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Coordinates: 49°41?39?N 06°19?49?E / 49.69417°N 6.33028°E / 49.69417; 6.33028

TypeSociété Anonyme
CAC Mid 60 Component
HeadquartersChâteau de Betzdorf, Betzdorf, Luxembourg
Key people
Frank Esser (Chairman)[1]
Steve Collar (CEO)[2]
ProductsCommunications satellites and services
RevenueEUR1,876 million (2020)[3]
EUR82 million (2020)[3]
EUR86 million loss (2020)[3]
EUR12,387 million (end 2020)[3]
EUR5,438 million (including non-controlling interests, end 2020)[3]
Number of employees
2,096 (full-time equivalent, end 2020)[3]

SES S.A. is a Luxembourgish satellite and terrestrial telecommunications network provider supplying video and data connectivity worldwide to broadcasters, content and internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators, governments and institutions.[4][5]

SES is one of the world's leading satellite owners and operators with over 70 satellites in two different orbits, geostationary orbit (GEO) and medium Earth orbit (MEO).[6] These include the well-known European Astra TV satellites, the O3b data satellites and others with names including AMC, Ciel, NSS, Quetzsat, YahSat and SES.

Based in Betzdorf, Luxembourg and founded in 1985 as Société Européenne des Satellites, the company was renamed SES Global in 2001 and has been simply "SES" since 2006. The company's stock is listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and Euronext Paris with ticker symbol SESG and is a component of the LuxX, CAC Next 20 and Euronext 100 stock market indexes.

A book, High Above, telling the story of the founding of SES and the development of its first Astra satellites was published in 2010 to mark the company's 25th Anniversary, and was followed by Even Higher in 2012 and Beyond Frontiers in 2016.

Business and Services

SES provides services through two business units, SES Video and SES Networks, for video-centric and data-centric markets, respectively.[7]

SES Video

(59% of revenue)[3]
SES Video's business comprises video distribution and video services. Video distribution delivers video content via Direct-to-Home, Direct-to-Cable and Internet Protocol television (IPTV) platforms, and includes wholly owned subsidiary HD+, the direct-to-consumer high-definition digital satellite TV platform in Germany. Video services encompasses technical ground services, such as content management, playout, encryption, satellite uplinks and interactive services, to broadcasters worldwide.

SES has been a major player in the development of the direct-to-home market in Europe and the cable TV and Direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) markets in the United States. SES satellites transmit a variety of digital formats from radio to Ultra High Definition TV (UHDTV) and the company has been instrumental in defining technical standards for broadcast and interactive media.

By the end of 2020, SES satellites carried 8265 TV channels, including almost 3000 HD channels, to more than 1 billion people in 361 million homes globally, or regionally as follows:[8]

Region Homes reached
Europe 170 million
North America 65 million
Latin America 42 million
Africa 37 million
Asia Pacific 33 million
Middle East 13 million

SES Networks

(41% of revenue)[3]
SES Networks provides managed connectivity services to customers in markets including telecommunications, Cloud computing, commercial air and shipping, holiday cruises, energy, mining, and government and institutional areas, with end users of the technology including internet users in remote regions, air and at sea travellers, windfarms, mines, defence and humanitarian missions.

SES Networks includes the O3b MEO satellites (originally owned and operated by O3b Networks), GovSat (a public-private partnership with 50% SES participation) and SES subsidiary, SES Government Solutions.

Services include capacity-on-demand, and mobile backhaul solutions anywhere on the planet for telcos and Mobile Network Operators, reliable network connections for mining and energy companies in remote occasions, and critical connectivity that is rapidly deployable, even in challenging and remote situations, for 62 government defence, civil, and humanitarian operations in 28 countries.[5]

SES Networks delivers broadband connectivity for maritime vessels in any body of water or port in the world[5] and in-flight services to aircraft ranging from secure cockpit communications to passenger connectivity and entertainment, through providers such as Global Eagle Entertainment, Gogo, Thales and Panasonic Avionics.[9]

Using medium Earth orbit satellites, SES Networks is able to supply these services with a low-latency (less than 150 ms), scalable satellite-based communications and network services worldwide.[5]


SES has pioneered many industry technological developments, including DTH transmission, co-location of satellites, free-to-air broadcast neighbourhoods, digital broadcasting, HDTV[10] and 3DTV.[11][12] SES has also helped develop innovative reception technology such as the first home dish LNBFs, Universal LNBs, optical fibre signal distribution and the Sat-IP system for receiving and distributing satellite signals over home computer networks.

SES is currently pioneering the broadcast of next generation Ultra High Definition TV (UHDTV) and helping to establish the international technical standards for UHDTV broadcast and reception. SES first produced demonstration UHDTV broadcasts in 2012 and transmitted the first HEVC-standard UHDTV in 2013.[13] A continuous SES UHDTV demonstration channel is broadcast to Europe from SES' Astra 19.2° East satellite position[14] and Europe's first free-to-air Ultra HD channel launched in September 2015, broadcast via Astra 19.2° East.[15] As of April 2016, SES broadcasts 23 Ultra HD channels, of which 15 are commercial operations.[16]

