Ahead of beating the June 2017 deadline for digital migration in Nigeria, Intelsat has announced that its Intelsat 36 satellite has entered service and is now providing broadcasting and direct-to-home (DTH) services for Africa’s MultiChoice.
The satellite was built for Intelsat by Space Systems/Loral (SSL) and launched aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle in August 2016.
Brian Jakins, Regional Vice President, Africa Sales at Intelsat says the satellite which is co-located with Intelsat 20 at 68.5° East will improve the Multichoice’s offering as a DTH platform.
“There are dynamic changes taking place across the global media landscape, and Intelsat 36 supports our customers as they address the growing demand for content throughout the African continent. This satellite will enable our customer, MultiChoice, to extend high definition channels throughout the region. The C-band payload will provide additional redundancy for media customers to ensure that all viewers have access to reliable, high quality content.”
Intelsat 36 includes a Ku-band payload used by MultiChoice and a C-band payload that provides in-orbit resilience for Intelsat’s media neighbourhoods serving Africa and the Indian Ocean regions.
Intelsat’s announcement comes weeks after their competitor Eutelsat revealed that it had extended its relationship with Multichoice by signing a nine-year contract for the expansion of the MultiChoice DStv platform at Eutelsat 36° East video neighbourhood in preparation for what they say is a digital future across the African continent.
The digitization drive of the federal government is expected to terminate on or before June 17, next year.