A few days ago, December 22, 2006, EchoStar filed several applications for the authority to launch and operate 10 new Direct Broadcast Satellites (DBS) in geostationary orbits using the 17/24 GHz Broadcast Satellite Service (BSS) frequency bands ("DBS Expansion Band"). This will double the number of satellites currently operated by EchoStar. The additional satellites will be used to provide "high-definition television ("HDTV"), local channels, and a wider variety of entertainment, education, informational and ethnic programming."
The system will be technically cable of serving Alaska and Hawaii. Some of the capacity will also serve Canada and Mexico.
The first satellite will be constructed within four years of the grant of the application and the entire system will be operational within six. The total estimated cost to construct, launch, insure, and operate the first year is $285-365 million for each satellite.
See technical specifications for EX-10 here. Note: manufacturer has not been selected, so there aren't many details yet.
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