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Both Eutelsat and Intelsat saw their latest satellites successfully launch on an Arianespace rocket August 20th. The double launch was the 67th successive success for Ariane from its spaceport at Kourou, in French Guiana.
Importantly, both satellites are said to be in good shape following the lift-off.
Eutelsat’s 8 West B craft was the heavier satellite of the pair, at 5782 kgs and will now travel to its 7/8 degrees West orbital slot, which it shares with Nilesat of Egypt. The satellite will add extra capacity from this slot with its 40 Ku-band and 20 C-band transponders.
The satellite also has sophisticated anti-jamming technology on board which will help reduce the prospect of deliberate signal jamming which frequently affects signals in the MENA market.
“This function involves embarking new-generation frequency converters behind the satellite’s receive antennas,” Eutelsat said. “This will put Eutelsat in the unique position to be able to change the frequency of an uplink signal without any impact on the downlink frequency received by user terminals, marking a major breakthrough in the bid for continuity of service for broadcast signals jammed by rogue uplink signals.”
Michel Azibert, Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial & Development Officer of Eutelsat, said the launch of Eutelsat 8 West B opened a new chapter in the growth story of the leading neighbourhood in the Middle East and North Africa occupied by Eutelsat and Nilesat satellites. “Through steady investment in high-performance satellites and the fastest growing audience in the region we have gained the trust of market-leading media groups and service providers who look to 7/8 degrees West to accelerate their growth. Eutelsat 8 West B equips us to meet demand to broadcast more digital and High Definition content to over 250 million viewers and gives us more coverage options, enabling broadcasters to target their audience. These features underpin the 100 per cent success in sales of capacity connected to footprints serving a vast region stretching from Morocco to the Gulf.”
Arianespace’s second ‘passenger’ was Intelsat’s I-34 satellite. It weighed 3300 kgs at launch, and carries 18 Ku and 22 C-band transponders It will now travel towards its orbital slot at 55.5 degrees West (304.5 deg East). The satellite replaces Intelsat’s old Galaxy 11 craft and Intelsat 805.
Intelsat I-34 is designed to serve TV viewing in Latin America and in particular Brazil, as well as provide improved aircraft and ships on over and on the North Atlantic.
“Intelsat 34 is a great example of the breadth of services that Intelsat’s satellites are able to provide to communities around the world,” said Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer, Intelsat. “With services spanning from DTH and cable programming distribution, to broadband for vessels and planes traversing the North Atlantic, Intelsat 34 demonstrates our role in delivering broadband infrastructure and media distribution with superior reliability. We are thrilled with today’s successful launch and look forward to our next two launches which are scheduled for the first quarter of 2016, including the first of our Intelsat EpicNG satellites, Intelsat 29e.”