Eutelsat Communications has signed a contract for capacity on its Atlantic Bird™ 3 satellite with Télédiffusion d’Algérie (TDA) to broadcast Algeria’s national Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) package of television and radio channels. TDA’s capacity on Atlantic Bird™ 3 will ensure that Digital Terrestrial Television channels benefit from immediate and complete coverage of Algeria.
In the initial phase, digital channels will be available for Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite reception, and in a second phase channels will also be delivered to DTT transmitters for terrestrial rebroadcasting.
The five-year contract between Eutelsat and TDA is for one 36MHz transponder connected to Atlantic Bird™ 3’s steerable spotbeam which is centred over Algeria. With this footprint, TDA is equipped to provide high-power coverage of the entire Algerian territory, the Maghreb region and Mediterranean Basin countries for DTH reception with 60cm antennas.
On December 1, TDA will initiate free-to-air broadcasting from Atlantic Bird™ 3 at 5 degrees West of a package of three television channels (La Chaîne 1, Canal Algériec and A3) and four radio stations (CH I, CH II, CH III and RAI – Radio Algérie Internationale), with further channels to join the package. Homes equipped with a satellite dish pointing to Atlantic Bird™ 3 will have free access to all channels in the package.
Delivery of the channels to DTT transmitters via Atlantic Bird™ 3 is scheduled to begin in the course of 2008 when the first batch of terrestrial transmitters is activated. TDA’s objective is to ensure access to DTT channels for all Algerian homes as quickly as possible, both in urban and the most rural parts of Algeria.