Littleton, Colo. -- EchoStar Communications Corp. said last
week that its EchoStar III satellite has lost the use of four transponders, due to a
previously reported anomaly.
An investigation discovered that the source of the problem
was a loss of four traveling-wave-tube amplifiers, leaving the satellite with 40 of its 44
TWTAs, according to a press release.
Because EchoStar is only licensed for 11 transponders at
the 61.5 degrees west orbital position where the bird resides, the company has reported no
interruption in service, and it does not expect any to occur.
EchoStar and satellite manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp.
will continue to investigate potential implications of the anomaly. EchoStar said it has
until early 1999 to file an insurance claim.