The 319.5 degrees East slot is home to one of the largest cable communities in Latin America, supporting video distribution including HD content to more than 5,000 cable head-ends serving some 18 million homes for key broadcasters such as Fox, Disney ESPN, MGM etc.
With 43 C-Band and 48 Ku-Band 36 MHz equivalent transponders (38 C-Band and 36 Ku-Band physical transponders) the 6,000 kilogram satellite is expected to be launched in early 2013 and will have a design life of 15 years.
"Latin America and the Caribbean have demonstrated significant growth over the past few years and we expect this to continue. Our customers have told us that more capacity is needed, and we are delighted to be able to provide not only an early replacement, but also a meaningful upgrade to our Americas coverage," said Robert Bednarek, President and CEO of SES WORLD SKIES. "Astrium was able to offer an innovative satellite design providing us the capability to deploy capacity flexibly to the markets where we see demand developing over time."
This satellite will be built on a Eurostar E3000 platform, the latest version of Astrium's Eurostar series which has proven to be highly reliable in commercial service.
Francois Auque, CEO of Astrium said "This latest order from SES comes on top of the contract for four satellites they awarded to Astrium just six months ago, and positions Astrium as the key supplier for their two main operating divisions in America and Europe. This demonstrates the high level of trust SES has placed in Astrium and we remain committed to maintaining this confidence in the future."