Eutelsat has announced the full entry into commercial service of its Atlantic Bird 7 satellite one month after its launch at 7 degrees West.
The transfer of all television channels onto Atlantic Bird 7 at 7 degrees West from the Atlantic Bird 4A satellite was completed in the early hours of October 23 by Eutelsat’s control centre, working in close collaboration with broadcast clients and providers of uplink services.
More than 400 TV channels are now broadcasting via Atlantic Bird 7 into almost 30 million homes located from the North African Atlantic coastline across to the Gulf states.
With Atlantic Bird 7′s entry into service, Eutelsat is strengthening its relationship with Nilesat, the Egyptian satellite operator that also manages its own system of three satellites at the 7 degrees West neighbourhood. Nilesat is leasing new transponders on Eutelsat’s satellite in addition to leases transferred from Atlantic Bird 4A.
The supplemental capacity will further anchor the 7 degrees West neighbourhood in the satellite broadcasting market across the MENA region, enabling Nilesat and Eutelsat to boost resources for digital channels and HDTV, which is rapidly making inroads at 7 degrees West, with 30 HDTV channels already broadcasting.
Having completed its mission at 7 degrees West, the Atlantic Bird 4A satellite is now released to continue full commercial service at another Eutelsat location. The satellite is being redeployed to 3 degrees East to address data and telecoms markets in Europe and South-West Asia. It will be called Eutelsat 3C and will be colocated at 3 degrees East with Eutelsat 3A.
Built for Eutelsat by Astrium, Atlantic Bird 7 is based on the Eurostar E3000 platform, with a launch mass of 4.6 tonnes and a spacecraft power of 12kW. Astrium was in charge of flight operations and specialised support during the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) operations, and will continue to support Eutelsat by monitoring the satellite throughout its more than 15 year mission from its satellite monitoring centre in Toulouse.