Star One Nears Deal with SSL for C5 Satellite Launch

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PARIS — Brazilian satellite fleet operator Star One is in final negotiations with satellite builder Space Systems/Loral (SSL) for the planned 2014 launch of the Star One C5 satellite to replace the aging Brasilsat B4 satellite at 84 degrees west in geostationary orbit, industry officials said.

The C5 satellite will carry C- and Ku-band transponders. In addition to replacing the B4 spacecraft, C5 is part of Star One’s expansion plans in the region. Lincoln Oliveira, Star One’s general director, said Star One is on track to increase the available transponders in its fleet by 75 percent between 2007 and 2014.

He declined to discuss the C5 competition, but other industry officials said a contract with Space Systems/Loral is imminent.

Star One is 100 percent owned by Brazil’s Embratel, which in April purchased from GE Satellite Holdings the 20 percent of the satellite operator it did not already own.

In recent months the Brazilian government has been considering whether to purchase its own satellite for military and government-sponsored programs to extend broadband connectivity to regions beyond the telecommunications grid.

Addressing the World Satellite Business Week conference organized by Euroconsult, Oliveira said Sept. 14 that the private sector is able to satisfy the government’s needs without recourse to a government-owned satellite. He noted that Star One is already providing capacity for 12,000 Brazilian schools under a government contract.

“The government has been discussing whether to build a satellite with Ka- band and X-band frequencies,” Oliveira said. “We don’t know how this will proceed. We hope the open-market model prevails. If the government needs capacity, the government should go to the market and ask for it. The worst scenario would be for the government to create a state-owned company.”

 

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