Eutelsat Communications has said that its two recent launch successes, Atlantic Bird 7 and W3C, will provide new capacity to support growth in fast developing markets.
The operator’s Atlantic Bird came into service on October 23, offering enhanced coverage of the Middle East and North Africa broadcast markets. Its W3C is to enter into service November 9, serving broadcast markets in Central Europe, Indian Ocean islands and data markets in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Atlantic Bird 7 was launched on September 24, 2011, and entered into service on October 23 at the 7 degrees West orbital position. Eutelsat operates at this position in close coordination with the Egyptian satellite operator, Nilesat, and currently broadcasts 394 Arab and international channels to an audience of nearly 30 million satellite homes.
With up to 50 transponders, 11 more than Atlantic Bird 4A, the satellite it replaced, Atlantic Bird 7, has significantly increased resources in this key video neighbourhood, offering coverage across the Gulf states, up to the Atlantic coast of Northwest Africa.
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 telecom markets in Europe and South-West Asia. It will be called Eutelsat 3C and will be co-located at 3 degrees East with Eutelsat 3A.
The operator’s W3C satellite was launched on October 7, 2011, and is scheduled to enter into service on November 9 at the orbital position 16 degrees East. It replaces the Eurobird 16, W2M and SESAT 1 satellites. Through its configuration of 56 transponders, (53 Ku and 3 Ka), it will address markets for broadcasting and telecom/data services via four footprints.
A high-power footprint optimised for Direct-to-Home broadcasting in Central Europe will anchor the 16 degrees East neighbourhood as a point of reference for satellite TV in the region, currently broadcasting 481 TV channels and serving over 11 million households.
A second beam, centred over the Indian Ocean islands, will allow broadcasters serving this geography to ensure the extension of their subscription television offers and accelerate the transition to “all-digital” free-to-air channels to the French departments of Mayotte and the Reunion Islands.
A wide footprint serving Europe, North Africa and the Middle East will expand capacity to serve markets for data networks and newsgathering.
A new footprint for 16 degrees East, with Ku-band coverage stretching from Senegal to Madagascar and enabling connectivity with Europe in Ka-band, will respond to high-growth applications that include GSM backhaul and internet access for enterprises and public agencies.
Following WC3’s entry into service, Eurobird 16 and SESAT 1 will go into inclined orbit at 16 degrees East and W2M will be redeployed to an alternative location.
Eutelsat Communications has announced it is initiating a new satellite programme that will significantly expand and diversify resources at its 9 degrees East location which addresses high-growth video markets across Europe. A high capacity Ku-band satellite called Eutelsat 9B, ordered from Astrium, will be launched to 9 degrees East at the end of 2014.
Open for business since 2007, Eutelsat’s 9 degrees East position is currently occupied by the 38-transponder Eurobird 9A satellite. Broadcasting more than 330 channels, of which over 10% already in HD, it is one of
the Group’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods. Its close proximity to Eutelsat’s flagship Hot Bird satellites at 13 degrees East also gives satellite viewers the opportunity to increase viewing choice through a dual-feed antenna.