PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Measat Global of Malaysia on May 25 announced that its sister company, the Astro direct-broadcast television network, had agreed to lease 18 transponders aboard the Measat-3b satellite scheduled for launch in late 2013.
Astro, whose formal name is Measat Broadcast Network Systems, agreed to maintain the lease for the full 15-year operational life of Measat-3b. The lease means Measat-3b is 50 percent full some 18 months before launch, Measat Global Chairman Datuk Umar bin Haji Abu said in a statement.
Measat-3b is under construction by Astrium Satellites of Europe. It is designed to carry 48 Ku-band transponders and to operate at Measat Global’s 91.5 degrees east orbital slot alongside the smaller Measat-3 and Measat-3a spacecraft.
Measat operates four satellites at three orbital positions, and has leased a large portion of the Ku-band consumer broadband capacity aboard the IPStar/Thaicom-4 satellite operated by Thaicom of Thailand. The Measat capacity on the satellite is called Measat-5.
In addition to Measat-3b, Measat has the Africasat-1a satellite under construction and scheduled for launch late this year into the 46 degrees slot now occupied by Africasat-1. Africasat is the name of the Measat portion of these satellites’ capacity, which it shares with the government of Azerbaijan.