With the successful launch of Intelsat–20 on Thursday night (2 August 2012), MultiChoice said it will now have more satellite capacity than it has on IS–7.
In a press statement announcing the success of the launch, Intelsat said that IS–20 is to replace IS–7 and IS–10, and will provide a large number of telecommunication, video, telephone and data transmission services in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and Asia.
Intelsat–20 weighs over 6 tonnes, and according to its fact sheet, has 24 C-band transponders, 12 C/Ku cross-strap transponders, and 54 Ku-band transponders.
The Ariane 5 rocket carrying IS–20 also had the Hylas 2 satellite on board for Avanti Communications.
Hylas 2 will deploy 24 fixed beams and one steerable beam in the Ka-band, which Avanti said will offer customers flexibility and significantly increased speeds and data throughput at a much lower cost.
This is the second satellite of new European operator Avanti Communications. The 3.3-tonne satellite is to provide broadband services for eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East for more than 15 years.
MultiChoice was asked about the impact of the successful launch of IS–20. The questions and answers follow below:
Q: Intelsat–20 is said to replace IS7 and IS10. Does MultiChoice now have more capacity available to it than it had on IS–7?
A: Yes the IS-20 satellite is a replacement satellite for the IS7 and IS10 satellite. MultiChoice has secured more capacity on IS20 than it currently has on IS7.
Q: What are your plans for the additional capacity?
A: The launch of the new satellite is in line with our strategy and plans to bring more services to our subscribers. Watch this space!
Q: Is there room to expand on the satellite, should you require it?
A: The launch is in line with our requirements for more capacity. However as part of our long term plan, we have ongoing discussions with our suppliers on future capacity requirements.
Q: When will DStv be switched from IS–7 to IS–20? Will subscribers have to retune their decoders or realign their dishes?
A: The transition date will be communicated soon. Subscribers do not have to prepare for or do anything for this transition.
Q: Are there any other changes subscribers can look forward to as a result of the switch from IS–7 to IS–20?
A: Yes, we do have plans to bring more services to our subscribers. Watch this space!
* Additional reporting by Sapa-AFP