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Intelstat, SISLink Form Strategic Alliance

Intelsat, Ltd. and SISLink have formed a strategic alliance to launch a high-definition-ready automated delivery service for U.S. satellite news-gathering users in April.

The alliance will feature Intelstat uPOD, a fully integrated broadcasting solution enabling U.S. satellite news-gathering outfits to execute real-time broadcasting services more efficiently. The new service will blend Intelsat’s space and ground infrastructure with SISLink’s uPod system to support Web-based scheduling and transmission of live standard-format and HD video, as well as voice and Internet communications from wherever news or sports events are unfolding throughout the continental U.S.

A SISLink’s award-winning automated SNG uplink system, uPod, according to company officials, has proven to be the uplink of choice for European broadcasters, owing to its simplicity, HD compatibility and its reliability. Removing the need for a skilled uplink engineer, uPod allows broadcasters to have a true one-person SNG operation, with increased flexibility yet returning significant cost savings. As part of this agreement, SISLink developed a new, smaller version of the uPod, the uPod Micro, which is small enough to be mounted onto any vehicle.

The new service is scheduled to be launched in April 2008, initially targeting customers that lease full-time space segment capacity for SNG applications. A version of the service targeting occasional-use customers is planned for launch later in 2008.

“Our highly coveted North American Galaxy fleet is unrivaled in the industry, providing the sought-after access news organizations require to meet their broadcasting needs,” said Stephen Spengler, Intelsat’s executive vice president, sales and marketing, in a statement. “By combining our industry-leading strengths, SISLink and Intelsat can now offer the most unique solution for content delivery currently available in the SNG market.”