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RIMSAT SIGNS $150 MILLION AGREEMENT WITH RUSSIA TO LAUNCH NEW FLEET OF SATELLITES INTO ORBIT POSITIONS ASSIGNED TO THE KINGDOM OF TONGA

 WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 ~PRNewswire~ -- Michael A. Sternberg, chief operating officer of Rimsat, Ltd., announced today that the company has received formal approval from the Republic of Russia to build and launch at least seven satellites over the next four years which will allow the company to initiate a new, cost-effective satellite telecommunications service to customers in the Pacific Operating Region (POR). Rimsat, incorporated in April of this year, will be able to establish service by using assigned geosynchronous orbital positions ("slots") from the Kingdom of Tonga and negotiating the lease of seven satellites from the Russian Republic. Service could begin as early as January 1993, as two satellites are currently in orbit and six additional satellites will be launched between September 1993 and March 1996.
 "The Pacific Operating Region is the fastest growing economic region on Earth," Sternberg said. "Investment is flowing into Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei and even Vietnam. Countries are becoming enormously interdependent with vast consumer populations in Japan, Singapore and Korea. The region includes the People's Republic of China, with more than a billion people and less than three telephones for every 100 people. The entire region has only 23 telephones per 100 people. This compares to over 200 telephones per 100 people in the U.S. The demand for satellite communications services is today outstripping the supply and it will only get worse for the rest of this century.
 "By recognizing the opportunity presented by two historic events...the assignment of orbital positions to Tonga and the reorganization of the Soviet Union, where an entire aerospace industry was looking for customers, Rimsat was able to create a strategic business where the company will provide:
 1) new service availability in an area that desperately needs it,
 2) attractive prices based on our relatively low costs, and
 3) a growth path for customers who will require growing
 quantities of service."
 Sternberg reported that approval of Rimsat's agreement by the
Russian Republic was granted on Nov. 3, 1992. He explained that Rimsat will be able to provide service in the first quarter of 1993 because the first satellite to be put in service is an existing Russian satellite already in orbit. It will be "drifted over" into position at 130 degrees or 134 degrees East Longitude and will be fully tested before use. The first Rimsat launch of a new Russian satellite from Kazakhistan is scheduled for September 1993.
 The company's agreement with the Kingdom of Tonga, as approved by Tongasat, the nation's satellite authority, and ratified by the Tongan government in July 1992, provides that:
 1. Rimsat has two orbital positions at 130.0 and 134.0 degrees
 East Longitude. The company has exercised its options to
 enable it to use two additional Tonga positions and has a
 further option to use any unused positions, abandoned
 positions or positions that may be acquired by Tongasat on the
 same basic terms and conditions as the original positions.
 2. The contract covers both C-band and K-band usage.
 The company's agreement with the Russian Republic provides that:
 1. Rimsat has leased seven satellites (three "Gorizont" and
 four "Express" from the Russian agency duly authorized by
 the Russian Federation to enter into such a contract.) Each
 Gorizont carries six C-band and 1 K-band transponders. The
 Express carries 10 C-band and 2 K-band transponders. Two
 "in orbit" satellites will be used in the interim to
 inaugurate service.
 2. All leases cover launch costs. The Russians have agreed to
 maintain the satellites, with telemetry, tracking and command
 during their useful lives.
 3. Rimsat has a 10-year option to purchase 10 additional Express
 satellites.
 4. Rimsat also has a right of first refusal on all Express
 satellites not slated for use by the government of Russia
 and its associated states.
 Rimsat has engaged investment bankers to provide investment advisory services.
 Mr. Sternberg, as chief operating officer, will handle the day-to- day operations of the company. The company expects to have a total staff of 30 at the end of its first year of business. Headquarters is Fort Wayne, Ind.
 For more information contact Michael Sternberg or Mr. Jim Simon, managing director at Rimsat, Ltd. in the U.S. at 219-484-6474.
 -0- 11~17~92
 ~CONTACT: Mary Jung or Gordon Barker, 312-977-0077, Corporate Communications Associates for Rimsat~


CO: Rimsat, Ltd. ST: District of Columbia IN: TLS SU:

PS -- NY041 -- 1805 11~17~92 11:45 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 17, 1992
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