The SES satellite is NSS-5, which has been operating for most of its life at 20 degrees West, more or less over the Atlantic Ocean where its C and Ku-band payload provided a link between the Americas and Europe. Its mission there wrapped up in July when the satellite was replaced with the newer and more powerful 72-transponder NSS-7 craft, itself launched in 2002.
NSS-5 started a deliberate drift to Thaicom’s 50.5 degrees East position (above the Indian Ocean) in July, and arrived on location earlier this month.
The urgency of the move was needed in order to secure the 50.5 degrees East orbital position following on from technical problems with two other satellites (Thaicom 2 and Thaicom 3).
SES itself has a plan to occupy a nearby position to 50.5 deg East, and SES CEO Romain Bausch, speaking recently, said all kinds of possible co-operation are being examined with Thaicom.