SES-8 was the first geostationary satellite to be launched (in 2013) by SpaceX, which has revolutionised the costs of satellite launches.[17][18] The SES-10 satellite, was launched in March 2017 (delayed from October 2016 due to a pad explosion and subsequent loss of a Falcon 9 booster in September 2016[19]) on the first SpaceX launch with a 'flight-proven' (reused) Falcon first stage, recovered from a previous launch.[20] The SES-12, SES-14 and SES-15 satellites (launched in June 2018, January 2018 and May 2017, respectively) are constructed with an electric plasma propulsion system for orbit raising and in-orbit manoeuvres[21] to save weight and enable a larger communications payload to be included. SES reckons that SES-12 would weigh some 4700 kg more with a conventional chemical propulsion system.[18]

SES is the first commercial customer for Space Infrastructure Servicing (SIS) future satellite life extension mission, following an agreement in June 2017 with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA). The SIS craft is being built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL), a manufacturing subsidiary of MDA, for the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)'s Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) programme, and will refuel an SES satellite running low on propellant while still in orbit to lengthen its service life.[22]

Corporate structure

Group structure of SES (Numbers in brackets indicate percentage of participation)[23]
Satellite operators
Ciel (70%) Quetzsat (100%) YahLive (35%) GovSat (50%)
Satellite service companies
SES Government Solutions (100%) HD+ (100%) Redu Space Services (51%)

Corporate management

SES is managed by the Senior Leadership Team which comprises:[24]

  • Steve Collar - CEO
  • Christophe De Hauwer - Chief Strategy and Development Officer
  • John-Paul Hemingway - Chief Executive Officer, SES Networks
  • Sandeep Jalan - Chief Financial Officer
  • Thai Rubin - Chief Legal Officer
  • Evie Roos - Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Ruy Pinto - Chief Technology Officer
  • John Baughn - Chief Services Officer

In 2002, the then CEO, Romain Bausch was awarded 'Satellite Executive of the Year'.[25] Current CEO, Steve Collar was awarded 'Satellite Executive of the Year' for 2019.[26]


Early years

SES was formed on the initiative and support of the Luxembourg Government in 1985 as Société Européenne des Satellites (SES). The Luxembourg State remains a major shareholder. In 1988, as Europe's first private satellite operator, SES launched its first satellite, Astra 1A, to the 19.2° East orbital position. Rupert Murdoch's Sky TV, along with German broadcasters Pro7, Sat.1, and RTL were among Astra's first major customers.[10]

By 1990, Astra was broadcasting to 14 million cable and DTH (Direct to Home) viewers. SES was the pioneer of 'co-location' by which several satellites share the same orbital position to provide mutual backup and increase the number of channels available to a fixed receiving dish, creating what became known as a 'satellite neighbourhood'. Astra's prime slot, 19.2° East, saw as many as eight satellites sharing the position simultaneously and helped to build up Astra's reputation for reliability.[10]

Rapid growth in Germany, in what would become Astra's largest European market, was helped by the German government's decision to liberalize the installation of dishes in 1991. In this time SES became the leading satellite system providing direct-to-home transmission, and became the world's largest satellite platform for TV distribution.[]

In 1996, after the launch of Astra 1E, SES pioneered digital satellite transmission with the French Canal+. In 1998, SES launched Astra 2A for the UK market, transmitting at the new orbital position 28.2° East, and eventually moving all of its United Kingdom and Ireland transmission capacity to this orbital slot.[] In the same year, SES went public on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange trading as SESG (in 2005 SES would also list on the Paris Euronext).[]

Global expansion

From 1999, SES began a period of ambitious global expansion beyond its European home market. Geographic expansion went hand-in-hand with the diversification of SES' services beyond just TV broadcasting, to cover telecommunication services for businesses, telecommunications companies and government customers, as well as broadband access and technical consultancy services.

In 1999, SES acquired a 34.13% stake in Hong Kong-based satellite operator AsiaSat and took a foothold in Asia and the Pacific region.[10] A year later, SES acquired 50% of Scandinavian satellite broadcaster Nordic Satellite AB (NSAB),[27] later renamed SES Sirius, which strengthened SES' coverage in northern and eastern Europe. The same year, SES also took a participation of 19.99% in Brazilian satellite operator Star One, gaining a first presence in Latin America.

In 2001, SES bought 28.75% of Argentina's Nahuelsat and acquired GE Americom, giving it a solid presence in the important North American market. This resulted in the formation of SES Global, a corporate entity with two operating companies, SES Astra and SES Americom. Altogether, SES operated a fleet of 41 geostationary satellites, the largest in the world in 2001.[28]

Further acquisitions followed. In 2003, SES' stake in NSAB was increased to 75%[29] and in 2005 SES acquired a participation in Canadian satellite operator Ciel and in Mexico's Quetzsat, as well as the divestment from Nahuelsat.

SES acquired services provider, Digital Playout Centre GmbH (later Astra Platform Services, then SES Platform Services, then MX1, now merged into SES) in 2005.[10] and in 2006 SES also acquired ND SatCom, a German provider of government services,[30] developing a services portfolio beyond just bandwidth provision.

