Reach first user of AsiaSat 4

HONG KONG: Asia Satellite Telecommunications has signed telecoms carrier Reach Ltd as the first subscriber on its AsiaSat 4 to be launched in March this year.

A Reuters report states that Reach, a 50:50 JV between Telstra and Pacific Century CyberWorks will lease one C-band transponder on AsiaSat 4. Asiasat's CEO Peter Jackson said " This new deal signals the beginning of the revival in demand for transponder capacity in the region and an improvement in the Asian economy."

The report states that a sluggish global economy and severe downturn in the media and telecommunications sector are hurting satellite operators. The utilisation rate of the firm's AsiaSat 2 and AsiaSat 3 fell to 63 per cent in mid-2002 from 65 per cent at the end of 2001.

Reach currently uses AsiaSat 2 to offer satellite service solutions to global carriers, broadcasters and corporate customers. It also provides tracking, telemetry and control services to AsiaSat from its Hong Kong teleport facility.

AsiaSat 4, which will replace the retiring AsiaSat 1, is scheduled for launch in the second half of March after being postponed twice from May and September in 2002 due to technical issues. AsiaSat 4 will carry 28 C-band and 20 Ku-band transponders including the four broadcast satellite service transponders to be used for Hong Kong's DTH services.

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