Royal Wedding a Boon for Fleet Operator Eutelsat

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PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Eutelsat on April 27 said it had booked orders for the equivalent of 15 transponders for the 24-hour period covering the April 29 wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The bandwidth made available — some 13,000 megahertz-hours — will uplink broadcasts from 48 purpose-built studios and 140 broadcasting vans tracking the wedding and related events for audiences in Europe, the Middle East, the United States, China, Africa, Mexico and Brazil, the Paris-based fleet operator said.

The satellites being used to service the demand for wedding coverage include Eutelsat’s Atlantic Bird 1 at 12.5 degrees west, Atlantic Bird 2 at 8 degrees west, Atlantic Bird 3 at 5 degrees west and the W3A spacecraft, stationed at 7 degrees east.

Much of the capacity has been sold from Eutelsat’s store of bandwidth held in reserve for occasional-use business, whose customers generally pay premium rates for the short-term links they purchase on the spot market. Among Eutelsat customers that have booked occasional-use capacity are Arqiva, GlobeCast, Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, Associated Press Television News and European News Exchange.

In addition to these customers, the European Broadcasting Union will use its long-term lease aboard Eutelsat spacecraft to broadcast the event.