China Satellitecom Group has signed an agreement with Alcatel Space Aviation Corporation for the purchase of new satellite systems.

Under the agreement, China Satellitecom will spend EU$100 million to buy a new communications live broadcasting satellite named "Zhong Xing No. 9", which was specially designed and produced by Alcatel.

The satellite can cover all regions in China and is expected to last for 15 years. When it is launched in 2007, people living in remote rural areas will be able to watch satellite TV programs with a simple antenna.

Although China Satellitecom says the satellite will be used for 2008 Beijing Olympics, others believe the company is trying to seize an advantage in China's growing IPTV market.

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