Television

Eutelsat awards contract to deliver Hot Bird 10 broadcast satellite to Astrium

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MUMBAI: Global satellite operator Eutelsat has announced that Astrium will build the Hot Bird 10 broadcast satellite which will be launched in first quarter of 2009 and positioned at the Group's 13 degrees East location.

Following Hot Bird 8 and 9, it is the third high-power broadcast satellite based on Astrium's Eurostar E3000 platform that will be located at Eutelsat's premium video neighbourhood for cable and satellite broadcasting.

The procurement of Hot Bird 10 underpins Eutelsat's objectives to continue to renew capacity at its Hot Bird neighbourhood, to raise

in-orbit redundancy and security for broadcasting clients and to increase overall flexibility across its satellite fleet.

Eutelsat's 13 degrees East neighbourhood broadcasts 950 television channels and 540 radio stations to 110 million cable and satellite homes across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Astrium's Eurostar E3000 platform was selected by Eutelsat for the Hot Bird 8 satellite, which went into full commercial service this month, and Hot Bird 9 which was ordered from Astrium in May this year. With each satellite equipped with 64 high-power Ku-band transponders spanning the entire range of 102 Ku-band frequencies at 13 degrees East, they will together deliver customers security and in-orbit redundancy for the development of digital entertainment services and HDTV channels.

Hot Bird 10's deployment in 2009 will also enable Eutelsat to pursue its objective to develop video activities at other orbital locations. The new satellite will release the group's Hot Bird 7A satellite from 13 degrees East in order for it to be repositioned at the 10 degrees East neighbourhood. The proximity of these two neighbourhoods enables reception of channels from both positions with a single antenna equipped with a dual feed.

This new video mission will be initiated first by Eurobird 10 (formerly Hot Bird 3) which is scheduled to enter into service at 10 degrees East later this month, having completed its mission at 13 degrees East. Eurobird 10's replacement by Hot Bird 7A will further increase capacity for video services in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa by providing up to 38 Ku-band transponders at 10 degrees East.

Eutelsat CEO Giuliano Berretta says, "By boosting our resource at established and growing video neighbourhoods we are in a privileged position to benefit from the strong dynamic of broadcasting markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Hot Bird 10 will further consolidate our premium Hot Bird position and will also expand the associated resource we can offer broadcasters from 10 degrees East for standard digital television, High-Definition Television and new video services using MPEG4 compression.

" We are also very pleased to renew our confidence with Astrium who has demonstrated the performance of its technology in our new Hot Bird 8 satellite."

Astrium Satellites' business unit CEO Antoine Bouvier said, "We are extremely pleased that Eutelsat confirms their confidence in our technology by ordering a third Eurostar E3000 to perfect the core of their prime broadcasting neighbourhood. Hot Bird 10 is a Eurostar E3000 satellite, identical to Hot Bird 8 and Hot Bird 9 with the same mission capacity. Hot Bird 10 is also the third satellite ordered by Eutelsat from Astrium this year, following W2M in February and Hot Bird 9 in May, and the seventh communications satellite contract overall won by Astrium in 2006."

Hot Bird 10 is the 15th satellite commissioned by Eutelsat from Astrium. With the early implementation of this programme the group is advancing in-orbit investments to 2007- 2009 which were originally forecast after 2010.

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