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AMC-18 Ready For Commercial Services

AMERICOM 18, initially developed in support of the AMC-10 and AMC-11 satellite programs, has been designed to provide advanced C-band digital transmission services for cable programming and broadcasting. Planned for launch in late 2006, the satellite is being optimized for operation in the 105 West orbital position.
by Staff Writers
Princeton NJ (SPX) Feb 02, 2007
SES AMERICOM has announced that the AMERICOM-18 (AMC-18) satellite that was launched on December 8, 2006, has successfully completed a full battery of in-orbit-tests and is now operational from its assigned orbital location of 105 degrees West. The C-band satellite is the first in that frequency at 105 degrees to be operated by SES AMERICOM. Given the demand from the media community for more high definition as well as standard definition distribution bandwidth, AMERICOM has been seeding the cable head-end market with triple-feed antennas.

Once the triple-feed equipment is installed, the cable provider can receive and redistribute programming from three spacecraft in that neighborhood, AMC-1 at 103 degrees, AMC-4 at 101 degrees, and now AMC-18 at 105 degrees. As a result of the cable community's warm response to that program, programmers that use any one of the three satellites can potentially deliver channels into more than half of U.S. cable households by the end of the second quarter. By year-end, the penetration is expected to grow to 80%.

Bryan McGuirk, SES AMERICOM's President of Media Services, said, "I thank AMERICOM's space systems' team for delivering a terrific spacecraft that will serve the media market for more than 15 years." He continued, "The timing of the operational readiness of AMC-18 and the expansion of the HD-PRIME™ neighborhood is perfectly synchronized with the growing demand for more bandwidth to distribute new high def channels."


Launched by Arianespace from their Kourou Spaceport, and built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, AMC-18 is the thirteenth A2100 spacecraft in the AMERICOM fleet. Built as a clone of the successful AMC-10 and AMC-11 satellites that were launched in 2004, the all-C-band AMC-18 spacecraft can deliver and receive signals from 50 states, the Caribbean and Mexico and has been designated as the third HD-PRIME™ satellite. AMC-18 was procured by SES Global Satellite Leasing; the spacecraft will be operated and marketed by SES AMERICOM.

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BSkyB Sees Interim Net Profits Slide
London (AFP) Jan 31, 2007
British satellite broadcaster BSkyB on Wednesday posted a drop in first-half profits owing partly to set-up costs for its new broadband Internet service. Net profit retreated 10.2 percent to 246 million pounds (371 million euros, 480 million dollars) in the six months to December 31, 2006 compared with 274 million in the same period the previous financial year.

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