Astrium widens X-band satellite communications

PARIS, April 17 (UPI) --
French technology company Astrium is approaching near-global X-band satellite communications for government and military customers.



The coverage advance follows the recent entry into service of its Skynet 5D and the launch of its hosted payload on Telesat's Anik G1 satellite.



"We are the only operator in the world providing near-global coverage reserved exclusively for government and military usage," said Evert Dudok, chief executive officer of Astrium Services.



"Reaching from 180 degrees west to 135 degrees east with 75 X-band transponders, our constellation has a total of 2.2 GHz -- and we now offer more available capacity for our customers."



The Anik G1 satellite launched Tuesday will be positioned at 107.3 degrees west, providing the first commercial X-band coverage across North and South America and with "substantial coverage" of the Pacific Ocean -- from Hawaii and Easter Island.



Astrium Services has a 15-year contract with Telesat for the exclusive use of the X-band hosted payload.



Earlier this month Astrium's Skynet 5D satellite went into service following its launch in December. It operates over the Middle East at 53 degrees east.



The Skynet fleet comprises eight satellites, Astrium said.



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