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India gives Arianespace nod to launch Insat-4G satellite

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The Indian cabinet yesterday gave approval to European commercial launch service Arianespace to launch the GSAT-8/Insat-4G satellite to augment the country’s need for more Ku-band transponders for direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting. The contract with the European firm is expected to be worth US$67.5 million, and includes an option for an additional launch and waiver of the bank guarantee requirements. The satellite is expected to be launched between the last quarter of 2008 and early 2009, reports Indiantelevision.com.

GSAT-8/INSAT-4G will have 18 high-power Ku-band transponders, along with the second geo-stationary augmentation payload for the GPS and GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN). This will facilitate services in the field of navigation, telecommunications, TV broadcasting and distribution, Ku-band VSAT, broadband services, digital video broadcast, rural area communications and distance education.

The DTH market will see a slew of new launches with Sun Direct, Reliance’s Bluemagic and Bharti Telemedia in the process of setting up platforms.

(Source: Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)