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Thaicom confirms plans for new satellites

Thailand’s government might be undecided as to whether to grant new satellite transmission licences, but operator Thaicom has no doubts about its wish to add new satellites to its fleet.

Thaicom’s latest results show a record profit (up 5 per cent) helped by a 100 per cent fill-rate on its powerful Thaicom-7 satellite, and a gradual shift towards high-definition TV.  One of the major missions for the satellite is providing a ‘Headend in the Sky’ (HITS) DTH service into India.

Thaicom also operates the Thaicom-4/IPstar craft at 119.5 deg East, which amongst other locations serves Australia with broadband coverage. However, revenues for this portion of its business were flat last year and not helped by sales of IPstar terminals being 19 percent down on 2014.

The number of channels carried on the various Thaicom craft grew 13 per cent last year, and ended the year with a tally of 792 channels (of which 126 were HD, up 15 per cent on last year).

Thaicom-8 is under construction by Orbital ATK and will go to the 78.5 deg East slot, and is scheduled for launch later this year aboard a SpaceX rocket.

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