New communications satellite goes online

The Amos 1 communications satellite which was launched in mid-May, 1996 and has served the Israel Broadcasting Authority and its viewers and listeners for just over a decade, is to be replaced on Tuesday by the Amos 3, launched in April 2008. Broadcasts on channels 1, 2, 10, 33 and 99 will all be relayed via Amos 3. The change will not affect cable television subscribers or viewers whose television sets are linked to a central antenna. Viewers with private satellite dishes should reset the frequency to 11,647. Higher quality reception on the above-mentioned channels as well as on all Israel Radio Network stations can be guaranteed for a one-time payment, the final amount of which has yet to be determined by the Finance Ministry. According to an IBA spokesperson, the sum will be somewhere between NIS 400 - NIS 500. The IBA has also acquired new transmitters, at a cost of NIS 1.7 million, to enable wider reception of Radio Reka. Radio Reka, or the Aliya station as it is sometimes called, was introduced in 1991 in response to the huge wave of non-Hebrew speaking immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Radio Reka's main languages are Russian and Amharic, but altogether it broadcasts in 14 languages. It has become significantly more important since Israel Radio ceased its shortwave broadcasts earlier this year, because listeners from around the world who want to pick up the foreign language broadcasts can do so by accessing the IBA Web site: