SAT-MidEast 98.04.24

A news release from Cairo, Egypt, located at 31.15 East - 30.3 North,
sponsored by TELE-SATELLITE INTERNATIONAL, Europes Satellite Magazine
- Events and News interesting to the Middle Eastern SAT-viewer
- Satellite and Transponder Observations in C- and Ku-Band,
- Everything commented from the Middle Eastern perspective
- SAT-MidEast maintains a web site with relevant Middle Eastern
- satellite information, and a regular updated, satellite based,
- archive of observations, features & news for the Middle East. 

	SAT-MidEast: http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
Send relevant infos, interesting news, and creative comments to :


Back issues are available at the TELE-Satellite server:
		(look for ASK-ME INTERN)

NILESAT INFORMATION, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
The launch window for Arianespace flight V108 with the first egyptian
broadcasting satellite Nilesat 101, accompanied by the Japanese BSAT-1B
on 28 April is 01:53-02:41 CAT (or 19:53-20:41 local time at Kourou

The launch will be broadcasted on Telecom 2A, 8 West, Telecom 2B, 5
West, Hot Bird 3, transponder 84, 12.380 GHz, MPEG-2/clear.

Here for interested readers some detailed flight data, courtesy of

Launch vehicle: AR 44P 

Flight target:
	Perigee altitude:	200 km
	Apogee altitude:	35 986 km
	Inclination:	7 degrees

Mass at TO (take-off):	354.221 kg
Mass of both payloads:	3535 kg

* NILESAT 101 for Nilesat Co.(Egypt)
	Mass at TO:	1840kg
	Purpose:	Direct to Home Television
	Manufacterer:	Matra Marconi Space (France)
	Target location:	7 degrees West
	Expected life span:	16.5 years (includes time in inclined orbit)
	Active transponder:	12 Ku-band
	Spare transponder:	6 Ku-band

Nilesat 101 separation from the Ariane launch vehicle at T0+1273 seconds
(or 21 minutes 13 seconds)
First acquisition by a tracking station in Perth, Australia, at T0 + 13

The satellite is spin stabilised during GTO (Geostationary Transfer
The satellite is three axis stabilised when in GEO (Geostationary Orbit)

First apogee boost is scheduled to take place 30th of April
The deployment of the Solar Arrays is scheduled for 5th of May.

The satellite will be officially operated as of June 1st "Insh'Allah"

* BSAT-1b for B-SAT (Japan) weights 1230 Kg, and is build for DTH TV by
Hughes Space & Communications. 
The satellite has an expected lifespan of more than 10 years and
features 8 Ku-band transponder (+ 4 as backup) and will be positioned at
110 degrees East.
The BSat-1b separation from the Ariane launch vehicle is scheduled at T0
+1539 secs (or 25 minutes and 39 seconds), first acquisition by Castle
Rock/Sydney, Australia is at T0 + 13 minutes.
The first apogee boost is scheduled to take place at T0 + 76 hours, and
the satellite will be spin stabilised in the GEO.
(SME, source Arianespace)

LAUNCH INFORMATION, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
A replacement for ill-fated Coupon 1 satellite is scheduled to be
launched in the second quarter of 1999, preliminary called Coupon M.

Insat 2E and GE 5 are now scheduled to be launched together on Ariane 4
flight V114 on 14 October.

Launch vehicle exchange:
30/06/98:	Eutelsat W1 with Ariane V 110	(was: 22/08/98 with Atlas)
05/10/98:	Hot Bird 5 with Atlas AC 149	(was: 11/09/98 with Ariane)
(SATCO-DX, source: Eutelsat)

Five Iridium satellites will be placed April 26 into orbit on board a
Delta II rocket. These satellites will complete the 66-satellite Iridium
System -- the world's first global, digital, wireless communications
network designed to serve handheld telephones and pagers anywhere on the
surface of the earth.

It is the fourteenth Iridium System launch in 11 months, and the last of
nine scheduled Delta launches to take place at Vandenberg Air Force
Base, launch complex 2, in California.

Iridium LLC is developing and commercializing a global wireless
communications network that will combine the worldwide reach of 66
low-earth-orbit satellites with land-based wireless systems, to enable
subscribers to communicate using handheld telephones and pagers
virtually anywhere in the world. Service introduction is planned for
September 1998.

