Arianespace Flight 186 Set for End November With Eutelsat's HOT BIRD(TM) 9 and W2M Satellites

PARIS and EVRY,France, October 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Arianespace and Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) confirm that the upcoming launch of the Ariane 5 ECA will orbit Eutelsat's HOT BIRD(TM) 9 and W2M satellites. The launch of Flight 186 is planned to take place in the last week of November and will be the sixth Ariane 5 launch in 2008.

The modification to the Arianespace launch manifest enables Eutelsat to ensure timely entry into service of HOT BIRD(TM) 9 and accelerates the deployment of the W2M satellite.

Built by EADS Astrium, the construction of HOT BIRD(TM) 9 was completed in July and the satellite arrived in Kourou from Toulouse on September 16 to be prepared for launch. W2M, which is built by EADS Astrium / ISRO is due to be shipped fromBangalore (India) to Kourou by mid-October to initiate final preparations for launch.

Designed for consumer broadcasting to satellite and cable homes across Europe,North Africa and theMiddle East, the high-power Ku-band HOT BIRD(TM) 9 satellite, equipped with 64 transponders, will join Eutelsat's 13 degrees East position to increase in-orbit sparing at the Group's premium video neighbourhood. HOT BIRD(TM) 9 is identical to HOT BIRD(TM) 8 which was launched to 13 degrees East in August 2006 and HOT BIRD(TM) 10 which will be orbited by Arianespace beginning of 2009.

W2M will be positioned at Eutelsat's 16 degrees East position which represents one of the Group's fastest-growing neighbourhoods for digital broadcasting in centralEurope and Indian Ocean islands. Equipped with 26 Ku-band transponders and up to 32 depending on operational modes, the new satellite will replace W2 and provide additional capacity for further service expansion.