Qatar’s first satellite, a joint-venture with Eutelsat, is having its final checks prior to launch on August 29. Es’Hail Sat’s CEO is Ali Ahmed Al Kuwari and has in the past spoken of a half-dozen satellites in his overall plan.
He has now confirmed that a second satellite, Sohail-2 will be built and launched by the end of 2016-17. Space Systems/Loral built Sohail-1, which was 54.5 per cent financed by the Qataris. The balance 45.5 per cent is owned by Eutelsat. Eutelat markets its portion of the satellite as Eutelsat 25B.
Sohail-1 can carry around 130 standard-definition channels, and about 30 in HD. First broadcasters to be carried will be TV services from Al Jazeera’s growing news, documentary and sports services.