New Astra 2G satellite goes live on 1 June 2015





SES Astra, the company that operates the satellites serving the UK, is now at the end of a programme to replace the ageing satellites that have been operating since the late 1990s. The first of 3 replacements was the Astra 2F which was launched in September 2012, and the second was the Astra 2E launched last year. The final satellite will be the Astra 2G. It has suffered a catalogue of delays but with effect from 1 June 2015 it is now fully operational.

What is already clear is that Astra 2G will NOT provide expats with the BBC/ITV etc. Despite endless publicity on reputable websites and forums, some expat forums were still speculating until quite recently that the main UK entertainment channels will suddenly reappear. Sorry but it ain't going to happen. Current difficulties/impossibilities in receiving the UK free channels will remain as they are. Indeed some channels are worse off - see below.

Final summary

The Astra 2G satellite was lifted into orbit on 27 Dec 2014 but was not immediately made available to SES, the operating company serving the UK, because it was grabbed by Luxembourg's security services as a place marker for their future use at a different undisclosed position. It was finally moved to its permanent orbital slot of 28.2 E at the beginning of June 2015 and transfer of channels previously hosted by EutelSat 28A began. That process is now complete and EutelSat 28A will be switched off.

Some channels, previously on a fairly wide beam and receivable across much of Europe, have transferred to narrow beams and have therefore been lost to viewers in southern Europe. Don't blame me, or write to ask what can be done about it. It's not my fault and the answer is nothing short of installing a suitably enormous dish.

This page will be left in place for a while but I will eventually remove it.



If you arrived at this page from an external link, click here to get back to the main page.
© Copyright D. Sullivan 2011-2015