Eutelsat Communications is expanding its commercial response to high-growth video, data, telecom and broadband markets with the opening of business at the 3° East orbital position. To support further long-term expansion, Eutelsat has selected Astrium to build a tri-band satellite, which will increase and diversify its resources for markets in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South America. Called Eutelsat 3B, the satellite will operate in C, Ku and Ka-bands and be launched in early 2014.
In advance of Eutelsat 3B, resources on a satellite now called Eutelsat 3A were deployed this month to 3° East. This capacity is able to deliver users powerful coverage of Europe and North Africa for services that include GSM backhaul, data networks, IP backbone connectivity and maritime applications.
To complement Eutelsat’s capacity portfolio and geographic reach, the Eutelsat 3B satellite will add resources in three frequency bands connected to fixed and steerable antennas for maximum flexibility. With a single platform assembling Ku, C and Ka transponders, users will be able to select the most relevant frequency band for different types of service.
Up to 51 transponders on Eutelsat 3B will be configured as follows:
- A Ku-band payload of up to 30 transponders will be connected to widebeam footprints over extended Europe and East Africa. A steerable beam will add further flexibility, with coverage possible of South America or African regions. This capacity will address video contribution, corporate networks, data and telecom markets.
- A C-band payload with 12 transponders connected to a pan-African beam will respond to continued high demand for capacity for telecom services.
- A Ka-band payload of nine transponders connected to steerable beams that are in particular expected to cover Africa and South America will meet expanding connectivity requirements for corporate networks and Internet access.
The Eutelsat 3B satellite will be based on the Astrium Eurostar 3000 platform. Weighing 6 tonnes at launch, the satellite will be designed with 15 year life expectancy. The investment required for this programme is included in Eutelsat’s capital expenditure outlook for the period 1 July, 2011 to 30 June, 2014.