Intelsat announces successful launch of IA-8 satellite

MUMBAI: Satellite communications provider Intelsat has announced that the IA-8 satellite has been successfully launched aboard Sea Launchs Zenit-3SL rocket. Intelsat states that the satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral is its most powerful to date. It will operate from 89ºW longitude and will offer prime, powerful landmass coverage to customers in the Americas, the Caribbean, Alaska and Hawaii. A substantial portion of the capacity on IA-8 was committed to customers prior to the satellite's launch.

IA-8, which will commence service from August, features C-, Ku- and Ka-band transponders. The Ka-band payload on the IA-8 satellite represents Intelsat's first Ka-band capacity in orbit, and the IA-8 is just the second commercial satellite in North America to have such capacity. IA-8 is also the first satellite in Intelsats fleet to feature two high-powered zone beams specifically designed to provide complete zonal coverage of South America. Additionally, the 89ºW location falls in the valuable North American broadcast arc, offering broadcast customers an ideal distribution platform.

All customers on IA-8 will have access to increased power and flexibility for all applications, including those used by the government, broadcasters, corporations, service providers and other businesses.

Intelsat CEO David McGlade said, IA-8 represents a very important launch for Intelsat and North American customers as it offers high-powered Ku-Band coverage of all 50 states, relieving some of the current capacity constraints facing all operators serving the US market.

Intelsat is better positioned than ever to serve the US, South American and Caribbean markets and to support the growth of emerging services such as DTH, distribution of high-definition cable programming and broadband data networks.

Our customers across the region will benefit from the higher power, increased network flexibility and cost-effective capacity IA-8 offers, which will allow them to grow their businesses with greater efficiency.

IA-8 is the fifth satellite in the Intelsat Americas fleet. The satellite was part of Intelsats acquisition of Lorals North American satellite assets in February 2004, which helped give Intelsat a significant presence in the North American video and data markets. The launch of IA-8 marks the completion of Intelsats planned launches to date.

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