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As the prices of HD satellite set-top boxes have become more affordable in Asia, larger numbers of viewers are demanding and switching over to HD services. With Direct-to-Home (DTH) TV platforms in Thailand expected to add more than 2.5 million new subscribers in the next 10 years, Intelsat S.A (NYSE: I), the leading global provider of satellite services, today announced that Next Step, a multi-channel operator and distributor, is leveraging Intelsat’s satellite solutions on Horizons 2 at 85º E to launch a new Free-to-Air DTH platform in Thailand.
Under its multi-year agreement with Intelsat, Next Step is utilizing Ku-band capacity on Horizons 2 to diversify its business offerings – moving from content provider to platform operator through its new Freeview HD platform, a platform positioned to serve an addressable market of approximately 67 million people. Given Intelsat’s global, flexible fleet, Horizons 2 was moved to the 85º E orbital location and its beam repositioned to enable Next Step to capitalize on the opportunity to support the HD trend in Thailand.
“The breadth and depth of Intelsat’s global satellite solutions provide a perfect complement to help expand and diversify our business,” said Philipp Heussen, Head of Freeview HD. “By partnering with Intelsat, we will be able to quickly and cost-effectively launch a DTH platform that will enable us to meet the demand for more affordable, high-quality HD content in the region. As a result, viewers across Thailand will have access to a greater variety of entertaining and educational content, regardless of whether they reside in the city or in more remote communities in the country.”
“Intelsat is a leading provider of satellite services for DTH operators, delivering programming to over 31 million subscribers and supporting more than 30 DTH platforms around the world,” stated Terry Bleakley, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific Sales, Intelsat. “Throughout our history, Intelsat has incorporated the latest technology to enable our media customers to differentiate their service offerings and grow their businesses. We look forward to working closely with Next Step to ensure the seamless migration to HD as they launch their Freeview HD platform and distribute new and compelling content to Thailand.”