Qatar launches its first satellite on Thursday

Ahram Online, Thursday 29 Aug 2013

Qatari satellite Sohail 1 will broadcast around 100 channels

Qatar’s first satellite, Sohail 1, will be launched by 9.30pm GMT on Thursday to broadcast more than 30 high definition television (HDTV) and 70 standard definition television (SDTV) channels, reported Qatari newspapers on Thursday.

The Qatar Satellite Company, Es’hailSat, expects to provide services for the new satellite by this December.

Es’hailSat owns 54.5 percent of the satellite project, while 45.5 percent is owned by its European partner Eutelstat.

Earlier this month, Es’hailSat stated that it has signed a strategic agreement with Arabsat aiming to benefit from the cooperation between both satellite companies.

On Thursday, Egyptian authorities banned Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr, the local satellite channel of Qatari network Al Jazeera, from working in the country, because it had been using using “unlicensed broadcasting devices.”

The channel started broadcasting in 2011. Critics say that its reporting is biased towards the Muslim Brotherhood.

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