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Qatar launched its first TV satellite Sohail 1Tuesday 3 September 2013 15:45 CEST
Qatar has launched Sohail 1, its first television and communications satellite, carried into orbit by the European rocket Ariane 5 from a base in French Guiana, the companies promoting the project said.
The launh from a base in the coastal city of Koro put Sohail 1 into orbit close to the Arab satellite Arab Sat, according to the Qatari satellite company Es'hailSat. Sohail 1 will broadcast more than 30 high-definition and 70 standard channels, and will go into service next December, after a three-month experimental phase.
Es'hailSat has carried out this project in collaboration with its European partner Eutelstat.
Eutelstat CEO Michel de Rosen said the launch was a success and that the company will offer clients a quality service and strengthen its commitment to markets of the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.
CEO of the Es'hailSat company Ali bin Ahmed al Kauari said that the satellite "will reinforce the services of communications, Internet and television transmission, since it will reach very remote areas."
The satellite, which weighs more than 6 tons, will remain in service for 15 years. Within three years, Qatar plans to launch Sohail 2. The new satellite will help Qatar to broadcast the games during the football World Cup it will host in 2020.