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Manila, Philippines, September 17, 2008 - Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), its subsidiary Mabuhay Satellite Corporation (Mabuhay), and ProtoStar Ltd. (ProtoStar), a Bermuda company, announced today the signing of several agreements covering multiple areas of cooperation.
Key aspects of the agreements include: an exchange of certain Mabuhay assets for an equity position in ProtoStar; expanded use of Mabuhay’s Subic Space Center for the operation and control of satellites; an option for PLDT to make further investments in ProtoStar, and an agreement for PLDT to lease C band transponder capacity on ProtoStar’s recently launched ProtoStar I satellite. Overall, the agreements should enhance ProtoStar’s pan-Asian reach while extending Mabuhay’s presence in the region.
ProtoStar I was successfully launched on July 7, 2008 from Kourou, French Guiana. ProtoStar I has on board 22 Ku-band transponders and 38 C-band transponders (all 36Mhz equivalents). The Ku-band transponders will support the rapidly expanding Direct-to-Home (“DTH”) television markets of India and IndoChina, while the C-band transponders will serve the rapidly growing cellular phone markets of Southeast Asia.
A ProtoStar II satellite is now in its final manufacturing stages with a scheduled launch in the spring of 2009. ProtoStar plans to develop and launch several other satellites in the coming years to serve Asia’s businesses requiring transponder capacity.
PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan stated that “PLDT’s investment in ProtoStar affirms PLDT’s commitment to the telecommunications industry and provides a platform for future growth in the industry through one of Asia’s upcoming regional satellite operators.”
PLDT President and CEO and Mabuhay Chairman Napoleon L. Nazareno added that “PLDT and Mabuhay’s collaboration with ProtoStar will enable PLDT to enjoy full diversity and protection for its satellite needs as ProtoStar continues with its satellite fleet expansion plans. The PLDT group uses significant satellite capacity for its GSM backhaul requirements for its rural cell sites, and this diversification will add to the robustness of the PLDT Group’s network.”
“We are happy that ProtoStar has found value in Mabuhay’s Satellite Telemetry, Tracking and Control capabilities which have been built through our experience in ably operating the Agila-2 satellite. This collaboration with ProtoStar ushers Philippine satellite operations into a new era of growth,” said Gabriel Z. Pimentel, Mabuhay President and CEO.
Philip Father, President and CEO of ProtoStar Ltd., added that “this collaboration represents a win-win-win for PLDT, Mabuhay and ProtoStar in that together we expand our satellite fleets and customer base as well as our ground systems in a value-adding strategic manner that is terrific for our respective customers and shareholders.”
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