivity to all who have limited access to it today.”

“We are pleased that SES has once again selected Falcon 9 to launch their powerful, groundbreaking communications system,” said Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer at SpaceX.

“SES has been an important partner for SpaceX – fully supporting our efforts to make rocket reusability a reality. We are proud to play a part in SES bringing revolutionary connectivity solutions to the market.”

The O3b mPOWER system leverages the proven concept of the current O3b MEO constellation and its success delivering fibre-equivalent connectivity services to customers operating in nearly 50 countries today. The O3b system is the only technically-, operationally- and commercially-proven non-geostationary system for delivering low-latency data communications today.

Eutelsat withdraws from C-Band Alliance [UPDATE]

By Robert Briel

In a surprise move, Eutelsat has announced its withdrawal from the C-Band Alliance (CBA). The members have been formally notified about the decision today.

Eutelsat wishes to take a direct active part in the discussions on C-band clearing and repurposing, according to a brief statement by the satellite operator.

Asked for a clarification, Eutelsat spokeswoman Marie-Sophie Ecuer told Broadband TV News: “Eutelsat was not aligned with other members and the CBA leadership team on certain matters. In this context, leaving the CBA is the best way to have a direct involvement and to represent the interests of Eutelsat and its stakeholders and in the C-band process. We cannot be more specific.”

In response to the Eutelsat statement, C-Band Alliance members Intelsat, SES and Telecast said they are are fully committed to the market-based approach for clearing C-band spectrum in the US: “The C-Band Alliance notes the statement of Eutelsat issued today to withdraw from the Alliance. The CBA remains committed to delivering its expeditious, market-based proposal and the departure of Eutelsat does not impact the CBA’s ability to do so. The remaining members of the CBA, which represent approximately 95% of the affected revenues of the US C-band market, are aligned and committed to the process of engaging with the FCC on the proposal of rapidly clearing C-band spectrum to support the deployment of 5G services in the US.”

The CBA is an organisation tasked with the clearing and repurposing of C-band spectrum to make a portion of this band available for 5G services in the United States. It was founded last October by satellite operators Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telecast.

Eutelsat is one of four satellite operators that could gain a windfall from the sale of some C-band spectrum in the United States. The Paris-based company is, however, a small player in the US C-band market with about 5% of the affected revenue.

During a July 31, 2019 earnings call, Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer said the C-Band Alliance has not reached an agreement on a voluntary contribution to the US Treasury if the FCC chooses its spectrum plan. Belmer said the C-Band Alliance also lacks internal consensus on the details of a voluntary contribution to the US Treasury from a spectrum sale.

“There is no real agreement and alignment on that question within the CBA, contrary to what has been said in some instances recently,” Belmer said.

(Story updated twice, first with further comments by Eutelsat, the second time with a statement by the CBA.)

Globecast acquires Galaxy 19 international channel business from PSSI

By Robert Briel

Globecast has acquired the Galaxy 19 international channel business from PSSI, which includes three Ku-band satellite transponders and associated customers.

This arrangement augments Globecast’s already extensive Galaxy 19 suite of customers and increases Globecast’s commitment to the international channel market by 60 percent. PSSI’s International Teleport will work with Globecast to provide services to the Galaxy 19 customer community as part of this project.

The deal will also enhance services for customers needing international contribution and distribution of news and sporting events: Globecast will utilise PSSI’s International Teleport and PSSI’s industry-leading fleet of SNG vehicles.

“We’ve worked with Globecast a great deal over the years and when it came to looking at altering the emphasis of our business, expanding and solidifying this relationship made perfect sense for both companies. We are already seeing the benefits,” said Robert Lamb, CEO, PSSI.

Globecast and PSSI previously worked together on the distribution of live events produced by PSSI/Strategic Television. This new deal will expand the international distribution opportunities for both companies and further positions Globecast as the leader in satellite-delivered transnational television programming.

The Galaxy 19 deal closed in July, with PSSI’s International teleport continuing to provide operational support to customers and Globecast, while Globecast’s Culver City Media Center will now support PSSI’s International Teleport with additional products and services.

