Around this time next year, Paris-based Eutelsat is due to orbit its powerful 6,000 kgs 25B satellite to the 25.5 degrees East position broadcasting to the Arab world. The trouble is that Saudi Arabian-based Arabsat already has a trio of satellite in the position (adjacent at 26 degrees East). Indeed, the Arabsat BADR-series are extremely busy, modern, and highly popular with viewers.
The problem centres on Arabsat’s use of a batch of frequencies ‘owned’ by Iran. Called Zohreh-2, the frequencies are now the focus of an intense dispute between Arabsat and Eutelsat. The ITU, which supervises the rules and regulations about orbital slots, has already ruled controversially in Iran’s favour.