Also in 2006, SES acquired New Skies Satellites, later renamed SES New Skies, adding six satellites to the SES fleet and strengthening coverage in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.[31]

In 2007, SES divested from its holdings in AsiaSat and Star One in a complex transaction with General Electric which itself divested from SES.[32]

In 2008, SES increased its stake in NSAB to 90%.[33] and merged its two international operating units, SES Americom and SES New Skies into a new segment which was branded SES World Skies in September 2009.[34]

In 2009, SES and Middle East satellite operator Yahsat announced the formation of a joint venture, YahLive, to commercialise 23 Ku-band transponders on Yahsat 1A, serving the Middle East, North Africa and Western Asia with direct-to-home TV services.[35] Also in 2009, SES announced its investment in O3b Networks a project to build a medium Earth orbit (MEO) satellite constellation to deliver high-speed, low-latency, fibre-like internet broadband trunking to the world's emerging regions ("the Other 3 billion").[36]

In 2010, SES grew its stake in SES Sirius to 100%[37] and closed the acquisition of the in-orbit satellite Protostar-2/Indostar-2, renaming it SES-7 and integrating it into its fleet covering India and Southeast Asia.[38]

In May and September 2011, SES restructured and rebranded the company to streamline the organisation's activities under a single management team and one main brand (SES), incorporating the company's two previous operating entities, SES Astra and SES World Skies.[39][40]

Global operator

In August 2011, the Astra 1N satellite was launched to the 28.2° East orbital position,[41] and in September 2011, the QuetzSat 1 satellite was launched to 77.0° West[42]

In February 2012, SES-4 was successfully launched to become SES' 50th satellite and the largest, heaviest and most powerful in the fleet.[43] In July 2012, SES-5, the 51st SES Satellite was launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan to 5.0° East with 36 Ku-band transponders to provide coverage over Sub-Saharan Africa and the Nordic and the Baltic regions in Europe, and 28 C-band transponders for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.[44]

In September 2012, Astra 2F was successfully launched from Kourou in French Guiana, the first of three "next generation" satellites at the second Astra orbital position at 28.2° East. The satellite has Ku-band coverage of all Europe, the British Isles and sub-Saharan Africa for DTH television, and Ka-band coverage of Central Europe for the SES Broadband satellite internet service.[45]

SES-6 was launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on 3 June 2013 to 40.5° East, to replace NSS-806 and provide continuity of service and expansion capacity in C-band for Latin America and the Caribbean. The satellite has 43 C-band and 48 Ku-band transponders with comprehensive coverage of North America, Latin America, Europe and the Atlantic Ocean.[46]

Astra 2E was launched to the Astra 28.2° East position from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on 30 September 2013 to provide free-to-air and encrypted DTH digital TV and satellite broadband services for Europe and the Middle East.[47] The successful launch followed a 10-week delay due to the postponement of all launches by launch services provider ILS after a catastrophic failure of the rocket in a previous launch.[48]

In December 2013, SES-8 was launched from Cape Canaveral using a SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1, the first geostationary satellite to be launched with a SpaceX rocket.[49]

In March 2014, Astra 5B was launched as SES' 56th satellite to the Astra 31.5° East position from Kourou in French Guiana to provide transponder capacity and extend geographical reach over Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) for DTH, direct-to-cable and contribution feeds to digital terrestrial television networks.[50]

In April 2014, Romain Bausch stepped down as president and CEO of SES, a position he had held since 1995 overseeing the growth of the company from a European Direct-to-Home satellite system with four satellites into a global satellite industry leader operating a fleet of more than 50 satellites. Bausch continues to serve SES as a non-executive Director, and is elected to take the role of Chairman at the start of 2015. He was succeeded as CEO by Karim Michel Sabbagh.[51]

In July 2014, SES announced that nearly half of the SES satellite fleet is controlled from the new satellite operations center (SOC) opened at its sales and engineering offices in Princeton, New Jersey. 23 satellites are controlled from Princeton with the remainder operated from SES's global headquarters in Luxembourg.[52]

Astra 2G, the final "next generation" satellite for the 28.2° East orbital position was launched from the Baikonur in December 2014 to deliver broadcast, VSAT and broadband services to Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and to connect West Africa to Europe via Ka-band.[53]

On 13 January 2015, SES announced that it plans to procure and launch a satellite in partnership with the Luxembourg Government, to be called GovSat-1. Jointly owned, the satellite is launched in 2017 to an orbital position above Europe and provide governmental and military communications in the X-band and Ka-band with coverage of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.[54]

In February 2016, it was announced that, subject to regulatory approvals, subsidiary, SES Platform Services would purchase RR Media, a global digital media services provider to the broadcast and media industries, based in Israel.[55] In July 2016, SES announced that the acquisition was complete and that the merged company would be known as MX1.[56]

In March 2016, the SES-9 satellite was successfully launched by a Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket from Cape Canaveral after four previous attempts on 24 February, 25 February, 28 February, and 1 March 2016 - all aborted due to weather and launcher problems.[57] The satellite used electric propulsion to reach geostationary orbit and will be positioned at 108.2° East to provide 81 Ku-band transponder equivalents for pay-TV, data and mobility across Northeast Asia and South Asia, and Indonesia.[58]

In April 2016, SES announced that (subject to regulatory approvals which are expected to be completed by the end of 2016) it will pay US$20 million to increase its fully diluted ownership of O3b Networks from 49.1% to 50.5%, taking a controlling share in the company.[59] In May 2016, SES said it would raise another US$710 million to purchase 100% of O3b Networks, exercising a call option with O3b minority shareholders and eliminating the possibility of an O3b stock offering,[60] and then subsequently announced the completion of the capital raising[61] and completion of the acquisition.[62]