Eddie Ferraro, Managing Director, the Americas, Globecast, commented, “This is a great deal for both Globecast and PSSI. While we continue to expand our Galaxy 19 business, we are excited about the additional products and services we can provide, building on our respective East and West Coast presence. Our international contribution/distribution partnership is also delivering immediate customer benefits through formalizing our longstanding relationship.”

YFE launches international version of family channel RiC TV

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German media company Your Family Entertainment (YFE) has launched an international version of its family channel RiC TV on September 1, 2019.

In partnership with A1 Telekom Austria Group, the channel is broadcast in English and German language via the Austrian telco’s direct2home satellite platform on Eutelsat 16A (16° East). This enables distribution partners in Central and Eastern Europe to receive the channel and include it in their TV packages.

RiC TV launched in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in September 2012. A Slovak version branded RiK went on air on January 1, 2015.

Like its sister channel Fix & Foxi, YFE wants to distribute RiC TV worldwide in future.

Sky Italia to distribute rival DAZN on its platform

By Robert Briel

Streaming OTT sports platform DAZN has confirmed a deal with Sky Italia which will see the launch of a new DAZN1 satellite channel.

The channel will launch on September 20, and give access to DAZN’s package of Serie A rights, which comprises three weekly matches from Italian soccer’s top-flight. The channel will also show two Serie B matches from each round, a selection of live international football games and other sports.

Italian viewers can buy access to the new channel as an add-on to their Sky subscription.

“DAZN continues to invest in order to grow the platform and expand the offer of streaming content,” said Veronica Diquattro, DAZN’s EVP for Southern Europe.

“At the same time, this agreement with Sky will allow an increasingnumber of fans, including those who live in Italian areas not yet perfectly served by an adequate technological infrastructure, to have access, through the channel, to a
selection of the main events.”

Andrew Browne steps down as SES CFO

By Robert Briel

Andrew Browne, CFO of SES, has decided to step down from the position in October for personal and family reasons and to pursue other interests.

The search for a successor is underway and an announcement will be made in due course.

Browne has a long history with SES, starting with the acquisition of New Skies in 2006, when, in addition to being CFO, he was acting CEO during the integration of operations into SES. He rejoined SES in 2010 as CFO, leading the company through an important period of consolidation and alignment.

In 2013, he became CFO of O3b Networks, a business in which SES had a meaningful stake. Together with Steve Collar, then O3b Networks’ CEO, Andrew developed O3b Networks into a successful business before the full acquisition by SES in 2016. With the appointment of Steve as the CEO of SES in April 2018, Andrew once again joined SES as CFO, reshaping and streamlining the finance organisation and reinforcing SES’ position with the investment community.

Collar said: “In the last 18 months, we have made important strides at SES. Andrew is stepping down with the business in excellent shape: clear strategic direction, a strong balance sheet and a broad and talented finance organisation. We will miss him, and I am sure that our paths will cross again in the future.”

Romain Bausch, chairman of SES, said: “Andrew has made a huge contribution to the success of SES for well over a decade and he leaves with our very best wishes and as a lifelong friend of the company.”

Collar added: “It has been a privilege to have been part of SES since 2006, participating in its success, continued transformation and ongoing leadership of the industry. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and opportunity to work closely with both Steve and Romain over the past decade as well as with the tremendous leadership and finance teams over the years. I wish all at SES every success in the future.”

ProSiebenSat.1 to launch Austrian news channel Puls 24

By JΓΆrn Krieger

While ProSiebenSat.1 sold its news channel N24 in Germany, the German media company is now returning to the news business in Austria.

Austrian subsidiary ProSiebenSat.1 Puls 4 will launch Puls 24 on September 1, 2019. The ad-supported free-to-air news channel will show breaking news, live events and interviews 24 hours per day.

DTH satellite households will be able to receive Puls 24 unencrypted via Astra (19.2° East). The channel will also broadcast on Austrian cable networks, through an Android/iOS app for smartphones and tablets and as a live-stream on its website.

Globecast launches new HD/UHD Hotbird platform

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Globecast is expanding its partnership with Eutelsat to create a new platform on the Hotbird satellite system (13 degrees East) to satisfy the growing move from SD to HD.

