PARIS, December 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL), one of the world's leading satellite operators, today announced that Thales Alenia Space has been commissioned to build the W3D satellite that will replace the W3B spacecraft lost after its launch on October 28. The delivery schedule of the new 56-transponder satellite has been fixed to 24 months, enabling Eutelsat to plan for commercial availability from early 2013.
Based on the Spacebus 4000 platform of Thales Alenia Space, W3D will be copositioned with Eutelsat's W3A satellite at 7degrees East to expand operational capacity at this longstanding location to 70 transponders from 44. These additional resources will enable existing customers to expand their business, will increase in-orbit security and inject new capacity to 7degrees East to capture business opportunities in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.
Commenting on the order, Eutelsat CEO, Michel de Rosen, said: "Working in close collaboration with industry, Eutelsat is now pushing ahead with timely delivery of W3C to 16degrees East in mid-2011 and has started the clock on the W3D programme which will be completed in 24 months. Our clear objective is to apply to both programmes all appropriate recommendations of the Inquiry Board currently investigating the loss of W3B. Even as the Inquiry Board continues its work, we are already implementing measures to tighten control of industry's manufacturing processes."
W3D satellite will deliver three key coverage zones: - High-power Ku-band coverage of Europe with a beam centred over Central Europe and Turkey particularly optimised for Direct-to-Home (DTH) reception; - Extensive coverage across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East as far as Central Asia, via a Ku-band beam for professional video links and data networks; - Ku-band coverage of Sub-Saharan Africa and Indian Ocean islands for regional telecommunications and Internet services. Interconnection with Europe will also be possible with the African coverage through a combination of Ka-band frequencies in Europe and Ku-band frequencies in Africa.
From a financial standpoint, W3D replaces the W3B satellite programme that was fully covered by insurance.
About Eutelsat Communications
Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A.. With capacity commercialised on 26 satellites that provide coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, Eutelsat is one of the world's three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues. At 30 September 2010, Eutelsat's satellites were broadcasting more than 3,700 television channels. More than 1,100 channels broadcast via its HOT BIRD(TM) video neighbourhood at 13 degrees East which serves over 120 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The Group's satellites also serve a wide range of fixed and mobile telecommunications services, TV contribution markets, corporate networks, and broadband markets for Internet Service Providers and for transport, maritime and in-flight markets. Eutelsat's broadband subsidiary, Skylogic, markets and operates access to high speed internet services through teleports in France and Italy that serve enterprises, local communities, government agencies and aid organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ nearly 661 commercial, technical and operational employees from 28 countries
SOURCE Eutelsat Communications