In May 2016, Modern Times Group, owner of the Viasat DTH platform announced that the Viasat Ultra HD channel would launch in the autumn on the SES-5 satellite at 5.0° East, as the first UHD channel for the Nordic region and the first UHD Sports channel in the World. The channel will feature selected live sport events especially produced in Ultra HD and Viasat will also be launching an Ultra HD set-top box from Samsung and a TV-module to enable existing UHD TVs to display the channel.[63] SES claimed the launch of Viasat Ultra HD will bring the number of UHD channels (including test channels and regional versions) carried on SES satellites to 24, or 46% of all UHD channels broadcast via satellite worldwide.[64]

On 30 March 2017, the SES-10 satellite was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket using a refurbished first stage booster that had been previously used to launch a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station for NASA in April 2016 and then landed and recovered. This is the first time that a rocket booster has been reused in this way. Both the Falcon 9 first stage and the payload fairing were successfully recovered after the SES-10 launch for subsequent reuse. SES-10 is positioned at 67.0° West to serve Latin America.[65]

In May 2017, SES announced the successful integration with the SES-14 satellite of the NASA Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) scientific hosted payload built by the University of Colorado Boulder Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. The first scientific payload carried by an SES satellite, GOLD was integrated with SES-14 at Airbus Defense and Space in Toulouse, France ahead of its launch to 47.5° West in late 2017 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Full Thrust from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.[66]

In June 2017, SES announced the start of a 30-month project by the Satellite and Terrestrial Network for 5G (SaT5G) consortium for the seamless, and economically viable, integration of satellite (such as SES' geostationary orbit and medium Earth orbit high throughput satellites) into future 5G networks, improving the ubiquity, resilience and efficiency of 5G services, and opening new markets in media distribution, transport and underserved areas. The consortium is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme and comprises 16 members, including SES and Airbus Defence and Space, Avanti Communications, British Telecom, Broadpeak, Gilat Satellite Networks, OneAccess, Thales Alenia Space, TNO, University of Surrey, and Zodiac Inflight Innovation.[67]

In September 2017, SES announced the next generation of O3b satellites and service. Named O3b mPOWER, the new constellation of (initially) seven MEO satellites built by Boeing Satellite Systems will deliver 10 terabits of capacity globally through 30,000 spot beams for broadband internet services. O3b mPOWER is expected to launch in 2021.[68]

On 11 October 2017, a flight-proven (refurbished) SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the SES-11 satellite to the geostationary orbital position of 105.0° West. The launch was originally set for late 2016 but suffered a year-long delay because of SpaceX's September 2016 Falcon 9 explosion. SES-11 was built by Airbus Defence and Space and is a dual mission satellite, with 24 Ku-band transponders marketed by EchoStar as EchoStar 105 to replace capacity on SES' AMC-15 satellite, and 24 C-band transponders marketed by SES as SES-11 for replacement capacity for AMC-18 delivering video, especially HD and UHD, to the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.[69] Following positioning at 105.0° West and in-orbit testing, SES-11 was declared fully operational on 29 November 2017.[70]

In February 2018, SES teamed up with Intelsat (later joined by Eutelsat in July 2018) for a proposal to United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to form a consortium of satellite service providers to protect the quality and reliability of existing video and audio services to United States households downlinking in the 3700-4200 MHz C-band spectrum while enabling wireless operators to access 100 MHz of C-band spectrum for deployment of next generation 5G services in the United States.[71][72]

In March 2018, Saint Martin-based satellite TV provider KiwiSAT launched a new DTH platform to deliver about 130 channels (including 90 HD channels) of TV entertainment to consumers across the Caribbean using the SES-10 satellite at 67.0° West.[73]

In May 2018, SES broadcast an 8K television signal via its satellite system for the first time, as part of its Industry Days conference at the Luxembourg HQ. The 8K demonstration content, with a resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels, a frame rate of 60 frames per second and 10-bit colour depth, was encoded in HEVC and transmitted at a rate of 80 Mbit/s via the Astra 3B satellite.[74]

In September 2018, in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking of July 2018 from the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to make the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz spectrum available for next-generation terrestrial fixed and mobile broadband services,[75] SES, along with Intelsat, Eutelsat and Telesat - together providing the majority of C-band satellite services in the United States, including media distribution reaching 100 million United States households - established the C-Band Alliance (CBA). The consortium's proposal to the FCC is to act as a facilitator for the clearing and repurposing of a 200 MHz portion of C-band spectrum to accelerate the deployment of next generation 5G services while protecting incumbent users and their content distribution and data networks in the US from potential interference.[76][77]

Recent Events

In April 2019, four O3b medium Earth orbit (MEO) satellites were launched by Arianespace at the Centre Spatial Guyanais in Kourou, French Guiana to complete the constellation of 20 first generation satellites for the SES-owned network communications service provider.[78]

In May 2019, for the first time in Europe, 8K demonstration content was received via satellite without the need for a separate external receiver or decoder. At the 2019, SES Industry Days conference at Betzdorf, Luxembourg broadcast quality 8K content (with a resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels at 50 frames/s) was encoded using a Spin Digital HEVC encoder (at a bit rate of 70 Mbit/s), uplinked to a single 33 MHz transponder on SES' Astra 28.2°E satellites and the downlink received and displayed on a Samsung 82in Q950RB production model TV.[79]

In September 2019, SES announced it had partnered with satellite payload and network management systems developer, Kythera Space Solutions to develop the ARC (Adaptive Resource Control) software to enable the dynamic control and optimisation of power, throughput, beams and frequency allocation on O3b mPOWER, SES-17 and other future high-throughput satellites and their networks, autonomously optimizing space and ground resources, on-the-fly, in accordance with customers' changing needs.[80][81]

