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SES orders pair of Ku-band satellites for key European services

SES has ordered two geostationary (GEO) Ku-band satellites for its prime orbital slot at 19.2 degrees East.

The new satellites will maintain the services the company provides to the European video market and “capture new opportunities in the region,” SES said. 

The satellites – ASTRA 1P and ASTRA 1Q – will be built by Thales Alenia Space, and are scheduled for a launch in 2024. 

ASTRA 1P is a classic wide-beam satellite that will support SES’s prime TV neighbourhood and provide support for content owners, private and public broadcasters across Germany, France and Spain. ASTRA 1Q meanwhile is a next-generation digital satellite with both wide beams and high-throughput spot beams that will be able to support direct-to-home (DTH) operations like ASTRA 1P.

The existing satellites that the new pair will replace serve 118 million households, or over 43% of all European TV homes.

Steve Collar, CEO of SES, said: “Our prime TV neighbourhood at 19.2 degrees East is one of our most valuable assets and has been key to enabling renowned European broadcasters to grow their TV audiences in the last 30 years. These two satellites will have the resiliency, reliability and redundancy that our video customers need, and will be able to deliver continued premium services well into 2040. Additionally, thanks to advanced satellite technology, we will be future-proofing our investment and injecting a high degree of flexibility into ASTRA 1Q to ensure we are meeting the evolving needs of all the markets we serve.”

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