Paris-based satellite operator Eutelsat is investing in a new satellite for its increasingly important 9 degrees East slot. The high-capacity craft will add bandwidth for expansion beyond the current 320 channel neighbourhood already transmitting from Eurobird 9.
Eurobird 9B is being ordered from Astrium and will have 66 transponders on board, with re-useable frequency beams, allowing for considerable expansion of the existing high-definition bouquets, as well as allowing viewers to use a dual-feed antenna and thus pick up the many hundreds of channels already broadcasting from Eutelsat’s ‘Hot Bird’ adjacent position at 13 degrees East.
The new satellite will boost coverage for Italy, but also increase capacity over Germany, Greece and the Nordic/Baltic regions.
Scheduled for launch towards the end of 2014, the satellite will also carry a payload for the Italian Space Agency (ASI) which will be used for Italian institutional requirements.