On the other hand has Motorola Satellite Communications announced
yesterday that a third Iridium satellite has been lost in orbit.

Iridium "SV 20" experienced a "hardware failure" and has been lost,
bringing the total number to operational satellites to 62 of the 66
satellites that will comprise the operating Iridium constellation.
A total of three satellites have been lost in orbit since the first
launch in May 1997, without measurable financial or schedule impacts.
(SME, source Iridium/Motorola)

EUROPESAT-1, 29 East, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
Eutelsat has finally ordered a new satellite for the Europesat-1
position at 29 East from Matra Marconi with 36 active Ku-band
transponder, a fixed widebeam and two steerable antenna's. The satellite
is scheduled to be operational by the middle of the year 2000, and will,
in principal, be operated in technical agreement with the SES, whereby
the available frequency spectrum is to be shared between the Europesat-1
and Astra 2A & Astra 2B, by that time both to be on 28.2 East.
(SME, source Eutelsat)

SME Comment: Is it actually nescessary to get so exited about the whole
so-called Eutelsat/SES "slot-war"? For these three satellites (with the
present scheduled pay-load) are there enough frequencies in the Ku-Band
available, to avoid any kind of interference.
Let's look at the bright side of things:

If the SES puts up several digital transmissions from there and Eutelsat
whould plan in similar directions, maybe as a technical "in-orbit"
backup, what could be better for consumer. My simple calculation says
there could be around 600-700 channels in MPEG-2 be beamed downwards;
anybody any problem with that ?

...and what was that rumour saying Eutelsat plans to temporary locate
the Eutelsat II-f2, after it's scheduled replacement in July, on 29 East
until Europesat-1 is operational ? Better look out folks, Astra 2A isn't
up and running yet !

NBC-EUROPE, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f1.shtml
US television network NBC has now confirmed reports that it will scrap
almost all of its NBC Europe and NBC Asia programming.

"Effective on July 1, 1998, NBC Europe will convert its programming to
the National Geographic Channel, a 24-hour per day, seven days a week
programming service." This distribution to cable networks will include
the UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands,
Belgium, Hungary, and Israel. The new "National Geographic Channel
Europe" will air CNBC and NBC News material from 07:00-13:00 CAT.

In the U.K., Australia and Scandinavia, the National Geographic Channel
is half owned by News Corporation's BSkyB, with the remaining 50 percent
owned by the NBC/National Geographic joint venture. The new European
expanded service will have the same ownership.

National Geographic Channel Worldwide, a business enterprise formed by
NBC and NGT, launched September 1, 1997, in the U.K., Australia, and the
Republic of Ireland, and later in the month in Scandinavia and Finland.
NGCW represents National Geographic's first branded television channels.

Copyright 1998, Peter C Klanowski

SME Comment: ...and when do we start paying for the service ?

ASIASAT 2, 100.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/asia2.shtml
Viva Cinema was added to the STAR TV package on 3.900 GHz, V,
MPEG-2/Digistar. Star Chinese Channel has replaced in the same package
Star Movies.

THAICOM 3, 78.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/thai78.shtml
The Thai package on transponder 4HG, 3.600 GHz, H, MPEG-2/clear, SR
26662, FEC 3/4, has a slightly changed line-up:

	0200{512}/0280{640}	TV5 Thai Global Network
	0201{513}/0284{644}	Army TV Channel 5, no audio
	0202{514}/0288{648}	color bars
	0203{515}/028C{652}	Army TV Channel 5, no audio
	0204{516}/0290{656}	Army TV Channel 5, no audio
	0205{517}/0294{660}	Army TV Channel 5, no audio
	0206{518}/0298{664}	Army TV Channel 5, no audio
	0207{519}/029C{668}	Army TV Channel 5, no audio

APSTAR 2R, 76.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/apstar2r.shtml
The TVB 8 promotion on 3.680 GHz, H, has ceased in PAL and is now on
3.689 GHz, H, MPEG-2/PowerVu, SR 13240, FEC 3/4.

The Plus 21 promotional videos on transponder 4A, 3.787 GHz, H,
MPEG-2/clear, SR 6110, FEC 3/4, PIDs 0870{2160}/0848{2120}, are only
transmitted for a few hours daily. During off-air time a simple
"Not-Named" testcard is displayed.
The channel announces an official start date of June 1st.

