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SingTel blasts off second satellite

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SingTel has launched its second satellite, ST-2, to meet increasing customer demand for fixed and mobile services across the Middle East, Central Asia, Indian sub-continent and South East Asia.

The regional carrier says marine, finance, oil, gas, media, broadcast and logistics users will create a S$620 million market for the satellite. The ST-2, built by Melco, has nearly twice the capacity of SingTel's old ST-1, launched in 1998.

The new satellite will operate as a JV between SingTel and Chunghwa Telecom. It has 20 percent more transponder capacity and a wider coverage footprint than ST-1 which it will replace. SingTel owns 62 percent share in the venture with Chunghwa Telecom holding 38 percent.

SingTel said the satellite will serve an Australian bank whose branch network covers 11 Pacific islands, and a national bank in Afghanistan with 20 branches.

SingTel has invested a S$327 million for the ST-2 and the ST-3 satellite, which it will launch in 2013.

Meanwhile SingTel’s Australian subsidiary Optus will be the custodian of Australia’s largest ever fleet of satellites when the Optus 10 is launched in 2013.

Optus awarded the constructions contract Space Systems/Loral and will expand Optus' services to broadcasters and government departments (including defence).

Optus recently won a contract to provide interim satellite services to NBN Co, the government-owned company building Australia's national broadband network (NBN), alongside IPStar. It will provide rural and remote services while NBN Co prepares the design and launch of its own satellite. ®

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