DirecTV launches local signal bird

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DirecTV took another step toward adding local stations to its satellite service with the launch of a spot beam satellite from French Guiana Monday night aboard the Ariane 4 rocket.

DIRECTV-4S is equipped with 48 high-power Ku-band transponders, 38 of which will be used for spot beams to deliver local stations to their markets and 10 for general coverage of the U.S.

Its projected lifespan is 15 years. - John Eggerton