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AsiaSat plays waiting game on next-gen high-throughput satellite

12 Sep 2019, 07:56 UTC
AsiaSat plays waiting game on next-gen high-throughput satellite
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PARIS — Two years ago, AsiaSat intended to order its first dedicated high-throughput satellite. Today, AsiaSat is happy it didn’t, according to chief executive Roger Tong.
“I’m glad that we didn’t jump into AsiaSat-10 two years ago, otherwise I would have a satellite that is not very economical,” Tong said Sept. 9 at the World Satellite Business Week conference here.
AsiaSat has some high-throughput Ka-band capacity on its latest two satellites, AsiaSat-8 and AsiaSat-9. The company’s earlier plans called for a modest-sized dedicated high-throughput satellite covering China in 2020.
High-throughput satellites are mainly used for broadband communications instead of traditional broadcast services.
Tong said satellite manufacturers have steadily reduced the cost of capacity for high-throughput satellites since AsiaSat was first evaluating the market.
“When we did AsiaSat-10, the business case, the average cost we were looking at was about $3.5 million per gigabit” of capacity, Tong said.
Today, that number is less than $2 million per gigabit, he said.
The rapid improvement in high-throughput satellites is part of the reason many operators have held off buying new spacecraft. The risk is that a new satellite, designed for a typical 15-year mission, could be ...

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