Nilesat 201,Egypt’s telecommunications services and digital broadcasting satellite which is planned to serve the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has been successfully launched. The launch took place last week Wednesday from a base in French Guiana, Latin America, an Egyptian government report released yesterday said.
Egyptian officials say the satellite meets technical needs for the coming 15 years. Nilesat 201 replaces Nilesat 101, which was launched into orbit in 1998 by Egypt. Nilesat 201 is further planned to cover the entire Arab region, the Middle East, southern Europe, southern Sudan and the Nile sources, government officials have said.
The satellite is set to allow capacity for 500 channels in addition to the current 560 ones in operation now, said Egypt’s information minister Anas el-Fikki. The the new satellite needs around 10 days to be fixed on its final orbit.
Thales Alenia Space built Nilesat 201 and weighed around 3,000 kg at launch. The satellite is fitted with 24 Ku-band transponders and 3 Ka-band transponders to provide direct TV broadcast services throughout the Middle East.