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Back in July 2013 satellite operator SES confirmed an earlier agreement with Space Systems International Monaco for access to some of its SSI-Monaco satellite’s transponders.
The satellite was launched earlier this year on April 27th, and is orbiting at 52 deg East and is now officially called TurkmenAlemMonacoSat which might not be the snappiest name for a spacecraft, but it is orbiting in what is undoubtedly an interesting ‘hot spot’ for the region.
The craft has 38 active Ku-band transponders operating over 3 beams. The Turkmenistan Ministry of Communications is keeping 26 transponders and 12 are leased to SES.
The Abu Dhabi-based YahSat/Yahlive operation is now taking an initial 4 transponders. YahLive itself is a joint-venture between YahSat of Abu Dhabi and SES. The YahLive segment of transponders operates from 52.5 deg East, and would thus be seen as co-located with the Turkmenistan/Monaco craft.
YahLive’s existing Ku-band transmissions from YahSat 1A are now near-full, and company sources say they are hopeful that the added 4 transponders will add flexibility to its offering.
Perhaps bizarrely, and within days of the scheduled launch, Turkmenistan banned the use of satellite dishes in the country!