Built for SES by Astrium, ASTRA 2F carries Ku- and Ka-band payloads for the delivery of high-performance Direct-to-Home (DTH) and next generation broadband services. The satellite, along with two others planned by SES, provides replacement and growth capacity for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Ka-band payload will allow SES Broadband Services to support download speeds of up to 20 Mbps.
“The ASTRA 2F launch epitomizes many of the trends we are seeing in the satcom market,” said Mike Williams, President of COM DEV International Products. “It includes replacement capacity, which is always an important driver of demand for commercial satellites, plus additional capacity in Ka-band to deliver new services. The coverage area will include emerging markets where much of the growth in demand for bandwidth is originating. The combination of these trends has led to a very robust commercial satellite market.”
ASTRA 2F was launched from French Guiana on September 28 on an Ariane 5 rocket, along with another telecommunications satellite. The combined payload was 9,401 kg, and both satellites were injected into orbit nearly 36,000 km above the Earth within 30 minutes. ASTRA 2F will be brought into commercial service in the next few weeks following the completion of the extensive in-orbit testing program, and has a design life of 15 years.