Satellite services provider Intelsat on 2 August successfully launched the Intelsat 20 satellite from Kourou, French Guiana via an Ariane 5 V208 launch vehicle. The satellite will provide high power distribution of video, voice and broadband services in Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Russia.
Intelsat 20 hosts the largest direct-to-home (DTH) platform in Africa – pay-TV operator MultiChoice’s DStv bouquet.
Built by Space Systems/Loral, Intelsat 20 will provide C-band and Ku-band for DTH television, cellular backhaul and VSAT services. The Intelsat 20 video neighborhood provides premium programming that is carried by the top Indian cable MSOs and DTH operators, reaching more than an estimated 90 million Pay-TV subscribers across India.
Once operational in September, Intelsat 20 will replace Intelsat 7 and Intelsat 10 at 68.5° East, and is expected to have a service life of more than 18 years.
“With C-band coverage over four continents and four regionally focused Ku-band beams, Intelsat 20 provides enhanced replacement capacity for our prime video neighborhood at 68.5° East for DTH and distribution services,’ said Intelsat CEO David McGlade.
According to News Central Media, MultiChoice has now secured significantly more capacity on the satellite for new channels and high definition services. The pay-TV operator was reportedly running low on capacity on the existing Intelsat 7 satellite and will use the Ku band for DStv services.