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Astro inks  US$360m  deal for  transponder  use on satellite
Published on: Friday, April 19, 2019
By: Bernama

Kuala Lumpur: Measat Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd (MBNS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, has signed a deal with Measat Communication Systems Sdn Bhd (MCSSB) for the utilisation of the transponder capacity on the Measat-3d (M3d) satellite for a fee of US$360 million (RM1.49 billion).

Astro said the fee payable is subject to fixed and variable discounts of up to US$18 million.

“The commencement date will be Feb 1, 2022 or a date mutually agreed between MBNS and MCSSB,” it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

Astro said an improvement in video compression technology would allow the 12 transponders on the M3d satellite, expected to be launched in 2022, to replace the current 18 on the M3 and M3a satellites.

It said MBNS also signed an agreement with Measat International (South Asia) Ltd (Misal) for the early termination of the deal between MISAL and MBNS in 2018 for the utilisation of transponder capacity on the Measat-3b (M3b) satellite.

“The early termination will allow MBNS to terminate the lease of the six transponders on the M3b satellite which it no longer requires,” it said.

Both MCSSB and Misal are subsidiaries of Measat Global Bhd (MGB).

Astro said currently, MBNS was leasing 42 transponders on Measat satellites for its required transponder capacity to provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) and Internet access services to its subscribers.

“The lease for the 12 transponders on the M3 satellite and six on the M3a satellite will expire on Feb 22, 2022, and July 20, 2024, respectively.

“After the expiry, MBNS will only have the use of transponders on one operational satellite, the M3b. The new agreement will allow MBNS to utilise the transponder capacity on the M3d satellite,” it said.

Astro said the agreement would satisfy MBNS’ business continuity plan requirements, so that MBNS would have the use of transponders on at least two operating satellites.

“Furthermore, as the M3d satellite will be co-located with the current MBNS satellites, the satellite dishes of MBNS’ subscribers would not need to be re-positioned, thereby minimising any disruption to MBNS’ DTH services,” it added. – Bernama



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