In September 2019, SES became a Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute services partner to provide dedicated, private network connectivity from sea vessels, aircraft, and industrial or government sites anywhere in the world to the Azure cloud computing service, via both its geostationary and O3b MEO medium Earth orbit satellites.[82]

In September 2019, SES announced a new Free-to-view DTH platform on Astra 1N at 19.2° East, encrypted using Verimatrix and carrying 30-40 channels from Russian-language OTT broadcaster Kartina TV for Russian-speaking diaspora across Europe with limited broadband connectivity.[83]

In September 2019, the media technical services provider MX1, a wholly owned subsidiary of SES, was merged into the SES Video division, dropping the MX1 brand and providing all broadcast and streamed content management, playout, distribution, and monetisation services under the SES name.[84]

In May 2020, SES released the results of the 2019 Satellite Monitor TV reception survey, which for the first time covered the Philippines. The survey found satellite TV is the second-most popular mode of TV reception in the Philippines with 17% of over 20.8 million TV households, behind terrestrial TV (66%), and that broadcasts from SES satellites reach 98% of Filipino satellite TV households.[85]

On 26 May 2020, SES elected to clear a portion of the C-band spectrum in the United States, currently used for satellite TV services, in accordance with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order for the accelerated release of the 3.7-4.0 GHz portion of the band for 5G mobile broadband services. The SES Board of Directors approved US$1.6 billion for the procurement and launch of new satellites and other equipment and services for the migration of existing customers using the spectrum, which will be reimbursable through the FCC Clearinghouse.[86] In June 2020, SES announced that four new C-band satellites had been ordered for this purpose from United States manufacturers, Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Each satellite will have ten 36 MHz C-band transponders for delivery of digital TV and data services, and will be launched in 2022 to orbital slots at 103.0° West, 131.0° West and 135.0° West.[87]

In July 2020, SES launched a free-to-air information channel, Fight COVID-19, across several satellites to combat the global coronavirus pandemic. Available to millions of households across Africa, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, and providing underserved and rural communities with critical information about how to limit the spread of the virus, the content is provided by trusted organisations such as UNICEF, AFP and other international and regional organisations. The channel is broadcast from SES-5 (5.0° East) for Sub-Saharan Africa, Astra 4A (5.0° East) for Europe and Ukraine, Astra 2F (28.2° East) for West Africa, NSS-12 (57.0° East) for Ethiopia and adjacent countries, and SES-9 (108.2° East) for the Philippines.[88]

In August 2020 SES contracted Boeing to build four O3b mPOWER satellites in additional to the seven already under construction. SpaceX was contracted for an additional two launches, to make four launches for the whole O3b mPOWER constellation in 2021-2024.[89][90]

In September 2020, SES and Microsoft announced that SES was the medium Earth orbit connectivity partner for the Microsoft Azure Orbital ground station service that enables network operators to control their satellite operations and capacity from within the Azure cloud computing service. Under their agreement, SES and Microsoft will jointly invest in Azure Orbital ground stations for the MEO and Earth Observation segments, initially in the US, which will be installed and managed by SES. Also, satellite telemetry, tracking and control systems and data ground stations for the forthcoming O3b mPOWER satellites will be located with Microsoft's Azure edge sites to provide O3b mPOWER customers with 'one-hop' access to Azure cloud services.[91][92]

In February 2021, SES agreed multi-year extension capacity contracts worth over EUR66 million with European public service broadcasters including ARD, BBC, BVN, France 24, TV5Monde and ZDF[93]

Satellite fleet

The following active satellites are owned and operated by SES, as of March 2020.[94][95]

