In order to respond to the strong demand for additional DTH capacity in Asia, SES World Skies, a division of SES, has commissioned the SES-8 spacecraft from Orbital Sciences Corporation for a launch in the first quarter of 2013.
SES-8 will feature 33 high-power Ku-band (36 MHz-equivalent) transponders and will be co-positioned with the NSS-6 satellite at the orbital location of 95 degrees East. SES-8 is a medium-sized satellite with beams focused on South Asia (India) and Indo-China (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos) to support existing DTH customers with back-up and growth transponder capacity. The spacecraft will be built on Orbital’s flight-proven STAR spacecraft platform and will generate approximately 5.0 kilowatts of payload power.
The 95 degrees East orbital slot is a cornerstone of the SES strategy in Asia. NSS-6, the satellite currently located at 95 degrees East is operating at 95 per cent+ fill rates and is home to the largest DTH operator in India, Dish TV, with over 9.6 Million subscribers. India is the fastest growing DTH market in the world with an estimated 30 million subscribers and is projected to overtake the US as the largest DTH market.