SES To Develop Slot for Andean Nations

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PARIS — Satellite fleet operator SES of Luxembourg will move an in-orbit satellite to an orbital slot over South America by September to preserve access rights there held by the Andean Community of Nations in South America, SES announced Feb. 8.

In return for placing a satellite at the slot before the September deadline set by international frequency regulators, SES has secured a long-term agreement with the Andean nations to develop the slot.

SES spokesman Yves Feltes said the company had not decided which satellite would be moved to 67 degrees west longitude. The Andean slot, which has been the subject of numerous debates among regulators at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ofGeneva, has been reserved for Ku-band frequencies and has a good angle of view on theAmericasand theCaribbean. However, the Andean group’s rights to develop the slot expire in September unless a functioning satellite is placed at the slot before then.

Feltes also said SES and the Andean nations — Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru — have not reached a final agreement on placing a new satellite at the location.

Rob Bednarek, chief executive of SES World Skies, said the agreement with the Andean Community of Nations “offers an additional opportunity to SES World Skies to efficiently serve Latin America and the Caribbean with state-of-the-art satellite solutions for television distribution, broadband connectivity and government services. We look forward … to developing 67 degrees west into a prime orbital neighborhood for the region.”

The Colombian government has been trying to develop a nearby orbital position separately but has been unable to reach an agreement with an existing satellite operator. Mexico’s Satmex, meanwhile, has been seeking a possible buyer following financial difficulties that have made it difficult for Satmex to expand.