Built for Intelsat by Space Systems/Loral (SSL), Intelsat 36 was launched aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle in August. The satellite, co-located with Intelsat 20 at 68.5° East, includes a Ku-band payload used by MultiChoice and a C-band payload targeted at Africa and the Indian Ocean region.
“There are dynamic changes taking place across the global media landscape, and Intelsat 36 supports our customers as they address the growing demand for content throughout the African continent,” said Brian Jakins, Regional Vice President, Africa Sales, Intelsat. “This satellite will enable our customer, MultiChoice, to extend high definition channels throughout the region. The C-band payload will provide additional redundancy for media customers to ensure that all viewers have access to reliable, high quality content.”
Speaking to DTVE at IBC last month, Intelsat’s VP, Europe, Middle East and Africa sales, Jean-Philippe Gillett said: “The bulk of [capacity] is dedicated to MultiChoice, which it will use to expand its offering. This his is going to help them boost their programming or deliver new types of distribution.”
At IBC, Intelsat’s Gillett highlighted the usefulness of the satellite operator’s EPIC high-throughput satellites in enabling African digital switchover. Gillett said that the EPIC satellites’ spot-beam capacity would be highly suitable for feeding DTT towers.
The operator however suffered a set-back in August when it was forced to push back the in-service date for its latest EPIC satellite, Intelsat-33e, which will serve Africa, to early next year after it suffered a malfunction in the primary thruster used for orbit raising.