SES fleet
Satellite SES-1 SES-2 SES-3 SES-4 SES-5 SES-6 SES-7
(was ProtoStar 2)
SES-8 SES-9 SES-10 SES-11
(Echostar 105)
SES-12 SES-14 SES-15 GovSat-1
Launch Date 24 April 2010 21 September 2011 15 July 2011 14 February 2012 9 July 2012 3 June 2013 16 May 2009 3 December 2013 4 March 2016 30 March 2017 11 October 2017 4 June 2018 25 January 2018 18 May 2017 31 January 2018
Launch Vehicle Proton-M
Ariane 5ECA
Falcon-9 v1.1 Falcon-9 v1.2 Falcon-9 v1.2 Falcon-9 v1.2 Falcon-9 v1.2 Ariane 5ECA
Soyuz ST-A
Falcon-9 v1.2
Orbital Position 101.0° West 87.0° West 103.0° West 22.0° West 5.0° East 40.5° West 108.2° East 95.0° East 108.2° East 67.0° West 105.0° West 95.0° East 47.5° West 129.0° West 21.5° East
AMC fleet
Satellite AMC-4 AMC-6 AMC-7 AMC-8 AMC-10 AMC-11 AMC-15 AMC-16 AMC-18 AMC-21
Launch Date 13 November 1999 21 October 2000 14 September 2000 20 December 2000 5 February 2004 19 May 2004 14 October 2004 17 December 2004 8 Dececember 2006 14 August 2008
Launch Vehicle Ariane 44LP
Ariane 5G
Ariane 5G
Atlas-2AS Atlas-2AS Proton-M
Atlas-5 Ariane 5 ECA
Ariane 5 ECA
Orbital Position 135.0° West 72.0° West 83.0° West 139.0° West 135.0° West 131.0° West 105.0° West 85.0° West 105.0° West 125.0° West
Astra fleet
Satellite Astra 1KR Astra 1L Astra 1M Astra 1N Astra 2E Astra 2F Astra 2G Astra 3B Astra 4A
(was Sirius 4)
Astra 5B
Launch Date 24 April 2006 4 May 2007 5 November 2008 6 August 2011 29 September 2013 28 September 2012 27 December 2014 21 May 2010 17 November 2007 22 March 2014
Launch Vehicle Atlas-5 Ariane 5 ECA
Ariane 5 ECA
Ariane 5 ECA
Ariane 5 ECA
Ariane 5 ECA
Orbital Position 19.2° East 19.2° East 19.2° East 19.2° East 28.2° East 28.2° East 28.2° East 23.5° East 5.0° East 31.5° East
NSS fleet
Satellite NSS-6 NSS-7 NSS-9 NSS-10
(was AMC-12)
NSS-11 NSS-12 NSS-806
Launch Date 17 December 2002 16 April 2002 12 February 2009 3 February 2005 1 October 2000 29 October 2009 28 February 1998
Launch Vehicle Ariane 44L
Ariane 44L
Ariane 5 ECA
Ariane 5 ECA
Orbital Position 95.0° East 20.0° West 177.0° West 37.5° West 108.2° East 57.0° East 47.5° West
O3b fleet
Satellite O3b PFM, FM2, FM4-5 O3b FM3, FM6-FM8 O3b FM9-12 O3b FM13-16 O3b FM17-20
Launch Date 25 June 2013 10 July 2014 18 December 2014 9 March 2018 4 April 2019
Launch Vehicle Soyuz ST-B
Soyuz ST-B
Soyuz ST-B
Soyuz ST-B
Soyuz ST-B
Orbital Position non-synchronous medium Earth orbit
Third-party satellites operated by SES
Satellite Ciel-2 MonacoSAT QuetzSat 1 Yahsat 1A
Launch Date 10 December 2008 27 April 2015 29 September 2011 22 April 2011
Launch Vehicle Proton-M
Falcon-9 v1.1 Proton-M
Ariane-5 ECA
Orbital Position 129.0° West 52.0° East 77.0° West 52.5° East

Future satellite launches

Satellite name Launch date Orbital position Frequency bands Coverage area Manufacturer
SES-17[96] Q3 2021[3] GEO Ka Americas, Caribbean, Atlantic Ocean Thales Alenia Space
O3b FM21-FM31 mPOWER[90] Q3 2021-2024[3] MEO Ka Global reach with steerable spot beams Boeing
SES-18[97] Q3 2022 GEO C-Band North America Northrop Grumman
SES-19[97] Q3 2022 GEO C-Band North America Northrop Grumman
SES-20[97] Q3 2022 GEO C-Band North America Boeing
SES-21[97] Q3 2022 GEO C-Band North America Boeing

Hosted payloads

SES is active in the hosted payload market, selling space on planned and under-construction satellites to governments and institutions. SES-2 (launched September 2011) carries the US Air Force's Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP), a wide field-of-view, passive infrared sensor to provide early warning of missile launches, the first time a US Air Force payload has been hosted on a commercial mission.[98]

The SES-5 and Astra 5B satellites (launched July 2012 and March 2014, respectively) incorporate European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) payloads, a supplementary network to the Global Positioning System (GPS) and GLONASS navigation systems.[99][100]

SES-15 (launched May 2017) includes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) air navigation aid to augment the Global Positioning System (GPS), with the goal of improving its accuracy, integrity and availability.[101]

SES-14 (launched January 2018) hosts the Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission for NASA to investigate the Sun's impact on the Earth's thermosphere and ionosphere.[102]


SES, and its subsidiary companies has teleports across the world, including:

SES Government Solutions operates Earth stations at the following United States Government locations:

