Following the launch of Qatar’s first satellite into space last fall, local firm Es’HailSat is now requesting proposals for the design and manufacture of a second telecom device, Es’hail 2.
The satellite, which is expected to launch at the end of 2016, is slated to boost capacity and increase television viewing options for residents across the Middle East and North Africa, Es’HailSat said.
In a statement, the firm continued:
“Es’hail 2 will have Ku-band and Ka-band capabilities and will provide TV distribution and government services to strategic stakeholders and commercial customers who value broadcasting and communications independence, interference resilience, quality of service and wide geographical coverage.”
Es’hailSat officials have highlighted their first satellite’s anti-jamming technology on multiple occasions, a feature that some have suggested would allow Qatar to maneuver around the Egyptian government’s reported blocking of Al Jazeera there – and regain access to its 80 million potential viewers.
Qatar’s current satellite broadcasts Al Jazeera and beIN Sports, though Es’HailSat’s CEO has hinted more deals with other local broadcasters are in the works.
Once it is launched into space, Es’hail 2 – which is expected to cost between $250 to $500 million – will be positioned at 26 degrees East. Unlike its predecessor, this satellite would be operated in Qatar.
Last month, officials explained that Es’hail 1 is limited because it shares frequencies with partner Eutelsat, which operates the satellite.
Tenders for the new satellite are due at the end of next month.
Both orbitals are expected to help Qatar meet the broadband and TV broadcast needs required to host the 2022 World Cup.