SES Astra has announced that the Astra 1L satellite has been successfully deployed at the prime 19.2 degrees East orbital slot. The Lockheed Martin built satellite was launched from Kourou, French Guiana on May 5.
The new satellite allows Astra 2C to finally make its move to 28.2 degrees East. A number of channels are planning to move across to the new satellite, although for viewers the change will be seamless.
In all 16 additional transponders are being made available on Astra 2C of which at least 10 will direct their services to the UK and Ireland. A further realignment of transponders across the satellite fleet at 28.2 East will increase the number of transponders on the steerable beam currently pointing at West Africa from 8 to 16. The move is planned for the third quarter of the year.
In a further move the arrival of Astra 1L will enable SES Astra to move Astra 1E from 19.2 degrees East to 23.5 degrees East. The satellite position serves the German cable market and the Czech and Slovak Republics.