See also


  1. ^ "Board of Directors". SES S.A. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ "Management". SES S.A. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j SES S.A. "Annual Report 2020" (PDF). Retrieved 2021.
  4. ^ About Us SES website. Accessed 30 March 2020
  5. ^ a b c d ACCELERATING BEYOND FRONTIERS SES Company Brochure. October 2017. Accessed 30 March 2018
  6. ^ Our Coverage SES website. Accessed 25 February 2019
  7. ^ "SES Accelerates Its Market Approach with SES Video and SES Networks" (Press release). SES. 6 April 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ SES Announces Total Reach of 361 Million TV Homes Worldwide SES. 23 March 2021. Accessed 25 March 2021
  9. ^ ''Building brands with a premium in-air experience'' SES. Accessed 28 March 2018
  10. ^ a b c d e High Above - The untold story of Astra, Europe's leading satellite company Broadgate Publications April 2010
  11. ^ Robert Briel. "Astra confirms 3D demo channel launch". Broadband TV News. Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ "SES WORLD SKIES To Host Extensive 3D TV Tests". Retrieved 2015.
  13. ^ "SES to pioneer first Ultra HD transmission in new standard at SES Industry Days" (Press release). SES. 19 April 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  14. ^ "4KTV via satellite". SES. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ "EUROPE'S FIRST FREE-TO-AIR ULTRA HD CHANNEL TO BROADCAST ON ASTRA 19.2 DEGREES EAST" (Press release). SES. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ SES has 23 Ultra HD channels 29 April 2016 Broadband TV News. Accessed 30 May 2016
  17. ^ Beyond Frontiers Broadgate Publications (September 2016) page=12
  18. ^ a b Creating Space - The Satellite Revolution SES white paper. March 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2018
  19. ^ Falcon 9 explosion could have ripple effects across space industry Space News. 1 September 2016. Accessed 24 April 2017
  20. ^ We may have just witnessed the dawn of truly commercial spaceflight Ars Technica. 31 March 2017. Accessed 31 March 2017
  21. ^ "SES ENTRUSTS ARIANESPACE WITH SES-12 SATELLITE LAUNCH SCHEDULED FOR Q4 2017" (Press release). SES. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  22. ^ "MDA announces On-Orbit Satellite Servicing business formation and contract awards for spacecraft and first life extension customer" (Press release). MDA. 28 June 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  23. ^ About Us/Companies SES website. Accessed 29 February 2020
  24. ^ Management SES Website. Accessed 30 July 2020
  25. ^ "Romain Bausch consacré "Satellite Executive of the Year"". 5 February 2002. Retrieved 2009.
  26. ^ SEOTY Winner Steve Collar Comes Full Circle as SES CEO Via Satellite. May 2020. Accessed 27 October 2020
  27. ^ "SES GROUP PROFIT UP 21.4% IN 2000" (Press release). SES. 19 March 2001. Retrieved 2015.
  28. ^ "More Than Space Allows". Cable & Satellite Europe. December 2001. Retrieved 2011.
  29. ^ "SES GLOBAL Increases Stake in NSAB To 75%". Business Wire. 15 December 2003. Retrieved 2011.
  30. ^ "SES ASTRA increases shareholding in ND SatCom to 100%" (Press release). ND Satcom. 24 May 2006. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012.
  31. ^ "SES Completes New Skies Acquisition" (PDF). Space Business Review. March 2006. Retrieved 2011.
  32. ^ "AsiaSat Announces New Major Shareholder GE" (PDF) (Press release). AsiaSat. 2 April 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 January 2011.
  33. ^ "SES Increases Ownership in SES SIRIUS To 90%" (Press release). SES. 31 January 2008.
  34. ^ "SES re-brands international divisions". 7 September 2009. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 2009.
  35. ^ "SES ASTRA AND YAHSAT START MIDDLE EAST SATELLITE COMPANY" (Press release). SES Astra. 20 April 2009.
  36. ^ "SES offers cash to back internet satellite project". Financial Times. 31 January 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  37. ^ "SES ASTRA TAKES FULL OWNERSHIP OF SES SIRIUS" (Press release). SES. 5 March 2010.
  38. ^ "ProtoStar II Acquisition Closed Satellite to Be Integrated into SES WORLD SKIES' Satellite Fleet as SES-7". EuroInvestor. Retrieved 2015.
  39. ^ "SES OPERATES UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE" (Press release). SES. 2 May 2011.
  40. ^ "New logo and brand identity presented at IBC in Amsterdam" (Press release). SES. 9 September 2011.
  41. ^ "ASTRA 1N ROARS INTO SPACE ON BOARD ARIANE 5" (Press release). SES. 7 August 2011.
  42. ^ QuetzSat-1 successfully launched - ILS, QuetzSat-1 successfully launched at Baikonur cosmodrome, ILS - 29 September 2011.
  43. ^ "50th SES SPACECRAFT IN ORBIT AFTER SUCCESSFUL ILS PROTON LAUNCH" (Press release). SES. 15 February 2012.
  45. ^ "SES SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES ASTRA 2F SATELLITE" (Press release). SES. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  47. ^ "ASTRA 2E successfully launched" (Press release). SES. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  48. ^ Russia Halts Proton Rocket Launches After Explosive Crash 2 July 2013. Accessed 30 September 2013
  49. ^ "LAUNCH SUCCESS FOR SES-8 SATELLITE ON BOARD SPACEX/FALCON 9" (Press release). SES. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  50. ^ "SES: ASTRA 5B SATELLITE LAUNCH SUCCESS ON ARIANE 5" (Press release). SES ASTRA. 23 March 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  51. ^ "SES ANNOUNCES BOARD APPOINTMENTS" (Press release). SES. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  52. ^ "SES UNVEILS NEW SATELLITE OPERATIONS CENTER" (Press release). SES. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  53. ^ "ASTRA 2G SATELLITE ROARS INTO ORBIT" (Press release). SES. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  54. ^ "SES AND LUXEMBOURG GOVERNMENT PLAN TO LAUNCH SATELLITE IN LATE 2017" (Press release). SES. 13 January 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  55. ^ "RR Media to Merge with SES Platform Services" (Press release). RR Media. 26 February 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  57. ^ SpaceX to Try Rocket Landing During Satellite Launch Friday: Watch Live Space.Com. 1 March 2016. Accessed 30 March 2016
