iSAT Africa signs capacity deal with Gazprom Space Systems

ISAT africaSatellite service provider iSAT Africa has signed a network capacity deal with Russian satellite operator Gazprom Space Systems for the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central Africa.

The deal, which was announced at the East Africa Com conference in Kenya, will see iSAT Africa use capacity on the southern beam of Gazprom’s Yamal-402 satellite, which is located at 55 degrees East and was launched in December 2012.

“Yamal-402 satellite perfectly meets our requirements due to its high power and the wide Ku-band coverage zone, allowing us to use it for the small regional networks as well as for pan-African VSAT networks in Sub Sahara region. We are planning to further develop our services on this satellite and are very interested in the extension of our partnership,” said Santosh Sakpal, technical manager of iSAT.

iSAT Africa also recently selected  satellite operator Eutelsat for free-to-air delivery of African and international digital channels in Kenya and across East Africa. 
iSAT and Eutelsat will use the high-power African service beam of the Eutelsat 70B satellite to broadcast a platform of channels to digital headends and on a DTH basis to homes beyond range of terrestrial reception.

The first channels were launched by iSAT on September 1. They include Family TV and K24 that are multiplexed in a DVB-S2 platform and uplinked from iSAT’s teleport in Nairobi to Ku-band capacity on Eutelsat 70B. Homes receiving the platform on a DTH basis can pick up channels without subscription using a maximum 90cm antenna and a digital free-to-air box that can be purchased off the shelf.

iSAT has also agreed terms with Eutelsat for use of C-band capacity on the Eutelsat 3B satellite for contributing channels to the Nairobi teleport where they can be aggregated into the platform. The C-band footprint on Eutelsat 3B embraces Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South America.

iSAT Africa is a subsidiary of Wananchi Group. Its main services include internet and data via satellite, TV and radio broadcasting, telemedicine, video conferencing, distance learning, e-governance, trunking solutions and turnkey solutions.

Gazprom Space Systems has a fleet of three satellites: Yamal-202, located at 49° East; Yamal-300K at 90 degrees East; and Yamal-402 at 55 degrees East.