Airbus Defence and Space

Eutelsat selects Airbus Defence and Space to deliver ATLANTIC BIRD™ 7 satellite for 7° West video neighbourhood

Paris, 14 May 2009 - Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL), one of the world’s leading satellite operators, announced today that it has selected Airbus Defence and Space to deliver its new satellite for 7° West called ATLANTIC BIRD™ 7.

 Scheduled for launch in 4th quarter 2011, the satellite will be located at a key neighbourhood for digital broadcasting markets in the Middle East and North Africa, which Eutelsat operates in close collaboration with the Egyptian satellite operator Nilesat. The launch vehicle will be selected by Eutelsat at a later stage.

Following the launch and entry into service of ATLANTIC BIRD™ 7 at 7° West, Eutelsat will redeploy the ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4A satellite currently at this position to the Group’s premium broadcasting neighbourhood at 13° East, where it will revert to its original name of HOT BIRD™ 10. Eutelsat has been operating ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4A at 7° West since March this year as part of the first phase of boosting broadcasting capacity at this neighbourhood. Over 450 television channels already broadcast from 7° West to an audience of 38 million homes.

By increasing the volume of Eutelsat’s operational Ku-band transponders at 7° West from 26 to up to 50, ATLANTIC BIRD™ 7 will virtually double the Group’s in-orbit resources at this position. This new capacity will be brought into operation alongside the Nilesat 101 and 102 satellites operated by Nilesat, which are scheduled to be joined in mid-2010 by Nilesat 201. Within the framework of this collaboration the two companies have agreed to jointly brand 7° West as the “NILEBIRD” neighbourhood.

ATLANTIC BIRD™ 7 will be based on Airbus Defence and Space’s Eurostar E3000 platform. Optimised for high-growth broadcasting markets, two beams will give superior coverage across the Middle East, including Gulf states, as well as North Africa and North-West Africa.

  • Up to 44 Ku-band transponders will be connected to a broad high-power footprint serving the Middle East and North Africa for Direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcasting.
  •   A second footprint for North-West Africa, across the Maghreb countries and extending down to the Gulf of Guinea will be connected to a payload of up to 12 Ku-band transponders designed for consumer broadcasting services and equipped to meet high demand for Internet access services.

Eutelsat Communications first announced the commissioning of a new satellite for the 7° West neighbourhood in February on the occasion of its first-half results for the 2008-2009 financial year. This satellite forms part of the Group’s capital expenditure programme for 2008-2011, which amounts to a total investment over the period of 450 million euros on average per year.

ATLANTIC BIRD™ 7 is the 18th satellite ordered by Eutelsat from Airbus Defence and Space. Its scheduled in-orbit lifetime exceeds 15 years.

ATLANTIC BIRD™ 7 vital statistics

Platform:                                                 Airbus Defence and Space Eurostar E3000

Width with solar panels deployed:   33 m

Mass at launch:                                     4.6 tonnes

Power at end-of-life:                             12 kW

Operational lifetime:                            15 years +

About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2008, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €4.3 billion and more than 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and Airbus Defence and Space for the development and delivery of satellite services.

AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2008, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €43.3 billion and employed a workforce of more than 118, 000.

Press contact:

Dan Mosely (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                      Tél. : +44 (0)1 438 77 8180

About Eutelsat Communications

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A. With capacity on 27 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 31 December 2008, Eutelsat’s satellites were broadcasting more than 3,200 television channels and 1,100 radio stations. Almost 1,100 channels broadcast via its HOT BIRD™ video neighbourhood at 13° 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 services through its teleport in Italy that serves enterprises, local communities, government agencies and aid organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ 591 commercial, technical and operational experts from 28 countries.


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