The Sirius 4 communications satellite is now in full operation and has taken over all transmissions from its predecessors, Sirius 2 and Sirius 3.
The satellite was launched by SES Sirius on 18 November 2007, since when all operations have gone according to plan.
"The demand for HD channels will increase sharply in the years ahead, and operators need to be prepared in terms of capacity," said Hakan Sjodin, managing director of SES Sirius.
Sjodin explained that an HD TV broadcast requires 16Mbps of bandwidth, compared with 4Mbps for a standard definition broadcast.
Sirius 4 is intended to meet the increased demand for HDTV broadcasts in the
Nordic countries, and the increase in new television channels within eastern
The satellite was built by Lockheed Martin in California and is controlled from the Swedish Space Corporation's satellite control station at Esrange in Kiruna, which ensures it maintains a geosynchronous orbit at 4.8 degrees east.
In this position the satellite covers virtually the whole of Europe, but the focus is on the Nordic region, Baltic States and central and eastern Europe. However, it also has the capacity to reach southern Africa.
Sirius 4 is expected to be in operation for at least 15 years, and will accommodate broadband communication as well as television broadcasts.
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