Measat-3d satellite set to launch from French Guiana to enhance high-speed broadband access

by TMR / pic courtesy of Measat

MEASAT Global Bhd will launch its Measat-3d satellite on June 22, 2022, from French Guiana to enhance Internet connectivity in urban and suburban areas in Malaysia.

The satellite will be launched using the High Throughput Satellite capacity on Measat-3d and can be enjoyed by the public via CONNECTme NOW satellite broadband service — a high-speed WiFi hotspot service suited for public use in the underserved or unserved areas in Malaysia.

The Measat-3d satellite costs RM1.2 billion and is the most comprehensive and complex satellite in Measat’s fleet yet. 

The multi-mission satellite — which uses the Eurostar 3000 built by Airbus — is scheduled to be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

It will complement the co-located Measat-3a and Measat-3b satellites at the 91.5° East orbital hotslot, replacing old capacity and building resilience for Measat’s fleet of satellites. The new satellite will also restore unrivalled in-orbit redundancy and expansion capacity for Astro’s Direct-to-Home service together with broadcasting and telecommunications services in the region.

Measat’s CONNECTme NOW will connect 10,000 sites in the next three years to serve more than two million people in remote areas that currently have no or limited access to high-speed broadband Internet. 

To date, Measat has rolled out more than 3,000 CONNECTme NOW sites nationwide, with a majority in remote areas of Sabah and Sarawak. 

Other telecommunications providers can also tap on the new satellite to offer data, voice and video services to the last 3%-5% of the population not yet covered by fibre connectivity or wireless broadband.

“Measat is proud to support Malaysian government initiatives including the Jalinan Digital Negara (Jendela) plan to close the digital connectivity gap and enable a better-connected future for all Malaysians, by expanding high-speed Internet coverage in under-connected rural areas. With Measat-3d and through CONNECTme NOW, we look forward to providing Internet access for the unserved population. As the pandemic has fast-tracked the adoption of technology and the use of broadband for education, economic activity and social interaction, we have initiated a series of future satellite initiatives to improve broadband services and cellular backhaul in the next three to five years, to accelerate the formation of a digitally inclusive society,” said Measat COO Yau Chyong Lim.

Measat is also supportive of the government’s target to achieve 100% Internet access by 2025 indicated in the MyDigital blueprint, as well as Jendela targets for connecting and digitising the nation. 

“To support this growth, we need to significantly expand our satellite broadband capacity with a strategy that includes geostationary and non-geostationary satellites,” Yau added.