Al Yah 3 satellite set to lower cost of Pay TV in Africa

As the international deadline for digital migration fast approaches, TV viewers have gotten a boost with an imminent launch of Yahsat satellite targeting both Africa and Brazil.

The revelation was made recently by Yahsat, the UAE-based satellite operator. The firm explained in a statement that they have completed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for the Al Yah 3 spacecraft and payload.

The satellite dubbed Al Yah 3, is based on Orbital's GEOStar-3™ platform and is an all Ka High Throughput Satellite to be designed, manufactured and tested at Orbital's satellite manufacturing facility in Dulles, VA. Once operational, Al Yah 3 will enable the delivery of affordable broadband, to over 600 million users, specifically covering more than 95% of the population in Brazil and 60% of the population in Africa.

The PDR was a comprehensive review that validated Orbital's design approach to the physical and functional requirements of the spacecraft. The review is the first step toward confirming that the satellite will operate effectively on orbit.

Marcus Vilaça, Acting Chief Technical Officer said, "The Preliminary Design Review is an industry standard process where our engineers review and confirm the overall architecture and design of our Al Yah 3 satellite. This is a significant step forward in the development phase of Al Yah 3 and ensures that we are on track to launch as scheduled for Q4 2016. While progress is underway with developing our third satellite, we are actively engaging with potential partners in Africa and Brazil enabling us to deploy much needed connectivity to underserved markets." 

"This important milestone is a key step towards the Al Yah 3 launch", said Mr. Christopher Richmond, Orbital's Senior Vice President. "Al Yah 3 will be the first hybrid electric propulsion GEOStar-3-based spacecraft to be launched by Orbital at the end of 2016. It provides the benefits of higher power and greater payload capability while still maintaining advantageous launch costs."

Yahsat is a wholly owned company of the Mubadala Development Company, and Orbital Sciences Corporation [NYSE: ORB]

According to experts, the launch of Al Yah 3 satellite will erase monopoly, give service providers alternative choice and ultimately lower the costs to the end user (viewer) of digital television. The race to switchover from analogue to digital migration is driven by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) directive which indicates that all countries are required to switch from an analogue to a digital television broadcasting signal by June 2015. The push for the switchover started in 2006 when countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe signed a treat committing them to make a transition from analogue to digital broadcasting in six years.


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