Eutelsat set to triple resources at key 10 degrees East neighbourhood

Europe’s first S-band payload for Mobile Satellite Services goes into space.

Paris, 4 April 2009

The W2A satellite of Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) was successfully lofted into orbit today by a Proton Breeze M rocket supplied by ILS. Lift-off of the 5.9 tonne satellite took place on Friday 3 April at 16.24 GMT (18.24 CET). After a 9-hour 10-minute flight, the launcher released W2A into a geosynchronous transfer orbit at 01.34 GMT (03.34 CET) on April 4.

Commenting on the launch, Eutelsat Chairman and CEO, Giuliano Berretta said: “With its unique configuration of three distinct commercial payloads combined in a single spacecraft, today’s launch is a milestone achievement for Eutelsat and the commercial satellite industry.

In addition to bringing significant new Ku-band and C-band resources to our fleet for professional video and data communications in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, W2A’s S-band payload ushers in a new era in satellite-based mobile video and interactive communications. Our entry into this new European market with exciting growth potential is shared with SES Astra through the jointly-owned Solaris Mobile company.”

Today’s launch also marks a further step forward in Eutelsat’s in-orbit expansion programme of nine new satellites to launch during the 2008-2011 period. The first two satellites, HOT BIRD™ 9 and ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4A are already deployed, and the programme will continue in the middle of 2009 with the launch of W7 that is particularly optimised for digital broadcasting in Russia and sub-Saharan Africa.”

Designed to replace Eutelsat’s W1 satellite, W2A’s payload of up to 46 Ku-band and 10 C-band transponders will almost triple capacity at one of the Group’s most established neighbourhoods.

Services in the S-band will enable Solaris Mobile to deploy mobile video broadcasting applications across Europe for a host of mobile devices including phones, PDAs, iPods, games consoles and laptops. The S-band will also be able to support the deployment of mobile interactive applications of particular benefit for the transport and automotive sectors.

Using the Spacebus 4000C4 platform, W2A was built by Thales Alenia Space. The satellite’s apogee motor will be fired three times over the coming five days to circularise its orbit. The solar panels and antennas, including the 12-metre S-band antenna will be fully deployed by the end of next week. After an extensive round of in-orbit tests Eutelsat’s newest satellite will be made commercially available at 10 degrees East in May.

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 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.

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