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A week ago it was Arabsat that was very publicly naming Ethiopia as the source of multiple jamming sessions to its broadcast channels. Now Eutelsat is piling on the pressure, also naming that Ethiopia is guilty of deliberate jamming, and of ramping up the signal jamming so that in 2013 it accounted for some 15 per cent of the operator’s problems.
Eutelsat said the jamming is coming from northeast Ethiopia. Eutelsat says it is taking its complaints, via the French National Frequencies Agency, to the International Telecommunications Union, and to the Ethiopian government.
The jamming is especially damaging in that it focuses not just on this or that channel – which would be bad enough – but on the entire transponder, and this affects dozens of perfectly innocent channels. Eutelsat officials strongly hint that the Ethiopean government is behind the problem, and that the interference is targeting the Oromia Media Network, of Minneapolis, USA, which provides a channel for the Oromia region of the country.
Eutelsat says the jammers are using sophisticated high-powered antennas to disrupt programming on its satellites at 7 degrees West and 21 degrees East.