Norwegian telecoms group Telenor has announced the successful launch of its ‘THOR 7’ satellite from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana. THOR 7, which was manufactured by Space Systems Loral (SSL), is Telenor Satellite Broadcasting’s first growth satellite and also features its first high-throughput satellite (HTS) Ka-band payload, which is said to have been specifically designed for the mobility VSAT market to provide high-powered coverage over the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the Red Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Mediterranean. Following the launch, THOR 7 will now reportedly undergo extensive in-orbit testing, with Telenor having said it expects the satellite to be ready to deliver DTH services in six weeks. Additional testing meanwhile will take place on the HTS Ka-band services with a view to a full commercial service launch in the last quarter of 2015.
Commenting on the development, Morten Tengs, chief executive at Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, was cited as saying: ‘I am delighted to see that THOR 7 has safely reached geostationary transfer orbit and thank both Arianespace and our manufacturing partner SSL for this successful launch … the THOR 7 satellite will provide growth capacity for DTH services across Central and Eastern Europe and deliver optimal satellite coverage across Europe’s business shipping lanes for the provision of maritime VSAT services.’