EUTELSAT OPENS NEW VIDEO NEIGHBOURHOOD AT 7 DEGREES WEST WITH ENTRY INTO SERVICE OF ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4
Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) announces that its ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4 satellite has gone into full commercial service at the 7 degrees West location. Operating since 1998 as HOT BIRD™ 4 from Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD™ neighbourhood, the newlybranded ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4 was freed to initiate its new mission at 7 degrees West with the transfer on 22 April 2006 of broadcast clients onto HOT BIRD™ 7A.
Designed for consumer broadcasting, the satellite’s high-power footprint has been optimised in particular to serve the Middle East and North Africa, enabling Direct-to-Home (DTH) reception of digital services with domestic antennas from 7 degrees West.
ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4’s commercial entry into service triggers the contract for capacity announced in September 2005 with Nilesat, the Egyptian satellite operator. Nilesat’s capacity on ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4 equips it to boost development in dynamic broadcasting markets in the Middle East and North Africa in complement to the more than 300 television channels it already delivers through its Nilesat 101 and 102 satellites, which are also positioned at 7 degrees West. The first 18 channels have already begun broadcasting from ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4.
Capacity leased on the satellite by Noorsat, the Bahrain-based provider of capacity and video services, is also shortly expected to be activated for television broadcasting. Commenting on ATLANTIC BIRD™ 4’s entry into service, Eutelsat CEO, Giuliano Berretta said, “Eutelsat’s opening of a new video neighbourhood for North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf states at 7 degrees West underscores our objective to consolidate our longstanding presence in these regions. In the same way we embarked over ten years ago on building the HOT BIRD™ and EUROBIRD™ 1 neighbourhoods, we are now equipped to offer a new premium satellite resource that can support the continued expansion of our clients in dynamic digital broadcasting markets.”
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