Eutelsat's Hot Bird 6 broadcast satellite goes into service

PARIS: Eutelsat has announced that the latest addition to its fleet of broadcasting satellites Hot Bird 6 has entered into commercial service and is now beaming television and radio channels to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The new satellite is positioned at 13 degrees East, home to Eutelsats family of HOT BIRD broadcasting satellites that deliver 670 television channels and 470 radio stations to 93 million cable and satellite homes.

A seamless transfer of all television and radio services from Hot Bird 5 to the satellite took place releasing Hot Bird 5 to a new mission at another orbital location, a Eutelsat release says. Broadcasters to benefit from the improved performance provided by Hot Bird 6 include TPS, Stream TV, RTL, BBC World/BBC Prime, Bloomberg TV, EuroSport, EuroSport News, EuroNews, Deutsche Welle and CNN International. A small number of services have also been transferred from Hot Bird 4 onto Hot Bird 6, notably for TPS, the release says.

A total of 28 of the satellites 32 transponders were powered up. The remaining four, operating in the Ka-band, will enter into service later this month. In addition to fulfilling its primary mission of providing Ku-band capacity for consumer broadcasting, Hot Bird 6 will be able to support a new range of services through a unique combination of the Ka-band frequencies and an enhanced version of Eutelsats SKYPLEX on-board multiplexing facility. Operating via four concentrated uplink beams over Europe, these combined technologies will enable direct access to the satellite by small terminals sited at customer premises. This will facilitate the development of new broadband services for connecting sites and will provide microbroadcasting for enterprises and regional authorities.

Eutelsat provides coverage across four continents, encompassing Europe, the Middle East, Africa, south-west Asia, eastern North America, and South America. Eutelsat's satellite infrastructure gives it the flexibility to offer direct-to-home broadcasting, video distribution and contribution services, corporate network solutions and a portfolio of IP applications including broadband Internet access and Internet backbone connections.

From its strategic HOT BIRD orbital position at 13 degrees East and other orbital positions, Eutelsat claims to transmit more than 1200 television and 600 radio stations reaching an overall audience of more than 100 million cable and satellite homes.

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