Telenor Satellite Broadcasting is to expand its capacity at one degree West with the launch of a new satellite. Thor 7, which will feature both Ku- and Ka-band transponders, is slated for launch towards the end of 2013 and is expected to have a lifespan of between 15 and 20 years.
Thor 7 has been brought about by the growth in demand for capacity from Central & East Europe. Customers including UPC Direct have moved to the One West slot following the launch of the Thor 6 satellite in October 2009 and Telenor is now building a significant presence in the region. The CEE client base also includes Romanian Digi TV, the separate Focus Sat operations in Romania and Moldova; and the Ukranian start-up MyTV.
It is anticipated that these and other broadcasters will be looking to build their high definition transmissions and potentially 3DTV.
The new satellite will also be equipped with additional capacity that allows Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc) to strengthen its maritime service proposition, providing data communication services in areas including the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean.
“Telenor Satellite Broadcasting is now selecting a suitable satellite manufacturer and expects to award the contract in Q2 2011,” said Cato Halsaa, vice president and CEO of Telenor Satellite Broadcasting. “Thor 7 represents both an expansion path supporting our customer’s requirements within these growth markets and a commitment to the satellite sector. I am confident that satellites will continue to play an important role as a distributor of content, a role which will only be strengthened as communication applications expand the digital revolution.”
Thor 7 will be co-located with the existing two satellites Thor 5 and Thor 6. The contract for the satellite manufacturer will be awarded in the second quarter of 2011, when the number of transponders will be confirmed. The launch contract will be revealed in January 2012.