Satellites

Asiasat to award contract for manufacture of Asiasat 5 by year-end

MUMBAI: Satellite operator Asiasat is looking to award a contract for the manufacture of Asiasat 5 before the end of the year.

In July, Asiasat had announced that Asiasat 5, a replacement satellite for Asiasat 2 at the orbital location of 100.5 degrees East, will be launched in 2008.

The company says that the plan to launch a replacement for AsiaSat ahead of the satellite's projected retirement would ensure the company''s ability to continue to provide services to customers at the satellite's orbital location.

Asiasat 5 will be a new generation communications satellite designed to offer improved power and coverage across the Asia Pacific region.

Asiasat 2 is Asiasat's second satellite and was at the time of its launch in late 1995 the most powerful satellite ever launched for Asia. Based on current calculations on the remaining fuel on board, AsiaSat 2 is expected to reach end of life at the end of 2010.

AsiaSat 2 currently serves many regional and international broadcasters, wholesale news agencies, video service providers, teleport service providers for video and news distribution and contribution services, as well as governments and corporations for VSat network services.

A replacement orbiter for Asiasat 2 will cost $250 million. In its half year report ended 30 June 2005 the company said that its first half-profit fell by 27 per cent because sales and prices for satellite services declined.

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