ZJTV - ZheJiang TV has been seen testing again on 3.760 GHz, H,
PAL/clear, 6.60 MHz, however I can't confirm the sighting yet.
From the same transponder 4A comes the MPEG-2/clear testcard, mentioned

The encrypted UTV Cable TV package on transponder 5H, 3.880 GHz, H,
changed the SR to 28115, FEC 3/4.

INTELSAT 704, 66 East, http://www.satcodx.com/i704.shtml
MTA International - Muslim TV Ahmadiyya has started on 4.055 GHz, R,
MPEG-2/clear, PIDs 320/330.

SME Comment: This transponder is supposed to be receivable in the Middle
East, but I can unfortunately not confirm reception yet; it is possible
that they use a not full saturated signal on the West-Hemispheric beam,
which would explain it.

ARABSAT 2B, 30.5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/arab2b.shtml
People's Revolution TV channel of Libya has started on the high power
beam transponder 21, 4.167 GHz, R, PAL/clear, with audio on 6.60 MHz.

This channel is the same as on Intelsat 707, at 1 West, where they will
leave soon in favour of Arabsat 2B.

SME Comment: Lybia has also leased a channel on the t.b.l. Nilesat 101.

EUTELSAT II-f1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f1.shtml
German music channel Onyx and it's night companian SCT have left 11.638
GHz, H, despite earlier announcements of Eutelsat-D.

HOT BIRD 1, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb1.shtml
On transponder 14, behind polish channel RTL 7, 11.492 GHz, V, has a new
data service started on April 16th, using a subcarrier at 7.74 MHz.

German provider "SKYCOM Datenfunk S.A." offers a daily actual news
service named "DISCOS" for a connection fee of DM 349.- and monthly
subscription fees of DM 19.80.
Contacts can be made through: http://www.discos.lu
(SME, source Eutelsat)

RAI tre is testing on RAI transponder 16, 11.548 GHz, V, MPEG-2/clear,
SR 4398, FEC 7/8, PIDs 0201{513}/028B{651}, preparing for its due

SME Comment: I receive the signal in Cairo only interrupted with audio
of RAIsat 2, Ragazzi.

Radio Wawa on 11.516 GHz, H has left 7.38:7.56 MHz, now only on 7.74 MHz
in ADR.

HOT BIRD 2, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb2.shtml
ANN on transponder 52, 11.766 GHz, V, ceased last Sunday, and can now
only be received from Hot Bird 4 transponder 122, 10.949 GHz, V.
The frequency has not been re-occupied until now.

Due to the "Sham El Nessim" or Coptic Easter holidays was ART channel
Ala Keifaq operated on Monday, April 20th. The ART feed coming from
Cairo was transmitted via:

Intelsat 701, 1 West, transponder 87, 4.135 GHz, L, SR 26950, FEC 3/4,
PIDs 0033{35}/0034{36},

to Fucino E/S and then to ART Ala Keifaq channels on:

Hot Bird 2, 13 East, transponder 65, 12.015 GHz, H, SR 27500, FEC 3/4,
PIDs 00A9{169}/0074{116}, and

Arabsat 2A, 26 East, transponder 5, 12.604 GHz, H, SR 27500, FEC 3/4,
PIDs 0206{518}/02C6{710}

HOT BIRD 3, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb3.shtml
FT Globecast transponder 84, 10.840 GHz, V, MPEG-2/clear, SR 27500, FEC
3/4, PIDs 3023/3033 showed a long feed for TCC (Television Creation

The PAL transmissions of SCT - Satisfaction Channel TV have left 12.265
GHz, V.

Swiss TSI 2 has started encrypted in the SBC package on 12.399 GHz, H,
MPEG-2/Viaccess, PIDs 00A6{166}/0065{101}.

Transponder 81, 12.322 GHz, H, was activated today, intitially with a
colorbar testcard and channel naming "TPSA-OPTOCOMP" in MPEG-2/clear, SR
16000, FEC 3/4, PIDs 308/256, on the widebeam. Later a transmission of a
NASA-Space Shuttle flight of the Endavour could be seen. I do not expect
this channel to be active for very long, it has feed character.

HOT BIRD 4, 13 East, http://www.satcodx.com/hb4.shtml
RAI Uno 0204{516}/02A4{654} and RAI Due 0206{518}/02A8{658} have started
on transponder 110, 10.719 V, MPEG-2/clear, ST 27500, FEC 3/4, as part
of Eutelsats Skyplex tests. The transmission shows now also the uplink
stations, with additional explanatory text, in French, in the EPG.

