Eutelsat’s latest satellite is preparing for an October 28 launch from the Arianespace launch facility in Guiana.
Eutelsat W3B, with a key responsibility to DTH platforms in Central & East Europe is scheduled to replace the Eurobird 16, W2M and SESAT 1 satellites at 16 degrees East in December. All three craft will be redeployed to other positions. W2M and Sesat were moved to the 16 degrees East slot after the January anomalies with Eutelsat W2. Eurobird 16 had been on station since April 2009.
Four distinct footprints will be in use across the 56 transponders of the Thales Alenia Space-built satellite; A high power Central European footprint will ensure continuity of service for platforms including DigitAlb and Total TV. In addition a widebeam will span Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia for professional video links and data networks;?a high-power beam over Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands will bring DTH broadcasting to the region and a beam sweeping across Sub-Saharan Africa and Indian Ocean islands will bring regional telecoms and Internet services. Interconnectivity with Europe will also be possible via a combination of Ka-band frequencies in Europe and Ku-band frequencies in Africa.
Eutelsat is currently engaged in a programme that will see the launch of seven new satellites by 2013; In addition to W3B these are; KA-SAT, W3C, Atlantic Bird 7, W5A, W6A and Eurobird 2.