Thailand is entitles to the 50.5 degrees east slot, but the satellite it wants to place into the slot cannot be launched much before 2014. Under ITU regulations that’s too late, and Thailand risks losing its rights to the highly valuable slot which expire towards the end of this year.
Consequently, Thaicom is reportedly leasing a satellite from Luxembourg-based SES to place into the position and thus preserve its orbital rights.
SES has an old satellite operating just a few degrees away from 50.5, at 55 degrees East and seemingly the plan is to relocate the craft (originally called Astra 1F) to the Thai slot. Astra 1F is very much nearing retirement, and SES also has its NSS-12 successfully operating nearby at 57 degrees East.