“We’ve seen increasing demand for capacity across Europe from west to east as the migration to HD on Hotbird continues to grow,” said Samuel Lemercier, strategic projects director at Globecast. “TRT Arabi and Belarus 24 partnering with us for HD distribution earlier this year are prime examples. In order to meet this increasing demand, we have launched this new platform with Eutelsat, significantly increasing our DVBS-2 capacity – suitable for HD and Ultra HD (UHD) for free-to-air DTH or distribution to affiliates – across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.”

In addition to expanded Hotbird capacity, the platform also includes ground segment services with connectivity to Globecast’s fibre network, Globecast Backbone Network, as well as to its media management capabilities.

German international public broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) is the first customer, launching its flagship English-language HD TV channel via this new Globecast service. This includes end-to-end channel contribution from DW’s facilities in Berlin to Globecast in Paris and uplinking from there. Globecast has worked with DW for many years, distributing their channels in both Asia and the Middle East.

Hubert Czaja, head of distribution systems at Deutsche Welle, said: “We have worked with Globecast for quite some time and trust both their business and technical expertise and the quality of service they provide. We moved to HD across Asia several years ago and the time is now right to make the move in Europe to increase image quality for our viewers. We’re very pleased to extend our relationship with both Eutelsat and Globecast.”

Report: DAZN and Sky Italia in talks for satellite channel

By Robert Briel

According to a report in Italian newspaper Repubblica, Sky Italia is talking to DAZN about a new satellite channel to distribute the country’s Series A football games.

OTT streaming platform DAZN owns the Series A rights from last year and until the 2020/2021 season. According to the report, a deal could be signed in time for the first game to replayed on Saturday, 24 August.

Parallel to the new channel, DAZN would continue to stream and offer its content on demand via the web and through the DAZN app for smartphones, tablets and smart TV. DAZN’s complete offer – also due to the recent addition of Eurosport’s channels – will be available only “online”.

Ariane 5 successfully orbits Intelsat 39

By Robert Briel

Arianespace has successfully launched the Intelsat 39 and EDRS-C satellites, which were deployed to geostationary transfer orbit on its latest flight using a workhorse Ariane 5.

This mission – designated Flight VA249 in Arianespace’s numbering system – was performed from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone in French Guiana, with Ariane 5 deploying its passengers during a mission lasting 33 minutes from liftoff to final separation.

The Ariane 5 lifted off as scheduled at 4:30 p.m. (local time in French Guiana), providing an excellent view of the launcher’s initial trajectory during its daytime launch – including separation of the two solid propellant boosters at just over two minutes into the flight.

Ariane 5 – which is delivered to Arianespace by ArianeGroup as production prime contractor – provided an estimated total lift performance of 10,260 kg. on today’s mission, factoring in Intelsat 39 and EDRS-C, plus hardware for the dual-payload deployment system.

“With this third Ariane 5 of the year orbiting our fifth and sixth GEO [geostationary orbit] satellites, our heavy-weight launcher reasserts its leading position on the GEO market,” said Luce Fabreguettes, Arianespace’s Executive Vice President – Missions, Operations & Purchasing.

“Indeed, VA249 marks the 377th and 378th GEO satellites orbited by Arianespace! Let me congratulate all our partners who played their part in this success.”

“Intelsat 39 adds to the breadth of services and vast geographic reach that our global network provides,” said Stephen Spengler, Intelsat’s CEO.

“Businesses and communities across three continents will have greater access to robust, reliable and resilient connectivity services whenever and wherever they need it.”

Deployed first in the flight sequence, Intelsat 39 is designed with both wide and high-powered steerable spot beams to meet the needs of broadband networking, video and government customers across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Indian Ocean region. The steerable spot beams provide flexibility within the payload and enable customers to rapidly and efficiently respond to shifts in geographic or application requirements.

Built by Maxar Technologies, the satellite features C-and Ku-band capabilities to provide additional scale for Intelsat’s Flex managed service and enhance mobile connectivity for aero, maritime and government users operating across these regions.

Intelsat 39 is the 61st Intelsat spacecraft launched on an Arianespace mission, continuing a partnership that extends back to 1983. The satellite will replace Intelsat 902 – lofted by Arianespace in 2011 – at an orbital position of 62 degrees East.

