COMPANIES & STRATEGIES - TECHNOLOGY

Growing fleet

SES acquires two satellites for prime TV



The two satellites, pictured above in an artist’s rendition, are set to launch in 2024 to improve and further the broadcasting and data networks provided by SES.  Photo: SES 

The two satellites, pictured above in an artist’s rendition, are set to launch in 2024 to improve and further the broadcasting and data networks provided by SES.  Photo: SES 

Luxembourg-based satellite operator SES is expanding its fleet. Two new state-of-the-art satellites, built by Thales Alenia Space, will launch in 2024 to enable a better broadcasting distribution and connectivity throughout Europe.

The company, which performed well during the pandemic, is already serving 118 million (43%) of European households, according to an official statement, and 40% of the company’s revenue comes from networks. Since 2016, there has been a 30% in coverage in TV homes in the EU being served by the Luxembourg company.

Built by Thales Alenia Space--a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%)--the geostationary models will replace the current satellites positioned on SES’s prime orbital slot at 19.2 East. 

According to SES CEO Steve Collar, “these two satellites will have the resiliency, reliability and redundancy that our video customers need, and will be able to deliver continued premium services well into 2040.”

Astra 1P, a classic wide-beam satellite, will serve to spread content cost-efficiently across Europe. Astra 1Q, a digital satellite with wide beams and high-throughput spot beams, will provide video and data support to users.  

On 24 October, SES-17, the most recent satellite of the SES fleet, had been launched by Arianespace, to circle around the medium earth orbit at 67.1 degrees West with a mission to cover the Americas, Atlantic Ocean and Carribean connectivity market.

SES plans a plethora of satellite launches for the upcoming year, with three 03b mPowers scheduled to go up in the first quarter of 2022, and the SES-18, SES-19, SES-20 and SES-21 to leave in the second half of the year.