There’s a new comsat scheduled to serve the pan-African market, thanks to an agreement signed between Arianespace and Thales Alenia Space. The Service & Solutions contract is for Rascom-QAF 1R, which is planned for a launch in 2010 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana aboard a Soyuz or Ariane 5 rocket. This new comsat is part of a turnkey contract with the Regional African Satellite Communication Organization by Thales Alenia Space, with the goal of providing telecom services to rural areas of Africa over 15 years. Additionally, direct TV broadcast and Internet accesses are part of the planned offering. Rascom-QAF 1R is based on the Spacebus 4000B3 platform and will bring in to play 12 Ku- and 8 C-band transponders with 6.4 kW of end-of-life power. The satcom will replace Rascom-QAF 1 and will occupy the orbital slot at 2.85° E.