SES pioneers cloud-based network automation and service orchestration

By Robert Briel

SES teams with Amdocs to operationalise the first ONAP orchestration platform for scalable, automated delivery of satellite-enabled network services on Microsoft Azure.

SES announced today it will create an open, standards-based network automation and service orchestration platform, built on Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) and powered by Amdocs’ network functions virtualization (NFV) technology. With today’s announcement, SES is the first satellite network solutions provider to adopt ONAP, an open software platform designed for orchestrating the creation and delivery of new services in an automated operational environment.

SES is implementing ONAP with Amdocs on Microsoft Azure, the industry’s scalable and flexible cloud services platform supported by Microsoft’s expansive global network. With ONAP operating on Azure, SES can extend network services and activate virtualised network functions quickly and at scale, accelerating time-to-market and improving service agility for customers anywhere on the globe. In addition, SES is partnering with Amdocs, a leader in developing and integrating ONAP solutions on Microsoft Azure. Together, Amdocs and Microsoft represent best-in-class ecosystem partners to deploy open, cloud-based network automation and orchestration.

As the first satellite network solutions provider to adopt ONAP, SES is continuing its leadership in driving open networking initiatives into the satellite industry, advancing its vision to make satellite networks a seamless extension of the global communications ecosystem. SES is a founding member of Linux Foundation Networking (LFN), which hosts the ONAP project, an initiative with widespread adoption as the preferred platform for open network automation and orchestration. By standardising on the same orchestration platform as leading telcos and mobile network operators, SES will make it easier and faster for its customers to deliver services over its high-performance satellite-based network.

“Our vision is to make satellite-based networks a seamless and wholly integrated part of a global, cloud-scale network ecosystem. Central to this vision is an open, automated operational environment that allows our customers to easily create and deliver new, innovative services anywhere,” said JP Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks.

“To make our vision a reality, we are pleased to be the first satellite operator to develop ONAP with Amdocs on Microsoft Azure. SES envisions delivering cloud-scale connectivity services and virtualised network functions such as SD-WAN, virtualised Evolved Packet Core (vEPC), security and more, creating massive value for our customers well into the future.”

Deutsche Welle moves from SD to HD on Hotbird

By JΓΆrn Krieger

German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) will terminate the SD distribution of its English-language TV channel DW English on Eutelsat Hotbird (13° East) on September 30, 2019.

The channel will continue to be available in HD quality on the satellite system, a DW spokesman told German magazine InfoDigital. DW English HD can be received unencrypted on the frequency 11.727 V (SR 29,900, FEC 3/4); the SD signal can be found on 11.054 GHz H (SR 27,500, FEC 5/6).

The transponder change and the transition to HD broadcasting also involves a change in the technical service provider: Instead of Media Broadcast Satellite, Globecast is now responsible for the technical services. The decision is the result of a required tender of this service, said the DW spokesman.

Deutsche Welle also intends to switch the other language versions of its TV service from SD to HD, including the German version. “This is part of the medium and long-term strategy for the distribution of DW’s services,” confirmed the DW spokesman, but added that there was currently no firm date for this move.

Ultra DTH launches TV platform across the Caribbean and the Andean region

By Robert Briel

Ultra DTH has signed a multiyear, multi-transponder agreement with Eutelsat Americas, for capacity on the Eutelsat 65 West A satellite to support the launch of a white label DTH platform across the Caribbean and the Andean region.

Ultra DTH will leverage Eutelsat 65 West A’s exceptional Ku-band coverage to reach millions of households in the Caribbean and the Andean territories. Channel aggregation, encoding and ground infrastructure will be provided by United Teleports.

Headquartered in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ultra DTH will rely on a network of key country pay-TV operators to commercialise its platform across several markets in the Caribbean and the Andean region. These partner operators will benefit from Ultra DTH’s expertise for ease of deployment and expansion within their markets, while retaining the freedom to rebrand the platform to fit the specific demands of each audience. The low-cost service will allow pay-TV operators to give access to content from across the globe, combining a unique international offering with content in English, Spanish, French, Dutch and Hindi to respond to the diverse demand from the Caribbean islands and Andean region.

