SES WORLD SKIES orders new satellite from Astrium

SES-6 to fuel growth for SES throughout the Americas

SES WORLD SKIES, a division of SES S.A. (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), today announced that it has signed an agreement with Astrium, a wholly-owned subsidiary of EADS (Euronext Paris: EAD), for the procurement of a new satellite to be named SES-6.

  Consistent with its approach at other orbital locations, the deployment of SES-6 to 319.5 degrees East will meaningfully enhance a core SES video neighborhood while allowing NSS-806, the satellite currently at that location, to be relocated for other missions.
  The 319.5 degrees East slot is home to one of the largest cable communities in Latin America, supporting video distribution including HD content to more than 5,000 cable head-ends serving some 18 million homes for key broadcasters such as Fox, Disney ESPN, MGM etc.

  SES-6 will offer 50 percent more C-Band capacity for the cable community, and retain the unique capability to distribute content between the Americas and Europe on the same high powered beam. In addition SES-6 will offer a substantial upgrade to Ku-Band capacity in the region with dedicated high power beams over Brazil, South cone, the Andean region, North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, while also offering an innovative payload to support mobile maritime and aeronautical services on the highly demanded routes from North America, the Gulf of Mexico, across the north Atlantic and to Europe.   

 With 43 C-Band and 48 Ku-Band 36 MHz equivalent transponders (38 C-Band and 36 Ku-Band physical transponders) the 6,000 kilogram satellite is expected to be launched in early 2013 and will have a design life of 15 years.

  “Latin America and the Caribbean have demonstrated significant growth over the past few years and we expect this to continue. Our customers have told us that more capacity is needed, and we are delighted to be able to provide not only an early replacement, but also a meaningful upgrade to our Americas coverage,” said Robert Bednarek, President and CEO of SES WORLD SKIES. “Astrium was able to offer an innovative satellite design providing us the capability to deploy capacity flexibly to the markets where we see demand developing over time.”

This satellite will be built on a Eurostar E3000 platform, the latest version of Astrium’s Eurostar series which has proven to be highly reliable in commercial service.

François Auque, CEO of Astrium said “This latest order from SES comes on top of the contract for four satellites they awarded to Astrium just six months ago, and positions Astrium as the key supplier for their two main operating divisions in America and Europe. This demonstrates the high level of trust SES has placed in Astrium and we remain committed to maintaining this confidence in the future.”

Over 60 Eurostar satellites have been ordered to date. SES has already ordered seven Eurostar E3000s: ASTRA 1M, which entered into service in 2008; ASTRA 3B, which is scheduled for launch in late May, ASTRA 1N, which was ordered in 2008 and expected to be delivered in early 2011, and Astra 2E, 2F, 2G and 5B, four multi-mission satellites ordered to meet the demands of the largest DTH broadcasters in Europe, and to fuel growth in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The new SES-6 satellite, which is nearly twice as large as NSS-806, will have a total of five steerable Ku-band beams, including four beams for the Americas and one beam covering the Atlantic ocean region.

Source: EADS