International telecommunications and media company Millicom has selected Eutelsat Americas (formerly Satmex), a subsidiary of Eutelsat Communications to support its recent entry into the satellite pay-TV market in Latin America.
Millicom has signed a multi-year contract with Eutelsat Americas for capacity on the Eutelsat 117 West A satellite (formerly Satmex 8) that provides premium Direct-to-Home coverage across Latin America. Millicom also has options for additional capacity and service continuity on the Eutelsat 117 West B satellite (formerly Satmex 9) that will be launched next year and collocated with Eutelsat 117 West A to build up a DTH hotspot over Latin America.
Operating under the Tigo Star brand, the new satellite pay-TV platform complements Millicom’s cable and mobile services and has already been launched in two markets: Bolivia and El Salvador. The Bolivian service addresses the 6.5 million people of Bolivia’s 10.5 million population who live beyond the company’s cable coverage. It comprises 75 channels, including eight in HD, five free-to-air and eight premium services. The DTH service in El Salvador offers customers up to 70 channels, including four in HD.
Millicom’s Executive Vice-President for Home and Digital Media, Martin Lewerth, sai the launch of the new satellite-based service on the Eutelsat Americas satellite at 117 degrees West was another significant step in the transformation of Millicom into a diversified digital lifestyle provider. “It adds to our cable services and reaches right across Latin America which means we can now broadcast for the first time to communities and households throughout the region.”
Patricio Northland, CEO of Eutelsat Americas, noted that not only was Millicom adding satellite to the range of platforms it was deploying to accelerate availability of digital services in its target markets, but that its preference was for Eutelsat 117 West A satellite for Tigo Star. “There is a significant untapped opportunity in Latin America for satellites to extend access to digital and High Definition channels to homes beyond terrestrial networks. Winning the confidence of Millicom, an experienced player, clearly puts Eutelsat Americas on the map and encourages us to deliver the highest levels of service, innovation and creativity so that the 117 degrees West position can take its place as a broadcasting point of reference in Latin America,” he stated.