Measat in Final Negotiations for 2013 Ariane 5 Launch

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PARIS — Malaysian satellite fleet operator Measat Global is in final negotiations with Europe’s Arianespace consortium to launch the Measat 3b all-Ku-band telecommunications satellite in 2013 aboard an Ariane 5 ECA rocket, industry officials said.

A formal contract signing is expected within several days, officials said.

Measat 3b is under construction by Astrium Satellites of Europe. It is expected to carry 48 Ku-band transponders and to deliver 16 kilowatts of power to its payload at the end of a planned 15-year service life.

The satellite, to weigh around 5,800 kilograms at launch, will be operated at Measat’s core 91.5 degrees east orbital slot, where the Measat 3 and 3a satellites are currently stationed.

Measat’s owners in recent months have been actively considering whether to sell their fleet to focus on expanding Measat’s successful direct-to-home television and other telecommunications services business.