There are at various times more feeds in this package, a frequent
standard search can be recommended to see the various links, as naming
and PIDs often change. Quality of the transmissions has much improved,
most probably to the use of a higher bit-rate.

Transponder 116, 10.873 GHz, V, MPEG-2/Viaccess, SR 27500, FEC 3/4, is
activated on the super beam with Algerian TV, PIDs 0398{920}/03A2{930}
and ten music radio channels of provider MCE. The subscription to these
channels will be FFR 15 from June 1st.

Four Hungarian radio channels have started on Duna TV's transponder 115,
10.815 GHz, H, PAL/clear, with following line-up:
7.38 MHz	Kossuth Radio
7.56 MHz	Radio Budapest (foreign service)
7.74 MHz	Petofi Radio
7.92 MHz	Magyar Radio, Korzeti Adasok (Hungarian Radio, Regional)

EUTELSAT II-f4-M, 7 East, http://www.satcodx.com/e2f4.shtml
EBU was recently testing in MPEG-2/clear on 11.055 GHz, H, SR 5632, FEC
3/4, PIDs 0200{512}/1074{4112}. The reception was in Cairo with a 240 cm
dish only with interruptions possible.

SME Comment: My personal testing, on standard reception equipment, with
several MPEG-2/DVB compliant signals show clear that digital
transmissions with a low bit-rate (mostly SCPC) can not satisfactory be
received in the Levant from the present Eutelsats on 7, 10, and 16 East.
The same is true for the reception of the Turksats 1C and 1B, on resp.
42 and 31 East, not coincidentaly from the same manufacterer and
production series.

Good to know that for all involved satellites (exept Turksat 1B) already
replacement has been ordered and in some cases will be launched quite

SIRIUS 2, 5 East, http://www.satcodx.com/sirius.shtml
SIS Racing Services on 12.334 GHz, H, MPEG-2 are now full time encrypted
in PowerVu.

INTELSAT 707, 1 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i707.shtml
There are still regular tests on transponder 111XU, at 11.015 V, for the
Israeli Broadcasting Authority, there is at times a fourth MPEG-2
channel (nameless) and EHA 1 was recently renamed to SUPER-SAL, almost
sure a temporary change.

AMOS 1, 4 West, http://www.satcodx.com/amos1.shtml
Due to UK Prime Minister Tony Blairs visit to the Gaza region, R.R
Satellite Communications uplinked feeds for 3 different news agencies:
WTN, Reuters, and APTV, between 17:40-18:40 CAT, using transponder 2L,
11.052 GHz, transponder 6L,11.641 GHz, and transponder 6U, 11.677 GHz.
(SME, source: Anonymous)

NILESAT 101, 7 West, http://www.satcodx.com/launches.shtml
Launch window for Nilesat 101/BSAT 1B combination of Ariane flight V108
on 28 April is 01:53-02:41 CAT (see extended article above).

Libya has leased one channel of the new Egyptian NILESAT 101.
The contract was signed in Cairo yesterday by the Board Chairman of the
NILESAT company Amin Basyouni and representative of Libyan Cultural and
Information Committee Amer Own. 

Negotiations are still ongoing with the Lebanon for the lease of a
transponder. A week now prior to launch are 9 out of 12 transponder of
the Nilesat 101 confirmed to be leased.

SME Commment: The recent and expected foreign leases of transponder make
me wonder if these broadcasts all will be MPEG-2 transmissions, as once
was anticipated for the Nilesat system. I suspect we should expect here
some analogue transmissions too.

INTELSAT 801, 31.5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i801.shtml
Intelsat 801 has completed its move from 64 East to 31.5 West these
days. Tests are expected to start soon.
In the Middle East are only receivable the Global beam, the (North) East
Zone beam and the Eastern Hemispheric beam.
(Christian Lyngemark)

SME Comment: Actually there is no North or South Zone beam, only a
single Eastern beam, while the original South-East Zone beam has been
re-directed to Central America. Due to this configuration some very
exiting (and some very weird) beam connections are possible.

COLUMBIA 515, 37.5 West, http://www.satcodx.com/i515.shtml
The former Intelsat 515 is showing some test carriers and a few
unidentified transmission signals.

