International Airwaves Roundup

Progress is being made in the UK on a timetable for the transition from analog to digital television service with some broadcasters, including the BBC, identifying 2012 as the ideal switchover, according to a statement from Culture Minister Tessa Jowell.

If 2012 ultimately is set as the switchover target, the transition could begin as early as 2007. UK communication regulator Ofcom will reference this proposed schedule in its draft digital licenses for channels 3, 4, 5 and Teletext to be published later in the summer.

Jowell also announced that Terryside and Llansteffan in South Wales will be the site of technical trials. Residents have expressed their desire to be part of the trial. A successful trial means the villages will become the first UK communities to be fully digital.

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Alcatel reaches agreement with China Satellite to design, produce Chinasat 9

Alcatel and China Satellite Communication, ChinaSat, has inked a deal on a new contract. Alcatel will design and produce a new-generation communications satellite for the company, Chinasat 9.

This direct broadcasting satellite will enable ChinaSat to be the first state-owned Chinese company to provide satellite broadcast services in China.

The Chinasat 9 satellite, based on the Spacebus 4000 C1 platform, will be fitted with 22 active Ku-band transponders for broadcast satellite services (BSS), including 18 36MHz and four 54MHz channels. Chinasat 9 will be positioned at either 92.2 degrees east or 134 degrees east and offer more than 15 years of service.

A Chinese Long March Rocket will launch the satellite. Alcatel Space will be in charge of the launch campaign, orbital positioning, in-orbit tests and delivery of a satellite simulator.

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Telcos, broadband Internet providers to battle for piece of Asia-Pacific pay-TV market

As Telcos and broadband Internet service providers gear up their infrastructures for pay TV service in the Asia-Pacific region, cable TV service will account for 70.5 percent of total subscription revenue compared to 27.3 percent by satellite direct-to-home (DTH) and 2.2 percent by other emerging services, according to a new report from the Yankee Group.

For 2003, the market size of the Asia-Pacific region pay-TV market was valued at $11.7 billion.

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