Egyptian Satellite Communications Systems
The Egyptian Satellite Company, Nilesat, is a joint-stock company operating under the Free Zone Law in 6th of October City, and the name of a series of Egyptian communications satellites. It was established in 1996 to operate Egyptian satellites, associated ground control stations and uplinking facilities. It has launched 2 satellites to the 7° West orbital neighborhood (Nilesat 101 and Nilesat 102), and launched its second generation satellite, NILESAT 201 in August 2010.
In November 2013, Nilesat broadcasts around 700 TV channels, and over 100 digital radio channels uplinked either from Cairo, Dubai, Amman, Doha, Riyadh and Beirut and covering North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf Region. Nearly 76% of the TV channels are free to air, the remaining channels are encrypted.
Nilesat viewership in the MENA region has shown steady growth, from 11 million households in 2003 to more than 43 million households in 2013. Nilesat is enjoying the highest viewership in the MENA region according to the most recent estimations in 2013, about 95 % of the house hold in the MENA region.
The Egyptian Satellite Company's first satellite of the first generation, Nilesat-101, operated in a geostationary orbit with a payload of 12 operating transponders optimized for Digital Multimedia DTH applications. It was positioned at 7 degrees W and transmitted at 105 W. Its expected life time was 15 years.
Nilesat 102, manufactured by the European company Matra Marconi Space (Astrium), is an Egyptian geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 44LP rocket from Kourou at 23:16 UT. The 1,827 kg (with fuel) spacecraft carries 12 Ku-band 100 W transponders to provide digital communications for countries in North Africa and Middle East, after parking over 7 deg-E.
Nilesat 104 is the commercial name for the leased capacity at the 7° West neighborhood, securing more capacities for commercial expansion at said orbital position.
In June 2008 Thales Alenia Space signed a contract with Nilesat, the Egyptian satellite company, to provide the Nilesat-201 broadcasting communication satellite and associated services and ground stations. As prime contractor, the company will be in charge of the design, manufacturing, test and in-orbit acceptance of the satellite. In addition, Thales Alenia Space will provide a satellite and mission control system for the Nilesat stations in both Cairo and Alexandria.
Nilesat, an African communications satellite, was launched on 04 August 2010 from Kourou at 20:59 UT. It is manufactured by Thales Alenia Space Company, built on a Spacebus 4000B2 platform. , Nilesat 201 offers a design life of 15 years, and it will generate 5.9 kW of payload power at end-of-life. The satellite was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket and weighed 3,200 kg. It carries 24 Ku-band and four Ka-band transponders. Its coverage includes MENA region, including the GULF region, and full coverage of Sudan and East of Africa. Nilesat 201 will replace Nilesat 101 which was expected to terminate its mission in 2013. Nilesat entered service at 7° W longitude and will join two other Nilesat spacecraft and a European-owned satellite to provide direct-to-home television, radio, and broadband internet services to Africa and the Middle East.
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