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N° 16–1996: EMS, an ESA high-performance communications payload, ready for launch on ITALSAT-F2

27 March 1996

The Special Administrator of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Mr. Silvano Casini, and the Director of Telecommunications of the European Space Agency (ESA), Mr. René Collette have today signed the Agreement giving the terms under which the European Land Mobile Services (EMS) payload developed by ESA is being embarked, launched and operated on the ITALSAT-F2 satellite developed by ASI.

Following this, the Chief Executive Officer of Nuova Telespazio, Mr. Andrea Pucci and Mr. René Collette signed a contract providing for the lease of EMS capacity to Nuova Telespazio of the STET Group.

EMS is a high-performance communications payload for the provision of a variety of L-band satellite services principally to mobile users throughout Europe and northern Africa and was developed under ESA contract by Alenia Spazio. This will initiate a service which follow-on payloads, for which ESA is now developing the technology, will be used to provide continuity of service well into the next century.

EMS will allow users with small portable terminals, as well as those with vehicle-mounted terminals, to have access to communications at very reasonable costs. This payload is to be orbited as a passenger on the second flight model of the ASI satellite, ITALSAT-F2, which is scheduled for launch by Ariane in summer 1996.

After the launch of the satellite and commissioning of the EMS payload, its capacity will be leased by ESA to Nuova Telespazio which will serve both as a wholesaler of that capacity to third party service providers and as a service provider in its own right. The types of services which will be marketed by Nuova Telespazio and others will include voice, data and facsimile communications to and from mobile terminals mounted on cars and trucks. The satellite will complement the services available from terrestrial cellular systems as well as provide a number of additional types of services. The coverage area will be Greater Europe extending to North Africa and the Middle East.