Tim Furniss/LONDON

GE AMERICOM IS TO be the first US Company to invade the European communications-satellite industry following a 1992 decision by the European Commission to deregulate the sector by opening it to international competition.

The US Company, through its subsidiary GE Capital Satellites International and Sweden's Nordiska Satellitaktiebolaget (NSAB) are to develop jointly the 32-transponder Sirius 2 communications satellite.

The companies will share 50% of the communications payload, to provide GE with pan-European coverage, and NSAB with services to Nordic countries, from a geostationary orbital slot at 5E. NSAB is a joint venture of Teracom Svensk Rundradio and the Swedish Space Corporation.

Although US television programming is available in Europe through satellite transponder leasing, this project is the first time that a US company has invested in a European communications satellite project itself.

Source: Flight International