Satellites

Eutelsat selects Alcatel Alenia Space for W7 satellite

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MUMBAI: European satellite comunications firm Eutelsat and Alcatel Alenia Space have signed a contract under which Alcatel Alenia Space will manufacture and deliver Eutelsat’s W7 communications satellite.

To be launched in second quarter of 2009 at Eutelsat’s 36 degrees East location, W7 will double the capacity currently available at a key neighborhood in the group’s fleet of geostationary satellites. Through a configuration of high-performance fixed and steerable beams, W7 will also boost coverage and flexibility for addressing growing markets, notably in central Asia and Africa.

W7’s mission comprises up to 70 Ku-band transponders that can be connected to six beams serving Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East and central Asia. To be co-located with Eutelsat’s W4 satellite, which already serves anchor pay-TV operators in Russia, the Ukraine and sub-Saharan Africa, W7 will enable Eutelsat to almost double bandwidth for digital video services in these regions.

It will also replace all capacity on Eutelsat’s Sesat 1 satellite which serves Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and central Asia, and bring fresh capacity to South Africa through a high-power fixed beam and to central Asia through a spot beam which can be reoriented in orbit. Following W7’s deployment at 36 degrees East, SESAT 1 will continue in commercial service at an alternative location.

Weighing in at 5.6 tons and with 12 kW of payload power, W7 is based on the Alcatel Alenia Space Spacebus 4000 platform and will be boosted into orbit by Sea Launch.

Eutelsat CEO Giuliano Berretta said, “Since 2000, we have proactively built our video neighbourhood at 36 degrees East into a prime location for digital markets in eastern Europe and Africa. This commitment has won the confidence of pay-TV operators who are pioneers in their markets, notably NTV Plus from Russia, Poverkhnost from the Ukraine and MultiChoice Africa which reaches large parts of sub-Saharan Africa through this neighbourhood.

In order to support growth for broadcast and telecommunications services in these regions and to boost capacity for other markets, we looked closely at how we could even more efficiently exploit the resource at 36 degrees East.

"With W7, this key position in our fleet will benefit from capacity enabling us to use the full spectrum of Ku-band frequencies, and to respond to market demands in multiple regions through a high degree of operational flexibility.”

Alcatel Alenia Space CEO c says, “We are very pleased and fully committed to supporting Eutelsat sustainable growth. We are also very proud of working alongside Eutelsat to meet the increasing market demand and emerging new applications by delivering technologies with outstanding performance.

W7 is the second satellite after W2A to be awarded by Eutelsat to our company in 2006. This contract further consolidates an historical year for our company: we have been chosen by a large number of operators, making us the world leader in the communications satellite market.”

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