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Telenor’s Thor 7 on course

Telenor’s new satellite Thor 7 is on course to enter commercial service in the first quarter of 2014, according to Cato Halsaa, CEO of Telenor SBc who was addressing journalists at a press day in Oslo.

Halsaa said Telenor had narrowed its choice of manufacturer for Thor 7 down to two and expected to receive the last round of offers by the end of this month. The company will select one before the end of June. “We’ll hopefully sign agreements for the satellite manufacturer and launch partner at the same time,” Halsaa said. “We’re preparing for a Q3 2013 launch to be ready for commercial service in Q1 2014.”

The satellite, which will operate from the 1° West orbital position, will be Telenor’s first designed to expand capacity at the location, rather than to replace an existing satellite. “Thor 7 will enable us to offer expanded Ku-band capacity for Europe,” Halsaa said. It will be located at Telenor’s 1° West orbital position to target pay TV operators and broadcasters in the central and eastern Europe region, where the company is seeing particularly strong growth. It will also offer additional Ka-band capacity for maritime services.