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The N-Star C satellite, which was built for NTT DoCoMo by Orbital Sciences and Lockheed Martin, will join two N-Star satellites already in orbit providing a satellite telephone service across Japan, Takuya Ori, a company spokesman, said. Fitted with 20 S-band and 1 C-band transponder, it will be positioned in geo-stationary orbit at 136 degrees East and has an estimated lifespan of 10 years.
The satellite will be used partially as an in-orbit back-up for the N-Star A and B satellites and partially to increase capacity and improve the existing service. NTT DoCoMo's Wide Star satellite telephone service has around 28,000 users, mainly in the maritime sector, as well as customers in the aviation and public safety sectors, Ori said.