Eutelsat set to double resources at key 36 degrees East neighbourhood

Paris, 25 November 2009

The W7 satellite of Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) has been successfully lofted into orbit by a Proton Breeze M rocket supplied by ILS. Lift-off of Eutelsat’s 5.6 tonne communications satellite took place on Tuesday 24 November at 14.19 GMT (15.19 CET). After a 9-hour 12-minute flight, the launcher released W7 into geosynchronous transfer orbit at 23.31 GMT (00.31 CET).

Commenting after successful spacecraft separation, Eutelsat CEO, Michel de Rosen said: “We are delighted to announce that our W7 satellite is on its way to 36° East, and we thank ILS and Khrunichev for responding to our requirements for quality, efficient and timely service. This new satellite will be a key pillar for our business development at a well-established neighbourhood, addressing dynamic markets with clear potential for sustained growth. W7 will support expansion of pay-TV platforms in Russia and across Africa. It will also give us headroom to expand telecoms and data activity in a vast region embracing Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.

With three new satellites having already entered into commercial service in 2009 - HOT BIRD™ 9, ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4A and W2A - today’s launch also represents a new step forward in Eutelsat’s significant in-orbit expansion programme. Four additional satellites will follow W7 into orbit by the end of 2011 to equip us with the resources, flexibility and reach we need to capture further business opportunities in video, telecom and broadband markets.”

Based on the Spacebus 4000C4 design, W7 was built for Eutelsat by Thales Alenia Space. The satellite’s apogee motor will be fired three times over the coming five days to circularise its orbit and solar panels and antennas will be fully deployed by the beginning of next week. After an extensive round of in-orbit tests, the satellite will be commercially available at 36 degrees East in early January 2010.

Colocated with W4, Eutelsat’s new satellite will double resources at the 36 degrees East location. Through a configuration of up to 70 transponders connected to five high-performance fixed and steerable beams, it will provide coverage of Russia and sub-Saharan Africa for digital broadcasting services including pay-TV, and boost resources for video and telecom markets in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. The satellite will also enhance service provided since 2000 by SESAT 1, which will be redeployed at an alternative location following W7’s entry into service at 36° East and transfer of traffic.

W7 characteristics:

Prime contractor – Thales Alenia Space

Platform: Spacebus 4000 C4

Launch mass: 5.6 tonnes

Solar array power: 15.8 kW

Payload power: 13.2 kW

Operational lifetime: 15 years

About Eutelsat Communications

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A.. With capacity commercialised 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 30 September 2009, Eutelsat’s satellites were broadcasting 3,300 television channels and 1,100 radio stations. More than 1,000 channels broadcast via its HOT BIRD™ video neighbourhood at 13 degrees East which serves over 123 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 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 615 commercial, technical and operational employees from 28 countries.

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