Thaicom announced today the plan to launch Thaicom 8 satellite in the first half of 2016, to support the country's broadcasting industry and strengthen its competitiveness in the international market.
Established in 1991, Thaicom has launched six satellites into the orbit and three satellites are in operations. The investment for Thaicom 8 project will not exceed US$178.5 million or Bt5.7 billion, the company said in a statement.
Suphajee Suthumpun, executive chairman and CEO of the satellite company, noted that the Company has been preparing the ground work for the Thaicom 8 satellite, including the investment plan, technical design, project feasibility, pre-marketing, as well as, the ITU process to secure the additional frequency rights for Thailand at the 78.5 degrees East orbital slot.
The company has won the license from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) for the new satellite.
"We can proceed and we expect to launch Thaicom 8 within the first half of 2016. Thaicom 8 will support the growth of Thailand’s broadcasting industry and provide adequate capacity to serve the HDTV trend. The satellite will also allow us to meet the Ultra-HD demands for Thailand and the international market expected in the future," she said.
Thaicom 8 will expand Thaicom’s existing fleet of Thaicom 5 and 6 positioned at the 78.5 degrees East orbital slot, while Thaicom 7, to be launched in mid-2014, will be positioned at 120 degrees East. The Company’s Thaicom 4 (IPSTAR) broadband satellite is located at the 119.5 degrees East orbital slot and provides broadband and backhaul services to 13 countries throughout the Asia Pacific region.
The new satellite will have a total of 24 Ku-Band transponders, covering Thailand, South Asia and Africa. It will serve customers’ needs for increased Ku-band capacity and also strengthen the Hot Bird platform at 78.5 Degrees East. Orbital Sciences Corporation will be the manufacturer of the satellite and Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SPACE X) will be the launcher of the satellite.