sesSatellite operator SES Astra says its latest Astra 1L satellite is now ready for commercial operation. Launched in May and built by Lockheed Martin, Astra 1L has completed in-orbit tests in its position at 19.2 degrees East. SES Astra said Astra 1L will deliver direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast services to continental Europe, further strengthening the Astra fleet in the prime orbital position at 19.2 degrees East.

The launch also allows SES Astra to move Astra 2C from 19.2 degrees East to 28.2 degrees East in order to serve UK and Irish markets. An additional 16 transponders on Astra 2C will be freed up by the move, of which 10 will be for DTH in the UK and Ireland.

“The new satellite allows us to redeploy our fleet and significantly increase the capacity for the important UK and Irish markets,” said Ferdinand Kayser, SES Astra president and CEO.
“This enables us to even better satisfy the high customer demand from these markets. We remain focused on delivering the highest technical quality and reliability, a unique back-up and safety scheme as well as a broad range of additional services.”

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By Expat