Astro unit to use Measat transponders for RM1.49bil

  • Business
  • Friday, 19 Apr 2019

PETALING JAYA: Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd’s unit has inked a US$360mil (RM1.49bil) agreement with Measat Global Bhd to use 12 transponders on the latter’s satellite over a 15-year period.

The pay-TV operator announced yesterday that its unit – Measat Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd (MBNS) – had signed the agreement with Measat Global to use the transponders’ capacity on the Measat-3d satellite.

Concurrently, MBNS had agreed on the early termination of the April 12, 2018 agreement to use the transponder capacity on the Measat-3b satellite.

Astro said MBNS was leasing 42 transponders on Measat satellites for its required transponder capacity to provide direct-to-home (DTH) and Internet access services to its subscribers.

However, the lease for 12 transponders on the M3 satellite and six transponders on the M3a satellites will expire on Feb 22, 2022 and 20 July 2024, respectively.

Astro said due to the additional transponder capacity to be leased on the M3d satellite, MBNS decided to terminate the M3b 2018 agreement, which involves the lease of six transponders on the M3b satellite for 12 years up to June 11, 2030 for a total fee of US$22.5mil.

It pointed out that after the expiry, MBNS will only have the use of the transponders on one operational satellite.

“The proposed utilisation will allow MBNS to utilise the transponder capacity on the M3d satellite, which is expected to be launched in 2022.

“This will satisfy MBNS’ business continuity plan requirements so that MBNS will have the use of transponders on at least two operating satellites.

“In addition, with the improvement in video compression technology, it is expected that the 12 transponders on the M3d satellite would be able to replace the 18 existing transponders on the M3 and M3a satellites. The proposed early termination will allow MBNS to terminate the lease of the six transponders on the M3b satellite which it no longer requires.”

Astro said the Measat-3d spacecraft shall consist of Ku-band payload which comprises of 12 Ku-band transponders.

The Ku-band transponders feature high equivalent isotropic radiated power levels over Malaysia.

The Malaysia payload of Measat-3d Ku-band, as a subject of the M3d Agreement, consists of 12 simultaneously operable Ku-band transponders, with each channel having a usable bandwidth of 36MHz and travelling wave tube amplifiers’ (TWTA) power of 150 Watts.

Each transponder has a usable bandwidth of 36MHz with 4MHz guard bands.

Depending on the transponders’ configurations and operational constraints, there will be at least three redundant TWTAs to back up the highly reliable primary units in a flexible ring redundant system. In addition, a redundant receiver is provided to ensure highest spacecraft reliability.

Furthermore, as the Measat-3d satellite will be co-located with the current MBNS satellites, the satellite dishes of MBNS’ subscribers would not need to be re-positioned, thereby minimising any disruption to MBNS’ DTH service.


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