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Mexico's Satmex expands satellite fleet

July 17, 2013 at 5:39 PM   |   Comments

MEXICO CITY, July 17 (UPI) -- Boeing will help Mexican satellite network operator Satmex to modernize and expand its Latin American services with the commissioning of a new satellite.

Satelites Mexicanos S.A. de C.V., known as Satmex, is a major regional provider of fixed satellite services in the Americas that cover more than 90 percent of the population.

Satmex announced Wednesday it has entered into an agreement with Boeing Satellite Systems International for the design, construction and delivery of Satmex 9, the latest communications satellite in its fleet.

Satmex 9 will be launched in late 2015 from Cape Canaveral, Fl., and will use U.S. launch company SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.

Satmex 9 is a satellite with 48 Ku band 36 MHz equivalent transponders, capable of serving all of Satmex's Latin American customers in the video, telecommunications and government sectors.

The Ku band, part of the electromagnetic spectrum in the microwave range of frequencies, is originally derived from the German phrase Kurz-unten but increasingly referred to as K-under.

Ku band is primarily used for satellite communications, including fixed and broadcast services.

Latin America's growing economic prosperity has caused a massive growth in telecommunications, including increased consumer and corporate use of mobile telephony and television.

Satmex said the new satellite will provide additional capacity for expansion, providing Satmex with a strong foundation for its growth plans.

Boeing is helping Satmex with its 702SP product line, hailed by the Mexican company as "complementary fit for Satmex's expansion strategy, offering an innovative design with capabilities that provide flexible service offerings to meet the growing demands of Satmex's prestigious customer portfolio."

"We are very pleased to announce the newest satellite in our fleet," Satmex Chief Executive Officer Patricio Northland said. "Satmex 9 will be an important component of our future growth strategy." The new satellite will be co-located with a previously launched craft, Satmex 8.

The company says its customers will save costs using Satmex 9's modernized capacity to meet their transmission needs.

Satmex says its acquisition of the new satellite is part of a global cooperation agreement with Asia Broadcast Satellite, one of the fastest growing premium satellite operators focused in Asia but expanding in other regions. The deal involves the manufacture and delivery of four satellites and the option for four additional satellites.

The Satmex 7 and ABS-3A satellites are being built by Boeing. Both Satmex and ABS will have the ability to convert the optional satellites to firm orders as they may determine in the future.

ABS current fleet includes five operational satellites with a sixth satellite under construction and expected to be launched in late 2013.

Satmex has headquarters in Mexico City, SpaceX has headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, Asia Broadcast Satellite Limited has headquarters in Hong Kong. The The Boeing Co. has headquarters in St. Louis.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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