More Satellites to Cover the Continent – Intelsat

African satellite service provider Intelsat has announced new contracts with customers using its video distribution neighbourhoods and broadband capacity, as well as plans to launch three new satellites to increase capacity to the continent.

The launch of the Intelsat New Dawn in April this year has enabled the company to supply critical Ku-band communications infrastructure to African customers from a geostationary orbital slot at 32.8° East.

“From introducing direct-to-home (DTH) platforms, to supporting reliable broadband in remote regions, Intelsat’s satellite network has been a springboard for technology advancement in Africa, supporting the continent’s socioeconomic development,” Intelsat’s Kurt Riegelman said in a statement this week.

As part of its continued investment in infrastructure to serve Africa, Intelsat plans to launch three new satellites – Intelsat 20, Intelsat 22 and Intelsat 23 – within the next 10 months to increase capacity to the continent.

The company will also continue to build on its strong history of training their customers’ engineers and technicians across Africa.

“As we prepare to launch three satellites in 2012 that will provide incremental capacity to the region, we look forward to supporting the continued growth of our customers,” Riegelman said.

‘Unparalleled African coverage’

South Africa-based Multichoice, one of the leading pay television platform operators and programming distributors on the continent, has expanded its commitment for capacity on Intelsat 904 for contribution services. This agreement complements Multichoice’s DTH capacity on Intelsat 7, Intelsat’s African media distribution neighbourhood at 68.5º East.

Dubai-based operator Strong Technologies renewed its multi-year commitment to the Intelsat 10 video neighbourhood at 68.5º East for its DTH platform. The service includes a mix of movies, sports, news and general interest content, carried on such networks as FOX and BBC World, and on several popular local African channels.

Intelsat will provide distribution on its African video neighbourhood on Intelsat 10, and the follow-on Intelsat 20 satellite, and will offer access to sub-Saharan Africa as Strong expands its program offerings, regions served and subscribers.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises, one of India’s leading television, media and entertainment companies, also will begin distributing its programming at 68.5º East. The multi-year agreement spans Intelsat 10, and the follow-on Intelsat 20 satellite, scheduled for launch in mid-2012.

Intelsat Africa MD Jonathan Osler said the company’s commitment to the African business community was unparalleled, as no other operator could provide similar coverage, restoration and depth of services.

“Nearly 200 companies on the continent, including virtually all of the region’s wireless operators, trust our highly reliable network to provide the infrastructure they need to offer best-in-class services to their customers,” he said.