New Satellite to Serve Increasing Demand for Broadband And Broadcasting Capacity – Serving Four Continents

Eutelsat today announced
that its ATLANTIC BIRD(TM) 2 satellite has been successfully launched into
space and is thrusting its way to 8 degrees West — a key position in
geostationary orbit, which makes it a unique satellite capable of reaching
four continents from the East coast of the United States and the South
American continent, Europe, the Middle East and up to Central Asia as far as
the Urals, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

ATLANTIC BIRD(TM) 2 lifted off from the European Spaceport in Kourou on
September 25th at 23:21 GMT on board an Ariane 4 rocket supplied by

Commenting on the launch Giuliano Berretta, Eutelsat CEO and Chairman of
the Board said:
“With the launch of ATLANTIC BIRD(TM) 2, our 15th launch with
Arianespace, Eutelsat now has the youngest operational fleet in the world.
This means that our customers will be assured of capacity over the longer term
with the most recent technological advances in terms of flexibility and
The increase in capacity at our ‘Atlantic Gate’ neighbourhood,
together with the recent announcement that Eutelsat has taken a substantial
stake in Hispasat, gives us considerable resource for markets such as those of
South America with exciting growth potential.
I am also pleased to announce
that we have chosen to dedicate this satellite to the memory of Guglielmo
Marconi who made the first transatlantic wireless transmissions in December
one hundred years ago.”

ATLANTIC BIRD(TM) 2 provides continuity for traffic carried on Telecom 2A
and new bandwidth to the 8 degrees West position, where Eutelsat will also
continue to offer Ku-band capacity via Telecom 2D, and brings the number of
transponders at this slot to a total of 37.
The company’s “Atlantic Gate”
neighbourhood will be further strengthened by the launch of a sister satellite
— ATLANTIC BIRD(TM) 1 — in the first quarter of 2002 to 12.5 degrees West.

Equipped with 26 Ku-band transponders (equivalent to approximately 1 Gbps
of capacity), ATLANTIC BIRD(TM) 2 will be highly flexible — providing for
video, data, re-broadcasting services for cable networks and high-speed
Internet applications in the American and European markets.
The high power
European coverage will also be used for a new generation of digital and
multimedia services to the points of presence or direct to the PCs.
already signed up include Aramiska that announced at this month’s IBC event in
Amsterdam its intention to offer European businesses the first commercial open
standard (DVB-RCS) two-way satellite broadband solution.

International and regional customers will be attracted by the new
satellite in order to utilise Eutelsat’s extensive experience in offering a
wide range of business applications including LAN interconnection, Internet,
Intranet, e-mail exchange, desktop videoconferencing, emergency backup
communication, tele-training and education, network management, newsgathering
and TV contribution links.

After ATLANTIC BIRD(TM) 2’s separation from the launch vehicle, a sequence
of satellite manoeuvres will be managed for EUTELSAT by the CNES (French Space
Agency) from Toulouse.
They include, within the first few hours, first sun
acquisition and partial deployment of the solar array.
The satellite’s orbit
will be next week fully circularised by four firings of the Apogee Boost Motor
and by the end of next week full deployment of the solar arrays and final
earth acquisition will be completed.
The satellite should be fully
operational in the last week of October.

Following the launch, the President of the G. Marconi Foundation,
Professor Gabriele Falciasecca, commented:
“On 12 December 1901, Guglielmo
Marconi succeeded in broadcasting the first radio signal, the letter ‘S’, from
a station at Poldhu in Cornwall to St. John’s on the island of Newfoundland,
He overcame all kinds of technical and environmental problems to
achieve this major feat, demonstrating that a global telecommunications system
was possible and that the old and new continents would no longer be divided.
The ATLANTIC BIRD(TM) 2 satellite, which has just been launched, is the
realization of a new dream, one hundred years on.
I am particularly grateful
to Eutelsat and its CEO and Chairman of the Board, Giuliano Berretta, for
choosing to dedicate this satellite to Guglielmo Marconi, in remembrance of
the great contribution this inventor gave to the development of
telecommunications and, indeed, to humanity as a whole.”

About Eutelsat

Eutelsat S.A. is one of the world’s leading providers of satellite
communications solutions for business and private needs.
The company provides
television and radio broadcasting, Internet access and multimedia
entertainment, IP business solutions, corporate network solutions and
professional communications applications in Europe, the Middle East, Africa,
South-West Asia and North and South America.
From its HOT BIRD(TM) and other
orbital positions Eutelsat broadcasts 900 TV channels and 560 radio channels
to 85 million satellite and cable homes.
Eutelsat operates a system of 18
satellites, uses capacity on three additional satellites and has a total of
six satellites in construction. Company turnover for 2000 was 686 million
euro. Headquartered in Paris; Eutelsat’s workforce comprises 370 people from
23 countries.