Dublin Satellite HQ Deal Worth ?130M; Space Race: A European Space Agency Ariane 5 Rocket Lifts Off

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Downes

DUBLIN has been chosen by the European satellite industry as the centrefrom which it will launch its next generation of mobile television services.

The city is to be headquarters for a new advanced media company being foundedby the Astra and Eutelsat satellite companies.

The Solaris Mobile company will deliver TV, radio and movie downloads tohandheld mobile devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, laptops, and other gadgetssuch as Sat-Nav units.

It will also deliver new two-way communication services between these devicesand satellites.

The project is expected to give Europe a world lead in the next generation ofmobile services over the Americans and Japanese.

Initially ?130m is being pumped into the venture, with 50 jobs being provided.

But if the project achieves the success that is expected, the number of jobscould rise substantially.

Astra already operates 16 satellites and is used by Sky television and manyother broadcasters to transmit their programmes. Eutelsat, which has 24satellites, is its main European rival.

The services to be managed from Dublin will be delivered by a new jointlow-orbit satellite under construction in France that will be launched nextyear.

IDA Ireland worked closely with Astra and Eutelsat to win this project forIreland and to assist them in establishing the operation. …