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SKYPLEX DATA marks world first by combining on-board multiplexing and processing with Ka-band frequencies on Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD 6 satellite

Paris, June 27, 2003
Eutelsat, Europe’s leading satellite operator, today unveiled an innovative new service called SKYPLEX DATA which will enable small transmit/receive terminals to be used for cost-effective meshed networks in Europe supporting a range of television, data and audio applications. The service was demonstrated today in Italy through three terminals used for fast file transfer and videoconferencing.

SKYPLEX DATA is the world’s first broadband satellite network to couple on-board satellite multiplexing (SKYPLEX) with high-power Ka-band frequencies. By combining these two features Eutelsat is the first satellite operator to enable small terminals to communicate directly with one another, without an on-ground hub, at the cost of existing Ku-band VSAT equipment. The system operates on a multiple access mode or with permanent bandwidth in order to offer maximum flexibility and cost-efficiency and can use 90cm terminals with 2 Watt amplifiers priced at less than €4,000, making it a highly competitive solution for broadband private meshed networks. In addition to LAN to LAN interactivity for applications such as file transfer and rich media (eg. webinars), SKYPLEX DATA is powerful enough for transmitting MPEG4 television channels through small uplink terminals for applications such as business TV. The service is also being adapted for broadcasting DVB/MPEG2 television.

Eutelsat’s new service will be offered through up to four Ka-band transponders on its HOT BIRD 6 satellite located at 13 degrees East. The terminal is a compact unit (30cm wide and 4.5 cm high) able to receive a downlink stream of up to 38 Mbps from as many as six uplink carriers each with a net bit rate of approximately 6 Mbps, or 18 carriers each with a net bitrate of 2 Mbps. Eutelsat has recently completed validation of Ka-band terminals from ViaSat for the indoor unit and Patriot Antennas for the outdoor unit.

“This unique service continues Eutelsat’s long tradition of technological leadership and underscores our objective to build solutions that open satellites to a diversified spectrum of applications for a broad profile of users,” said Giuliano Berretta, Eutelsat CEO. “We believe that by leveraging the assets of on-board multiplexing and Ka-band frequencies we can offer users a valuable and cost-effective tool for broadband communications. SKYPLEX DATA complements our range of broadband products that includes D-STAR, D-SAT and OPENSKY, equipping Eutelsat to address requirements for a diverse range of users.”

About Eutelsat

With capacity commercialised on 23 satellites that provide coverage from the Americas to the Pacific, Eutelsat S.A. is one of the world's leading satellite operators. Eutelsat's satellite infrastructure gives it the flexibility to offer direct-to-home broadcasting, video distribution and contribution services, corporate network solutions and a portfolio of IP applications including broadband Internet access and Internet backbone connections. From its strategic HOT BIRD orbital position at 13 degrees East and other orbital positions, Eutelsat’s satellites broadcast more than 1250 television and 700 radio stations and reach an overall audience of 107 million cable and satellite homes.

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