Eutelsat is born out of an ambition to build a European industry in the manufacture, launch and operation of satellites.
The organisation first took shape in 1977 to operate the first generation of communications satellites ordered by the European Space Agency (ESA).4Satellites launched
The creation of Eutelsat international organisation marks the beginning of Europe’s satellite communications services industry.
The first satellite, EUTELSAT I-F1, was launched in 1983.
This was the beginning of the satellite television business with the first transmission of a satellite TV signal on a commercial European satellite.
The first analogue channels quickly took advantage of this new opportunity to broadcast to consumers equipped with first-generation reception equipment.
Three further satellites launched in this initial series, the final one in 1988.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Eutelsat's original scope was transformed.
The organisation’s membership expanded eastwards from the early 1990s to include all Eastern European countries.
New satellites delivering higher capacity and wider geographic reach were launched during this period.
The satellite TV market rapidly expanded, pioneering the transition to digital in the middle of the decade which set the scene for the launch of multi-channel pay-TV platforms across Europe.11Satellites launched
First transmissions using the DVB-S standard.
Eutelsat successfully developed the HOTBIRD constellation of high-power satellites at 13° East, enabling hundreds of television channels to be broadcast to millions of homes via cable networks and Direct-to-Home antennas.
Development of earth-brightness-temperature model to estimate uplink performance.
Launch by Viacom of the first commercial TV platform in DVB-MPEG.
DiSEqC standard developed as a communication bus between satellite receivers and peripheral equipment using existing coaxial cables.
Monoblock LNBs were developed for dual-feed reception.
1995 to 1997 also saw the development and standardisation of the DVB-IP standard
Launch of the first satellite with electrical propulsion for station-keeping (EUTELSAT 16C)
Maiden Atlas III rocket takes EUTELSAT 36A into space.
Launch of Europe’s first consumer internet service using satellite for downloads.
With the liberalisation of the telecoms sector, Eutelsat transformed into a private company in July 2001 and went public in 2005. Eutelsat’s activities diversified rapidly in the 2000s to include internet and government services.
The broadcast business continued its expansion with the HOTBIRD concept of broadcast satellites replicated at other positions to address markets in Russia, the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.
Geographic reach continued to expand across Africa, Asia and the Americas. By the end of the decade, offices had been opened in key European centres as well as Asia and the Americas. Teleports in France and Italy were also built up to provide broadcast and broadband services.19Satellites launched
HOTBIRD 13A, the first satellite with digital onboard multiplexing (Skyplex) and switching between Ku and Ka-bands goes into space on the maiden Atlas V flight.
Inaugural Delta 4 rocket orbits EUTELSAT 70A.
EUTELSAT 33A satellite launched with four regional Ku-band beams for high frequency reuse.
Launch of first satellite with Lithium-Ion batteries (EUTELSAT 7A).
Launch on HOTBIRD of Europe’s first demonstration HDTV channel in MPEG-2 DVB-S.
Between 2006 and 2008, the DVB-SH standard for Direct Satellite Mobile Broadcasting was developed.
EUTELSAT 36B satellite carries first on-board multiplexing capability to increase uplink service area.
Launch of FRANSAT, a service operated on Eutelsat’s ATLANTIC BIRD 3 satellite giving satellite access in metropolitan France to all French free DTT channels
Today, Eutelsat is one of the most innovative operators in the commercial satellite business. With the acquisition of Satmex in January 2014, our Group now offers capacity on 38 satellites that provide premium coverage of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.
Our support team of over 1,000 industry professionals from 46 countries are located at offices and teleports around the world, ensuring we are close to our clients to deliver the highest quality of service.
Our continued growth is the consequence of a strategy focused on three key pillars: consolidating our leadership position in Europe and expanding our presence across the globe; targeting the development of digital services in the video market as well as in data and connectivity markets; and investing and innovating to renew our fleet of satellites and develop new applications and services.
From modest beginnings 40 years ago, Eutelsat sits at the heart of a global satellite industry and vibrant digital economy.15Satellites launched
KA-SAT, Europe’s first High Throughput Satellite, the highest capacity commercial satellite ever built, goes into space.
Carrier ID initiated for quality assurance of DVB satellite transmissions.
EUTELSAT 8 West B - the first satellite ordered with improved signal integrity, optimised use of electrical power and frequency agile command receivers.
FRANSAT (Eutelsat’s French DTT platform via satellite) launches an integrated satellite receiver and DTT module in flat-screen displays.
Eutelsat’s SmartLNB for Direct-to-Home antenna opens the door for broadcasters to operate linear television and connected TV services directly by satellite.
Eutelsat launches first demonstration Ultra HD channel.
Eutelsat steps up Ultra HD activity launching Europe’s first demo channel encoded in HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), broadcasting at 50 fps with 10-bit colour depth (one billion colours – HEVC Main 10 profile).
World-first all-electric satellite, EUTELSAT 115 West B, enters service in late 2015.
Eutelsat QUANTUM contract signed - the first of a new generation of software-controlled satellite, developed through a PPP with ESA and Airbus Defence and Space.
Eutelsat launches SmartBeam, the satellite solution for multiscreen TV delivery to smartphones and tablets.
Launch of Sat.tv smart EPG for HOTBIRD viewers.
EUTELSAT 172B satellite goes live at 172° East, embarking a new HTS payload for in-flight connectivity for users in a vast region stretching from the West coast of the Americas to Asia, Oceania and across the Pacific.
Order of KONNECT VHTS, a new-generation satellite, aimed at serving high-speed internet, in-flight connectivity and government markets with fibre-like services from 2021 onwards in Europe and the Mediterranean region.