Press Release

Arianespace to Launch New Dawn Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
April 14, 2009
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New Dawn Satellite Company Ltd. (“New Dawn”), a joint venture between Intelsat and a South African investor group led by Convergence Partners, has awarded Arianespace the launch contract to deliver the Intelsat New Dawn satellite into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). This new contract is the 6th signed in 2009 by Arianespace with the major satellite operators.

The launch is planned for the end of 2010, using an Ariane 5 or Soyuz launcher from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

The Intelsat New Dawn satellite will be the 50th Intelsat satellite orbited by the European launcher. This contract is in addition to the agreement signed by Intelsat and Arianespace in December 2008.

New Dawn will provide critical communications infrastructure to Africa supporting wireless backhaul, broadband, direct-to-home and video applications.

The satellite will weigh about 3,000 kg at launch, and has a design life exceeding 15 years. Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, Intelsat New Dawn will be fitted with 28 C-band and 24 Ku-band 36 MHz transponder units. It will be positioned at 33 degrees East and will deliver new capacity to Africa for voice, wireless backhaul, Internet and media applications.

Commenting on this latest contract, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall said: “We are particularly proud of this opportunity to once again serve the world’s leading satellite operator, in the form of this exciting New Dawn joint venture. For more than 30 years now, Arianespace and Intelsat have built up an extremely close, privileged relationship. This new contract, the 6th signed in 2009, is clear recognition of the quality and competiveness of our launch Service and Solutions offer.”

“Intelsat has had a long-term relationship with Arianespace. The Intelsat New Dawn satellite will be an integral part of our global, resilient satellite network, providing growth capacity and allowing us to further expand our services in Africa,” said Ken Lee, Intelsat’s senior vice president, space systems. “We look forward to working with Arianespace in the years to come as we introduce new spacecraft, optimized to deliver critical transmission services for our video, voice, network services and government customers.”

About Intelsat

Intelsat is the leading provider of fixed satellite services worldwide. For more than 40 years, Intelsat has been delivering information and entertainment for many of the world’s leading media and network companies, multinational corporations, Internet service providers and governmental agencies. Intelsat’s satellite, teleport and fiber infrastructure is unmatched in the industry, setting the standard for transmissions of video, data and voice services. From the globalization of content and the proliferation of HD, to the expansion of cellular networks and broadband access, with Intelsat, advanced communications anywhere in the world are closer, by far.

About Convergence Partners

Convergence Partners is a South African-based investment company focused on the telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) sector, predominantly in Africa and the Middle East. Convergence Partners’ investment philosophy is to take meaningful equity stakes in quality projects and businesses within its chosen sector and act as an active, strategic value-adding investor. As a major part of its strategy, Convergence Partners focuses on greenfields projects that improve access to communications, broadband services and technology offerings throughout Africa and thereby contribute to enhanced standards of living.

About Arianespace

Arianespace is the world’s leading launch Service & Solutions company, delivering innovative offer to its customers since 1980. Backed by its 23 shareholders and the European Space Agency, Arianespace proposes an unrivalled launcher family, comprising Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega, and an international workforce renowned for their culture of commitment and excellence. As of 01 April 2009, Arianespace had launched a total of 267 payloads, including more than half of all the commercial satellites now in service worldwide. It has a backlog of more than 20 Ariane 5 and 10 Soyuz launches, equal to 3 years of business.

SpaceRef staff editor.