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Arabsat transmissions jammed from Ethiopia

Preliminary investigations into the jamming of Arabsat satellite transmission shows that it is originating from Ethiopia, Lebanese Telecommunications Minister Nicolas Sahnawi said on Wednesday.

He called on Arabsat’s operator to secure new frequencies for its transmission in Lebanon. “Arabsat told us that the source of the jamming is Ethiopia and it handed us a copy of their complaint they have passed to Ethiopian authorities on this matter,” said Sahnawi. Speaking to reporters during a visit to a local satellite station in Mount Lebanon’s Jouret al-Balout, Sahnawi said that the political atmosphere in the region is likely to be behind the jamming of certain satellite operators.

“The political atmosphere in the region could push some countries to take such a step and start jamming on some operators,” Sahnawi said. Several Lebanese channels and the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera have been jammed in the past year, and the frequencies of Arabsat and Nilesat network providers have been jammed since the pro-democracy uprisings and ensuing unrest in Libya and Egypt.

“There needs to be a permanent solution to this jamming problem,” said Sahnawi, adding that contacts are ongoing with the administration of Arabsat to assign a new frequency for their transmission in Lebanon.