Astra and Yahsat launch Middle East DTH service

Satellite operators SES Astra and Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat) are launching a new DTH service in over 20 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and South West Asia.

The operators have signed an agreement to create a new company operating under the YahLive brand, which will offer free-to-air and pay-TV channels. The company will own and commercialise 23 BSS-transponders on the Yahsat 1A spacecraft, which will be positioned at the 52.5° East orbital position and will operate in the Ku-band frequency. The satellite, procured from a consortium of EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, is currently under construction and scheduled to be launched by the fourth quarter of 2010.