Signals can be observed on following frequencies:
	3.892 GHz, R,	East Zone beam
	3.930 GHz, R,	East Zone beam
	4.180 GHz, L,	Global beam
	10.993 GHz, V,	East Spot beam

SAT-MIDEAST INTERN, http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
Daylight saving time has been introduced to Egypt today, CAT (Central
African Time) is now 1 hour ahead of CET, 2 hours ahead of UTC again.
Please note this for actual programm listings and the times given in the
SAT-MidEast reports and ASK-ME issues (more to that later...)

The SAT-MidEast weekly news bulletins are still every week available on
the SAT-MidEast website at sat-net.com. However fully HTML formatted;
much more pleasing to the human eye. Just take a look and communicate
your opinion too your partners and friends !

ASK-ME INTERN, http://www.drdish.com/listserver/ask-me/
A new free-of-charge mailing list for the Middle Eastern & Levante
countries has been established today:

		ASK-ME	(short for: ASK MidEast)
This exiting new list has only one purpose: It is to focus on the
unsolved questions of thousands of satellite fans, mostly beginner, who
still do not know how to get THAT foreign channel or how to hook up
their new NOKIA Mediamaster or the Showtime Galaxis receiver.
It is specifically not ment for Media professionals or Network Manager:
(but on the other hand, who really knows: It's the peoples voice !).

There are hardly limits set to the questions, a few I will mention now:

	*) No illegal contents or issues which offend Middle Eastern moral.
	*) No advertisement for any Product, TV Station, or Enterprise.
Questions & Answers will be grouped together and answered in such a way
that no connection can be made to any particular person or organization.
Still, anybody targetted with an answer will clear understand the mailed
response to his/her request.	

The reason why all this hustle is quite simple:
First: it takes to much time to respond to all incoming questions on a
one-by-one basis, example: presently I spend more then 12 hours daily
(un-paid) in front of my PC (actually not even a PC, it's an old Mac).
Second: There are plenty of anwers, which everybody could have a use
for, maybe questions you'ld never ask, because you feel they are dumn.

Just remember the old saying that there are NO stupid questions, only
boring responses. Feel free to ask anything, as long as it is related to
broadcast satellites receivable in the Middle East. I can't give
guarantees, but I will try to respond as honest and intelligent as
possible, using my technical knowledge, some logic and common sense.

You can be one of the FIRST subscribers by sending a mail to: 

<majordomo@drdish.com> and put as text: subscribe ask-me <your@address>

You will have to confirm your subscription in the usual way by sending
back a submitted entry code, but that's done only once a in a lifetime
for a timeless free-of-charge service...

The name ASK-ME is a tiny word game in itself (really ? <gg>):

ASK-ME ... clear, ask me a question, I'll send you the answer (Q&A)
ASK-ME ... ask Mid-East (ASK-ME is the Q&A medium of SAT-MidEast)

Mailings will be send out irregular, more than twice a week, depending
on the number of Q&A, and the urgency of the contents. The ASK-ME
mailing will not be used for news issues, but news could be included as
part of an answer. 

After a brief transitional period, ALL questions will be directed to the
ASK-ME mailing list, individual questions will not be answered anymore.
All persons or organizations expecting an answer on a request to
SAT-MidEast will, for the time being, automatically be subscribed to the
free-of-charge service.

You can get hold of back issues (none at the time) of ASK-ME at:

or look at some other very interesting hard- and software issues at:

Take a minute and subscribe now, before going back to the daily

Best regards,

Henk C. Room / Sat-MidEast / Cairo - Egypt
- SAT-MidEast maintains a web site with relevant Middle Eastern
- satellite information, and a regular updated, satellite based,
- archive of observations, features & news for the Middle East. 

	SAT-MidEast: http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
- SAT-MidEast offers a mailinglist with relevant Middle Eastern
- satellite information, weekly free-of-charge to your mailbox.

- Send an e-mail to: majordomo@tags1.dn.net
- put on a single line: [un]subscribe sat-mideast your@address
SAT-MidEast is enabled by:
- TELE-Satellite International: http://www.TELE-satellite.com/

- Various Mailing Lists: http://www.sat-net.com/
- Channel & Satellite Info: http://www.satcodx.com/
- Technical Questions & Answers: http://www.drdish.com/

[Other mailing lists]