  58. ^ SES-9 Mission Space-X. 24 February 2016. Accessed 30 March 2016
  59. ^ "SES to take control of O3b Networks" (Press release). SES ASTRA. 29 April 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  60. ^ SES exercises option to buy 100% of O3b Networks, will raise new equity 26 May 2016 Space News. Accessed 30 May 2016
  62. ^ SES Completes Acquisition of 100% of O3b Networks Business Wire. 1 August 2016. Accessed 26 April 2017
  63. ^ MTG launches first Nordic UHD channel Advanced Television 13 May 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016
  64. ^ "SES TO TRANSMIT FIRST ULTRA HD CHANNEL IN THE NORDICS AT 5 DEGREES EAST" (Press release). SES. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  65. ^ Used SpaceX Rocket Launches Satellite, Then Lands in Historic 1st Reflight 30 March 2017. Accessed 31 March 2017
  66. ^ "SES-14 Integrates NASA Ultraviolet Space Spectrograph" (Press release). SES. 23 May 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  67. ^ "SES and SaT5G to Spearhead Development of Ubiquitous 5G Network Capabilities" (Press release). SES. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  68. ^ SES building a 10-terabit O3b "mPOWER" constellation Space News 11 September 2017. Accessed 30 October 2017
  69. ^ SpaceX launches third pre-flown rocket with EchoStar-SES satellite, lands booster Space News 11 October 2017. Accessed 31 October 2017
  70. ^ "EchoStar 105/SES-11 Now Operational at 105.0° West" (Press release). SES. 29 November 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  71. ^ SES and Intelsat Execs Hail "Proactive" C-Band Initiative Via Satellite 9 February 2018. Accessed 30 July 2018
  72. ^ Eutelsat Welcomed to Intelsat and SES' C-band Proposal Via Satellite 12 July 2018. Accessed 30 July 2018
  73. ^ Kiwisat Launches DTH Offering in the Caribbean Via SES 10 Via Satellite. 5 April 2018. Accessed 31 January 2019
  74. ^ "SES Showcases its First Broadcast of 8K Television" (Press release). SES. 23 May 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  75. ^ "FCC PROPOSES EXPANDING FLEXIBLE USE OF MID-BAND SPECTRUM" (PDF) (Press release). FCC. 12 July 2018. Retrieved 2018. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  76. ^ "Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat Establish the C-Band Alliance (CBA), a Consortium to Facilitate Clearing of U.S. Mid-band Spectrum for 5G While Protecting U.S. Content Distribution and Data Networks" (Press release). SES. 27 September 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  77. ^ C-Band Alliance. Accessed 2 November 2018
  78. ^ Four New Satellites Ride Into Space To Join Growing SES Constellation 4 April 2019. Accessed 26 April 2019
  79. ^ SES showcases 8K content over satellite Broadband TV News. 14 May 2019. Accessed 4 June 2019
  80. ^ "SES to Enhance and Expand O3b mPOWER System Capabilities with Dynamic Software Innovation" (Press release). SES. 5 September 2019. Retrieved 2021.
  81. ^ SES' Satellites' Agility Achieved With ARC and Kythera Space Solutions Satnews, 24 November 2020, Accessed 31 March 2021
  82. ^ SES extends reach of Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute Advanced Television 9 September 2019. Accessed 28 October 2020
  83. ^ Kartina TV expands coverage with SES Advanced Television. 30 September 2019. Accessed 2 October 2019
  84. ^ MX1 and SES to 'merge' Broadband TV News. 24 September 2019. Accessed 30 October 2019
  85. ^ 'Intelligence: Filipino households with satellite TV are the most satisfied, according to report by SES' adobo magazine. 29 May 2020. Accessed 30 May 2020
  86. ^ 'SES Elects to Accelerate Clearing of C-Band Spectrum in Support of FCC's 5G Plan for the US' Business Wire. 26 May 2020. Accessed 30 May 2020
  87. ^ SES selects 2 US companies to build 4 satellites as part of Accelerated C-Band Clearing Plan Space Daily. 22 June 2020. Accessed 28 June 2020
  88. ^ SES launches FTA channel to combat Covid-19 Broadband TV News. 14 July 2020. Accessed 30 July 2020
  89. ^ "Boeing to Build Four Additional 702X Satellites for SES's O3b mPOWER Fleet". Boeing (Press release). 7 August 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  90. ^ a b SES taps SpaceX for two additional Falcon 9 launches Space News. 20 August 2020. Accessed 20 August 2020
  91. ^ Introducing Azure Orbital: Process satellite data at cloud-scale Microsoft 22 September 2020. Accessed 28 October 2020
  92. ^ "SES Becomes Microsoft Azure Orbital Founding Connectivity Partner" (Press release). 22 September 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  93. ^ SES Wins Slew of European Public Broadcast Deals Via Satellite, 22 February 2021, Accessed 24 March 2021
  94. ^ Real Time Satellite Tracking And Predictions Accessed 30 March 2020
  95. ^ Gunter's Space Page Accessed 30 March 2020
  97. ^ a b c d "SES Selects Two U.S. Companies to Build Four New Satellites as Part of Accelerated C-Band Clearing Plan" (Press release). SES. 16 June 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  98. ^ U.S. Air Force, SAIC, SES, and Orbital launch Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload Sensor infrared staring system aboard SES-2 satellite Military & Aerospace Electronics 24 September 2011. Accessed 28 April 2018
  99. ^ ASTRA 5B's mission SES website. Accessed 28 April 2018
  100. ^ SES-5 GEO Satellite Ensures EGNOS Services for the Long Term European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency 4 September 2015. Accessed 28 April 2018
  101. ^ New WAAS GEO Satellite Launch Federal Aviation Administration SatNavNews newsletter Spring 2017. Accessed 28 April 2018 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  102. ^ GOLD NASA mission website. Accessed 28 April 2018 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  103. ^ SES opens Isle of Man teleport Broadband TV News. 25 September 2018. Accessed 28 January 2019

External links

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