Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc) is to open a second orbital slot focussed on the Middle East after moving the Thor III satellite to the 4 degrees West position also used by the Amos satellite system. It follows the completion of the transfer of traffic to the new Thor 6 satellite launched from Korou last October.
TSBc already held a filing for BSS frequencies at 4 degrees West, but they would have lapsed if not brought into service by December 2012.
It is not unprecedented for two satellite operators to operate from a single slot, Astra and Eutelsat for example share the 28.2 degrees East position that targets the UK and Ireland.
A spokesman for Amos Spacecom said the company had no comment to make at this time.
Natasha Keech, director of marketing and communications, Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, said the company had concluded Thor III was no longer needed at one degree West. “The move to 4 degrees West allows TSBc to exploit fully the remaining commercial life of Thor III,” she said.
Thor III has been placed in inclined orbit and can be expected to provide an additional 6 to 10 years of commercial operations. Inclined orbit rules out the possibility of direct-to-home broadcasting, so data and communications traffic are the most likely uses.
The Norwegian Post and Telecommunication Authority has been duly notified.
Thor II was leased to SES-Sirius in September 2008.