Digitial Broadcasters Vendor News has been wondering what happened to the plans of Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) to expand an international satellite television service in digital announced well over a year ago.
The answer came publicly on January 25 when RTM director-general, Datuk Abdul Rahman Hamid told the Bernama News Agency that it (RTM) was reviewing its plan to open the RTM international satellite channel following the migration of its transponder channels to the MEASAT-3 satellite from MEASAT-1.
Datuk Hamid said through MEASAT-3, RTM channels would be able to broadcast to 110 countries across Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa from 25 countries currently.
"We have been planning the international channel but were forced to hold back due to the cost. With MEASAT-3, we are proposing to review the plan," he added.
The RTM chief was in Cyberjaya (Malaysia's Silicon Valley) where MEASAT Satellite System Sdn Bhd, which provides satellite communication services, officially announced that MEASAT-3 had completed commissioning and entered commercial service with Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) as the satellite's first customer.
Launched on Dec 12, 2006, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, the MEASAT-3 satellite had undergone extensive in-orbit tests conducted by 15 Boeing space engineers stationed on-site at the MEASAT Teleport and Broadcast Centre here.
MEASAT CEO Paul I. Brown-Kenyon said the successful deployment of MEASAT-3 at the 91.5 degrees East orbital location boosted the company's satellite capacity by over 300 percent.
Digital Broadcasters Vendor News notes that the MEASAT-3 satellite footprint similarly matches those of Asiasat and Thaisat, spanning 70 percent of the world's population.