Ricardo Dias, CEO of Ultra DTH, said: “Our DTH service will be able to provide multilingual content to millions of households. By allowing partner operators to create a full range of country specific line-ups, we aim to unlock previously unexplored markets at all price points”

Mike Antonovich, CEO of Eutelsat Americas, added: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Ultra DTH to take pay-TV further in the Caribbean and the Andean region, especially in underserved areas where audiences are eager for content in their native language. This agreement highlights the benefits that satellite can bring to sparsely populated areas with a need for diverse content on a single platform.”

Payload integration is underway for Intelsat 39

By Robert Briel

Payload integration is underway for Arianespace’s third Ariane 5 mission of 2019, which will orbit Intelsat 39, for global operator Intelsat; and EDRS-C, based on a public-private partnership between Airbus and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Recent activity at the Spaceport included initial steps in creating the dual-payload configuration, with Intelsat 39 riding in the upper position. This involved installing the relay platform atop Ariane 5’s SYLDA dispenser system inside the launcher’s Final Assembly Building.

Intelsat 39 – which was produced by Maxar Technologies – was then encapsulated by Ariane 5’s protective fairing, completing the payload configuration’s upper portion and readying it for positioning over EDRS-C once this spacecraft is installed atop the launcher.

The Launch Readiness Review (LRR) will take place on Friday, August 2, 2019 in Kourou to authorize the start of operations for the final countdown.

Intelsat 39 will be the 61st satellite launched by Arianespace for Intelsat since the first mission at its service in 1983. It will replace Intelsat 902 (launched by Arianespace in 2001) at 62 degrees East.

The Intelsat 39 telecommunication satellite is designed with both wide and high-powered steerable spot beams to meet the needs of broadband networking, video and government customers across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Indian Ocean region. The steerable spot beams provide flexibility within the payload and enable customers to rapidly and efficiently respond to shifts in geographic or application requirements.

The satellite features C-and Ku-band capabilities to provide additional scale for Intelsat’s Flex managed service and enhance mobile connectivity for aero, maritime and government users operating across these regions. Intelsat 39 was built by Maxar in Palo Alto, California.

Following Ariane 5’s liftoff during the afternoon hours of August 6, Intelsat 39 will be released first into geostationary transfer orbit, to be followed by the separation of SYLDA – enabling EDRS-C’s subsequent deployment to geostationary transfer orbit.

Amos 17 to launch August 3

By Julian Clover

Spacecom’s Amos-17 is to launch on August 3 from Cape Canaveral.

The communications satellite will be launched by a SpaceX Falcon-9 vehicle in a late evening timeslot.

Located at 17 degrees East, Amos 17 will primarily serve sub-Saharan Africa and connect to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Spacecom already has a sales backlog of US$ 58 million for communications services into the African market. The company is anticipating further orders will follow the launch.

Spacecom CEO and president, David Pollack said: “Amos 17 is a project with forward-looking technologies and provides a significant boost for our satellite fleet’s capacity, operational flexibility, expansion to more regions and technological superiority. Providing unique Turn Key Solutions for a range of uses will provide our customers with key competitive advantages and expand our partners and Spacecom’s corporate opportunities in the years to come.”

Spacecom hopes the digital High Throughput Satellite will be able to tap into the needs of mobile operators and telecom service providers looking to reach Africa’s growing population in rural and outlying areas.

From its prime audio position over Africa, Amos 17 is capable of covering an entire country with a single beam.

Amos 6, which also had considerable connectivity over Africa, was destroyed in a launchpad accident in September 2016.

Irdeto inks Ukrainian deal

By Chris Dziadul

Irdeto has signed an agreement with the Ukrainian DTT platform operator Zeonbud.

Under its, terms it will encrypt satellite channels distributed in Ukraine via Astra 4A from this October.

Commenting on the development, Yaroslav Pakholchuk, executive director and pay-TV director at Zeonbud’s parent company 1+1 Media, said: “This step is one of the critical issues in the satellite encoding process, which confirms the inalienable intentions of all the participants of the domestic media market, including 1 + 1 Media, regarding the joint development of the pay–TV market in Ukraine. The encoding of a transport satellite signal will protect it from unlawful interference by offenders, while Ukrainian media groups will be able to continue the phased implementation of the encoding project plan”.

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