Intersputnik Leases Eutelsat W7 Capacity

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The 25-nation Intersputnik organization of Moscow has agreed to lease 16 transponders on Eutelsat’s new W7 satellite for the satellite’s full 15-year life under a contract announced Jan. 15 by Intersputnik and Paris-based Eutelsat.

Eutelsat’s W7 satellite was launched in November into Eutelsat’s 36 degrees east longitude orbital slot, where it is co-located with the Eutelsat W4 spacecraft already in service there. Intersputnik is an official Eutelsat distributor and currently leases four transponders on W4. The W7 satellite’s arrival doubles the amount of capacity Eutelsat has available at 36 degrees east. W7 can broadcast from up to 70 Ku-band transponders linked to five fixed and steerable beams.

Intersputnik said the lease of the 16 new transponders would take effect gradually over the next two years. The organization will use the capacity to provide television broadcasts for customers including Gazprom Media Group of Russia, and to enable satellite-delivered consumer broadband service in Russia.

In a Jan. 15 statement, Eutelsat Chief Executive Michel de Rosen said the Russian market, which today includes nearly 200 satellite television channels with more than 6 million subscribers, “shows significant potential for continued growth.”

Vadim E. Belov, Intersputnik’s director-general, said the new satellite capacity will make Intersputnik “the leading provider of satellite capacity for DTH [direct-to-home television] broadcasting in the Russian Federation. We are planning to further develop our fruitful cooperation with Eutelsat.”