Intelsat Becomes Largest HD Satellite Provider

Intelsat Ltd. has completed its merger with PanAmSat this week to become what it says is the world's largest provider of fixed satellite services (FSS) and the largest satellite provider of HD signals.

Based in Pembroke Parish, Bermuda, Intelsat began as an inter-governmental organization about 40 years ago serving 11 countries, and launched its first commercial satellite in 1965. It became a private company in 2001 and is now owned by a consortium of four firms.

The newly merged company, which will retain the name Intelsat, will now have a combined fleet of 51 satellites and an expanded infrastructure to include eight teleports and contact stations in nearly 40 cities.

Besides carrying more HD programming than any other FSS carrier, Intelsat said that soon it will carry about 25 percent of all TV channels transmitted over fixed satellites, support 27 DTH (consumer dish) platforms worldwide, and be the lead global provider of transponders for video programming and services to enterprise, Internet and mobile network operators.