Paris, 12 February 2009

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) today announced the successful launch of its HOT BIRD™ 10 satellite by an Ariane 5 ECA rocket from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Speaking in Kourou after the launch, Giuliano Berretta, Chairman and CEO commented: “The successful launch of HOT BIRD™ 10 marks a further step forward in our extensive in-orbit investment programme for 2008-2011. As an identical satellite to HOT BIRD™ 8 and the recently-launched HOT BIRD™ 9, this new satellite forms part of our programme for full in-orbit sparing of the 102 frequencies operated at the HOT BIRD™ neighbourhood which broadcasts almost 1,100 channels to 120 million satellite and cable homes in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. With the commercial entry into service next week of HOT BIRD™ 9, we are already adding a new layer of sparing at 13 degrees East, taking this neighbourhood to industry-leading levels of in-orbit redundancy.”

With the upcoming entry into service of HOT BIRD™ 9 Eutelsat can continue to pursue its strategy of optimising its overall in-orbit resources. Prior to joining 13 degrees East HOT BIRD™ 10 will consequently be deployed to 7 degrees West to expand capacity at this key neighbourhood for broadcasting in the Middle East. Eutelsat began operating at 7 degrees West in 2006 with the ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4 satellite copositioned with the two satellites operated by the Egyptian operator Nilesat. As a replacement to ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4, HOT BIRD™ 10 will significantly boost Eutelsat’s resources at this position.

Eutelsat’s expansion plan for 7 degrees West will move into its third phase in mid-2011 with a high-capacity satellite called ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4-R which the Group has confirmed it will shortly procure.

Giuliano Berretta added: “Dynamic management of our resources is a hallmark of Eutelsat, enabling us to combine expansion with security and to be exceptionally receptive to fast-growing markets. The deployment of HOT BIRD™ 10 to 7 degrees West is a new demonstration of this strategy. It will enable us to further anchor Eutelsat in dynamically-expanding broadcast markets in the Middle East in collaboration with Nilesat, our longstanding partner in this region.”

Lift-off of the Ariane 5 ECA rocket carrying the 4.9 tonnes HOT BIRD™ 10 satellite was at 19h09 local time in French Guiana (22h09 GMT, 23h09 Paris time) on Thursday, 12 February. Separation of the satellite from the launch vehicle took place 26 minutes after lift-off. Operations needed to circularise the new satellite’s orbit, place it into its operational configuration and carry out in-orbit testing will be controlled by Eutelsat from its satellite control centre at the Rambouillet teleport (near Paris), using a global network of earth stations.

Three firings of the apogee motor over the coming 10 days will circularise HOT BIRD™ 10’s orbit. It will subsequently undergo a series of in-orbit tests before being moved to 7 degrees West to go into commercial service.

Profile and mission of HOT BIRD™ 10

Prime contractor

EADS - Astrium


Eurostar 3000


TV and radio broadcasting

Orbital position and coverage

Initial mission: 7°W (Middle East)

Principal mission: 13°E (Europe, North Africa, Middle East)


Ariane 5 ECA


Span in orbit

3.4 x 2.7 x 6.3 m

38 m with solar panels deployed

Mass at launch

4 892 kg


> 15 years


64 Ku-band transponders

Electric power

17.5 kW

Downlink frequencies

10.7 – 12.75 GHz

About Eutelsat Communications

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A.. With capacity commercialised on 25 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 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 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 27 countries.

For further information

Press contacts

Vanessa O’Connor 

Tel: + 33 1 53 98 38 88

Frédérique Gautier 

Tel: + 33 1 53 98 38 88

Investor relations

Gilles Janvier 

Tel: +33 1 53 98 35 35