Magazine article SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico

Mexico Loses Solidaridad I Satellite

Magazine article SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico

Mexico Loses Solidaridad I Satellite

Article excerpt

The Solidaridad I satellite, operated by the Mexican-US partnership SatMex, went out of commission prematurely in late August, disrupting television broadcasts, rural telephone service, and other transactions for 107 corporate and government clients.

While causing some disruptions, the loss of Solidaridad I did not present a major problem for Mexico since the satellite accounted for only a small percentage of Mexico's transmission needs. The majority of the country's satellite business is carried on SatMex V, launched in February 1999. Two other satellites, Solidaridad II and Morelos II, also provide service to Mexicans.

Still, SatMex and telecommunications regulators will have to scramble to find alternatives for some Solidaridad I clients, since the three other satellites cannot fully compensate for the loss of service caused by the demise of Solidaridad I.

"Ninety four percent of users who represented 86% of utilized capacity have had their services restored or have been assigned available satellite space," said SatMex president Lauro Gonzalez.

But some clients were left without service, including 12,000 rural secondary schools, which lost access to public television transmissions. This prompted SatMex and the Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) to consider alternatives. "We will consult with SatMex to see where we can utilize some of the unused capacity that has been reserved for the government," said Communications and Transportation Secretary Carlos Ruiz Sacristan. …

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