Long March 3B
15 years planned
19 August 1997
| Agila-2 (1997–2009)
Xichang Satellite Launch Center
ABS‑2, Intelsat 8, Apstar VI, INSAT‑2E, ABS‑3A
ABS-3, formerly ABS-5, which was named Mabuhay 1 or Agila 2 after the Philippine eagle, before being acquired by Asia Broadcast Satellite is a communications satellite launched in 1997. It originally provides telecommunications services for the Mabuhay Philippines Satellite Corporation before being sold to ABS in 2009. It was the first Filipino owned space satellite not acquired while in orbit. Another satellite named Mabuhay, previously known as Palapa B-2P, was acquired from Indonesian company Pasifik Satelit Nusantara a year earlier becoming the first satellite owned by a Filipino entity. Built by Space Systems/Loral, the satellite provides the most powerful coverage in the Asia-Pacific region. It covers the entire continent of Asia east of Pakistan, as well as the Western Pacific west of Hawaii. Its control station is located at the Subic Space Center in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The spacecraft was launched by the Long March 3B in its first successful flight and currently orbits at 146°E longitude.
ABS Satellite drifted Agila 2 (ABS-5) to the 3°W orbital slot and renamed it ABS-3. It entered service in December 2011 initially as ABS-5. As of June 2014, it remains in service. ABS-3A launched on 1 March 2015 is set to replace ABS-3 which has long exceeded it design life.
It contains 30 C-band transponders at 27 watts and 24 Ku-band transponders at 110 watts, combinable to 12 high-power 220-watt transponders. Total dc power at End of Life (EOL) is expected to be more than 8200 watts. The combination provides a power-to-mass ratio of 5-to-1, making Mabuhay one of the most efficient satellites in the industry. A single Agila 2 satellite transmits more than 190 channels of high-fidelity digital programming to cable companies and home satellite dishes, along with the capability to handle more than 50,000 simultaneous two-way telephone conversations.
Agila 2 was a joint venture of Mabuhay Satellite Corporation and various companies from the People's Republic of China, Indonesia and the Philippines, namely, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), High Rise Realty Development Corporation, Pilipino Telephone Corp. (Piltel), Beijing High Den Enterprises Limited, Walden Group of Companies, GMA Network, Inc., Philippine Satellite Corporation, Cable Entertainment Corporation, Siy Yap Group, and Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation. Its cost was estimated at US$243 million and has a design based on the Space Systems/Loral FS-1300 satellite bus. The satellite was deployed to orbit by a Chinese Long March 3B rocket in Sichuan province, on 20 August 1997. It is expected to achieve a mission lifetime of more than 15 years with its solar panels for power.
The satellite's C-band coverage beam illuminates an area covering East, South, and Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific up to Hawaii. Meanwhile, the Ku-band coverage zone encompasses Taiwan, portions of mainland China and Vietnam, as well as the entire Philippines. The 24 Ku-band transponders of the satellite may also be commanded by ground control to combine into 12 high-powered transponders with 220-watt amplifiers for the purpose of broadcasting direct-to-home digital TV services.
The C-band capacity permits Internet access with downlink capabilities of up to 15 Mbit/s. Moreover, Filipino broadcasters, such as ABS-CBN Corporation, used the satellite's C-band capacity for signal distribution and satellite news gathering activities. The Ku-band capacity delivered direct-to-home broadcast services to Filipinos in remote areas which allows rural dish owners to receive high-quality programming previously available only to certain parts of the country via wire and cable facilities.