Japan based JSAT Corporation (JSAT) is the leading satellite operator in the Asia-Pacific region with a current fleet of 16 satellites in orbit. According to a 2004 report, JSAT was the fifth largest satellite operator in the world, ranked by 2003 fiscal year revenue. JSAT was the first private-sector satellite communications operator in Japan, beginning its operations following the enactment of Japan's Telecommunications Business Law in 1985.
In October 2008 JSAT merged with SKY Perfect Communications, Inc., and Space Communications Corporation. As a result in the SKY Perfect JSAT Group was formed. The company offers a wide range of services including video distribution, data transfer communications and back-up service capabilities in Asia, Russia, Oceania, Middle East and North America. They also operate the largest Direct-to-Home satellite broadcasting platform, “SKY PerfecTV!”, which provides over 350 channels to around 3.8 million households in Japan.
In 1985 the Japanese Communications Satellite Company was created by Hughes, Mitsui, and C.Itoh as a commercial alternative to the Government controlled CS and BS satellites for the full range of telecommunications services (Hughes later left the consortium). In March, 1989, and January, 1990, JCSAT 1 and JCSAT 2 were launched by Ariane and Titan 3 boosters, respectively. Both spacecraft are identical and based on the Hughes HS-393 platform. These 1.4-metric-ton spin-stabilized spacecraft are 3.7 m in diameter and 10 m tall when the solar array skirt is extended. The communications payload consists of 40 14/12 GHz transponders (including eight spares), working through a single 2.4 m diameter antenna. The JCSAT spacecraft are deployed at 150° E (next to ETS V) and 154° E and were designed to operate for at least ten years.
The first Japanese Commercial Communications satellite was launched by Arianespace S.A. with an Ariane 44 LP booster on March 6th, 1989. Privately owned and operated by JSAT, a joint venture between Hughes Space and Communications Group, C. Itoh & Co. Ltd, and Mitsui & Co, Ltd, it provided Japanese businesses with telephone, TV, facsimile and data services.
SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation announced June 12, 2013 that it had entered into an agreement with satellite manufacturer Space Systems/Loral (SSL) for the construction of its new satellite JCSAT-14. This new communications satellite is scheduled to be launched during the second half of 2015. JCSAT-14 will succeed and replace JCSAT-2A in the orbital position of 154° E Longitude.
The planned satellites, JCSAT-15 and JCSAT-16, also built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL) will be used by SKY Perfect JSAT to meet the growing demand for telecommunications infrastructure in the Asia Pacific region. The two satellites are designed to be used for services such as video distribution, data transfer communications, and back-up service capabilities in Japan and neighboring regions. They both operate in Ku-band and provide switching for flexibility. JCSAT-15 is a 10-kW satellite which will be located at 110 degrees East longitude where it replaces the N-SAT110 satellite currently on orbit. JCSAT-16 is an 8.5-kW satellite which is designed to be used at a broad range of orbital locations. When launched it will ensure continuous service and it will be available as a back-up to the existing fleet. JCSAT-15 and 16 are both based on the highly reliable SSL 1300 satellite platform that provides the flexibility for a broad range of applications and technology advances. Both satellites are scheduled for launch in 2016 performed by Arianespace (JCSAT-15) and SpaceX (JCSAT-16) launch operators, the satellites are designed to deliver service for 15 years or longer.