The Ciel II satellite, of Canada's Ciel Satellite Group, has been successfully launched by International Launch Services (ILS) from the Baïkonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Thales Alenia Space is the prime contractor of the satellite, which will deliver service over North America. Ciel II is the first multi-spot satellite dedicated to the North American DTH market to be built in Europe.

It is fitted with 32 Ku-band frequencies, configured into regional and spot beams maximizing the frequency reuse up to nine times. The satellite's payload power will be 10.6 kW for a lifetime of at least 15 years.

"As a long-standing partner to SES and its affiliates, Thales Alenia Space is both honored and proud of its role in the continuing growth of the SES family of companies," said Reynald Seznec, president and CEO of Thales Alenia Space. "We are looking forward to pursuing this successful partnership, and we hope to continue working with Ciel Satellite, SES and Echostar for many years more".