The Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT) is a unique operator of broadcasting satellites in 12GHz BSS band in Japan. The company was established in April 1993 and is located in Tokyo, Japan. Since then, B-SAT has worked toward providing stable satellite operations and continuity of broadcast services. B-SAT currently owns and operates five satellites in orbit:
- BSat-4B, launched in August 2020
- BSat-4A, launched in September 2017
- BSat-3C, launched in August 2011
- BSat-3B, launched in October 2010
- BSat-3A, launched in November 2007
Its largest stockholder, owning 49.9%, is NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. In 1994 the company was ranked by Space News as world’s 19th largest fixed satellite operator.
The company was established in April 1993 and in June 1994 B-SAT signed a contract with Hughes (Boeing) to build and launch the BSat-1 Satellite. The built would take 3 years.
In April 1997 the company completed the built of the Kawaghuchi and Kimitsu Satellite control Centers before the BSat-1 Satellite was launched that same year by launch operator Arianespace on an Ariane rocket.
In August 1997 the BSat-1A Satellite was put in operation.
Following that year, in July 1998, the BSat-1B Satellite was successfully launched by launch operator Arianespace on an Ariane rocket. The BSat-1B Satellite was a back-up satellite.
In July 1998 B-SAT received a preliminary license from the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications for Digital broadcasting services using the BSat-2 satellite. That same year the BSat-1B Satellite was delivered from Hughes and was put in operation on August 1st, 1998.
In March 1999 B-SAT signed a contract with Orbital Science Corp. (Orbital ATK – Northrop Grumman) for the built and launch the BSat-2 Satellite. In January 2000 the spacecraft was commissioned by the Hi-Vision Association to transmit engineering streams and began deploying support systems. In that same year, in November the BS digital broadcast Uplink Center was completed.
In December 2000 the BS digital broadcasting services using the BSat-1B back-up Satellite was commercialized using a temporary license due to the delay of the BSat-2A Satellite.
The BSat-2A Satellite was successfully launched by an Ariane rocket operated by Arianespace in March 2001. The BS digital broadcasting services from the BSat-1B were transferred to BSat-2A in April that same year.
In July 2001 the BSat-2B Satellite was launched by an Ariane rocket operated by Arianespace but the positioning of the satellite in a proper orbit failed.
In October 2001 B-SAT contracted Orbital Science Corp. (Orbital ATK – Northrop Grumman) to build and launch the BSat-2C Satellite to back up BSat-2B that was successfully launched in June 2003 and began operations in July that same year.
In June 2004 B-SAT received a preliminary license for the BS broadcasting services using BSat-3A (replacing BSat-1A and BSat-1B) spacecraft from ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications.
In May 2005 Lockheed Martin was contracted to build and launch the BSat-3a Satellite that was successfully launched on an Ariane rocket operated by Arianespace in August 2007. The spacecraft was put into operation in November 2007. Also, this year the company received a preliminary license for the BS broadcasting services using BSat-3B & BSat-3C (the successor of BSat-2) spacecraft from ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications.
In April 2008 Lockheed Martin was contracted to build and launch the BSat-3B Satellite that was launched by Arianespace aboard an Ariane 5-ECA along with the Eutelsat W3B satellite for satellite operator Eutelsat on Oct 28th 2010.
In that same year, in September 2008, B-SAT began the construction of ground facilities with digital-terrestrial broadcasting transformers and uplink facilities that were related to measures to use satellite for terrestrial digital broadcasting in poor reception areas. In November 2008 B-SAT received a preliminary license for the broadcasting services related to these poor areas.
In December 2008 B-SAT contracted Lockheed Martin to build and launch BSat-3C/JCSAT-110R, jointly procured by B-SAT and satellite operator SKY Perfect JSAT from Japan. The BSat-3C was launched later, in August 7th 2011.
In January 2009 B-SAT began the construction of the uplink facilities that were to be used in 2011.
From May 2009 till March 2010 the company studied and implemented countermeasures commissioned by liaison meeting on radio interference of some types of BS broadcasting reception systems.
In February 2010 B-SAT began BS digital broadcasting services relating to measures for terrestrial digital broadcasting in poor reception areas and in December in the same year the BSat-3B Satellite was put in operation.
In September 2011 the BSat-3C Satellite was commissioned and in October that year B-SAT began BS digital broadcasting services by new broadcasters using BS-5, 7, 11 and 19 channels.
In Mar 2012 the company began BS digital broadcasting services by new broadcasters using the BS-21 and 23 channels.
The BSat-2A Satellite ceased operation in January 2012 and was de-orbited while the BSat-2C Satellite was deorbited in July 2013.
In 2016 the company received a preliminary license for the 4K/8K UHDTV BS broadcasting using BSat-4A (to replace BSat-3A and for the 4K/8K UHDTV BS broadcasting).
In September 2017 launch operator Arianespace successfully launched the BSat-4A, built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), spacecraft on an Ariane 5 rocket. Arianespace conducted a dual launch with Intelsat-37e for satellite operator Intelsat.
In March 2018 B-SAT awarded the order for BSat-4B satellite to Space Systems/Loral (SS/L). Also, in December 2018 B-SAT started 4K/8K UHDTV BS commercial broadcasting services using the BSat-4A satellite.
In December 2019 the company received a radiostation license for the 2K HDTV BS broadcasting for using the BSat-4A satellite.
In August 2020 launch operator Arianespace successfully launched the BSat-4B satellite aboard of the Ariane 5 rocket. The satellite was put in operation in September 2020.
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