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Eutelsat announced today the signature of a contract with Alcatel Space for rapid delivery of a new telecommunications satellite. Called W5, the new satellite will contribute to the company’s double objective of expanding its commercial offer and further raising levels of in-orbit security.


Ready for launch this summer, the new satellite will carry 24 wideband Ku-band transponders capable of delivering a full portfolio of services that include video distribution and contribution links, occasional-use video and particularly Satellite NewsGathering (SNG), as well as Internet backbone connections. It will provide broad coverage and include two steerable spotbeams, which can be steered over a broad range of different market zones. W5 has a minimum lifespan of 12 years a launch mass of three tonnes and 6 kilowatt on-board power. Options for the satellite’s orbital position are currently being reviewed by Eutelsat.


With the acquisition of W5, Eutelsat’s programme of satellite launches in 2002 increases to five. Two HOT BIRD™ satellites (6 and 7) will be launched this summer to 13 degrees East to bring additional capacity to Eutelsat’s premium orbital location for consumer television broadcasting and raise sparing levels. The satellites they replace will be repositioned to new locations where they will continue in full commercial service. The e-BIRD satellite will position Eutelsat for offering capacity optimised for two-way broadband access while ATLANTIC BIRD™ 1 will support the recently launched ATLANTIC BIRD™ 2 in providing capacity for single-point access in and between four continents.


About Eutelsat


Eutelsat S.A. is one of the world's leading providers of satellite communications solutions. With its fleet of 18 satellites and additional capacity on three other satellites Eutelsat provides seamless coverage across four continents, encompassing Europe, the Middle East, Africa, south-west Asia and North and South America. Seven satellites are under construction with launches planned over the next two years. Eutelsat's satellite infrastructure gives it the flexibility to offer TV and radio broadcasting services, corporate network solutions and a portfolio of IP applications including distribution of rich multimedia content, rapid Internet access and Internet backbone connections. From its strategic HOT BIRD™ orbital position and other orbital positions, Eutelsat transmits more than 1000 television and 550 radio stations to 98 million cable and satellite homes. Eutelsat is one of the principal investors in HISPASAT, Spain’s national satellite operator with reach of the Iberian peninsula and Latin America. With headquarters in Paris, Eutelsat's workforce comprises 390 people from 24 countries.

For further information please contact: Kelly Grant or Magdalen Bush on 020 7580 0222; email: kelly.grant@keycommunications.co.uk; magdalen.bush@keycommunications.co.uk


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