Press Release

Intelsat New Dawn Launch Successful: Expands Africa’s Communications Infrastructure at 32.8o East

By SpaceRef Editor
April 23, 2011
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Intelsat New Dawn Launch Successful: Expands Africa’s Communications Infrastructure at 32.8o East

Intelsat S.A., the world’s leading provider of fixed satellite services, announced today that Arianespace successfully launched the Intelsat New Dawn satellite. The Ariane 5 vehicle lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana at 5:37 p.m. (EDT), followed by spacecraft separation from the launch vehicle at 6:12 p.m. and signal acquisition at 6:29 p.m.

The Intelsat New Dawn satellite is owned by a joint venture between a consortium led by Convergence Partners and Intelsat. The satellite’s 28 C-band and 24 Ku-band 36 MHz transponder units are designed specifically to supply critical communications infrastructure for African customers, who have experienced exceptional growth along with the development of the region.

Operating from a geostationary orbital slot at 32.8o East, Intelsat New Dawn will be ideally positioned to serve Africa through a payload optimized to deliver new capacity for voice, wireless backhaul, fixed line and wireless infrastructure, broadband and media- the fastest growing satellite-based applications in Africa.

“Intelsat and the African continent share a 40-year history in the development of Africa’s telecommunications infrastructure,” said Dave McGlade, Intelsat CEO. “Intelsat New Dawn will be integrated with the resilient Intelsat fleet, allowing us to expand and enhance the vital communications services that are provided by our customers to business consumers throughout Africa.”

Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners, said, “The satellite will not only deliver crucial services specifically tailored for Africa, it will also herald the dawn of a new era where Africans enjoy far greater involvement in the space communications industry.”

Intelsat New Dawn is the first of eight satellites slated for launch over the next two years and is part of the largest satellite program in Intelsat’s history. The investment program is expected to provide enhanced high-powered capacity to Intelsat’s global fleet. Intelsat’s next launch is expected to be the Intelsat 18 satellite, slated for later in 2011.

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About Intelsat New Dawn

Initially announced in December 2008, the US$250 million Intelsat New Dawn project is funded approximately 15% with equity and 85% with debt. African institutions are providing approximately 90% of the total financing required for the joint venture and Intelsat will contribute the balance. Nedbank Capital, part of the Nedbank Group (one of South Africa’s largest banking groups) and a leading telecom project financier in South Africa, has arranged the non-recourse debt financing. A consortium of lenders including Nedbank, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa and the African Development Bank will provide the debt funding. The equity is provided by Intelsat (74.9%) and the Convergence Partners-led group (25.1%), which also includes Altirah Telecoms and the not-for-profit Convergence Partners Foundation.

About Intelsat

Intelsat is the leading provider of fixed satellite services worldwide. For over 45 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. For more information, visit

About Convergence Partners

Convergence Partners is an investment company focused on the telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) sector in Africa. 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. For more information, visit

About Altirah Telecoms

Altirah Telecoms is the special purpose common investment vehicle of Altirah Capital and the Oppenheimer family’s private equity portfolio. Altirah Capital is a South African-based investment company, founded by David Frankel and Paul Salomon. The Oppenheimer family’s private equity portfolio is advised by Stockdale Street Limited, which is run by Peter Maw and Paul Salomon.

Intelsat Safe Harbor Statement

Some of the statements in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” that do not directly or exclusively relate to historical facts. The forward-looking statements made in this release reflect Intelsat’s intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about future events and are subject to risks, including known and unknown risks. Detailed information about some of the known risks is included in Intelsat’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended 31 December 2010, registration statement on Form S-1, and Intelsat’s other periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Because actual results could differ materially from Intelsat’s intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about the future, you are urged to view all forward-looking statements contained in this news release with caution. Intelsat does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Alex Horwitz, +1 202 679 9161

SpaceRef staff editor.