Millicom has signed a multi-year contract with Eutelsat Americas for capacity on the Eutelsat 117 West A satellite (formerly Satmex 8) that provides premium Direct-to-Home coverage across Latin America. Millicom also has options for additional capacity and service continuity on the Eutelsat 117 West B satellite (formerly Satmex 9) that will be launched next year and co-located with Eutelsat 117 West A to build up a DTH hotspot over Latin America.
Operating under the Tigo Star brand, the new satellite pay-TV platform complements Millicom’s cable and mobile services and has already been launched in two markets: Bolivia and El Salvador. The Bolivian service addresses the 6.5 million people of Bolivia’s 10.5 million population who live beyond the company’s cable coverage. It comprises 75 channels, including eight in HD, five free-to-air and eight premium services. The DTH service in El Salvador offers customers up to 70 channels, including four in HD.
Commenting on the launch of Tigo Star, Millicom’s Executive Vice-President for Home and Digital Media, Martin Lewerth, said: “The launch of our new satellite-based service on the Eutelsat Americas satellite at 117° West is another significant step in the transformation of Millicom into a diversified digital lifestyle provider. It adds to our cable services and reaches right across Latin America which means we can now broadcast for the first time to communities and households throughout the region.”
Patricio Northland, CEO of Eutelsat Americas, said: “We are delighted that not only is Millicom adding satellite to the range of platforms it is deploying to accelerate availability of digital services in its target markets, but that its preference goes to our EUTELSAT 117 West A satellite for Tigo Star. There is a significant untapped opportunity in Latin America for satellites to extend access to digital and High Definition channels to homes beyond terrestrial networks. Winning the confidence of Millicom, an experienced player, clearly puts Eutelsat Americas on the map and encourages us to deliver the highest levels of service, innovation and creativity so that the 117° West position can take its place as a broadcasting point of reference in Latin America.”