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Thor 6 launch furthers Telenor’s CEE ambitions

Telenor Satellite Broadcasting has successfully launched Thor 6 from the Guiana Spaceport in Kourou.

The Ariane 5 ECA launcher launched at 20:00 GMT with Telenor’s Thor 6 and World Skies NSS-12 satellites on board.

Thor 6 will be positioned at 1° West, giving Telenor 36 new Ku-band transponders. Sixteen will be used for the Nordic region while 20 will be used for expanding the operator’s presence in central and eastern Europe. The launch doubles the number of transponders at 1° West, giving Telenor a total of 71 at the position. “We want to build 1° West as a prime position for central and eastern Europe,” Cato Halsaa, vice-president and CEO of Telenor Satellite Broadcasting said at a pre-launch briefing. “We are actively considering the next satellite to build on 1° West’s success.”

Telenor’s customers in central and eastern Europe include UPC Direct, which will add 350,000 customers to its footprint from next Spring, Romanian pay-TV operator DigiTV and Moldovan DTH operator Focus-Sat. Ukrainian operator MyTV will also use capacity on Thor 6.

Also on board the Ariane 5 launcher was NSS-12, the largest satellite launched by New Skies to-date, It will be located at 57° East with 40 C-band and 48 Ku-band transponders.