Paris, March 13, 2006 – The HOT BIRD™ 7A telecommunication satellite, built by Alcatel Alenia Space as prime contractor, was successfully boosted into orbit on Saturday, from Kourou, French Guiana at 7:32 pm (local time) by an Ariane 5 ECA rocket. HOT BIRD™ 7A will enable Eutelsat to broadcast digital television channels as well as radio services in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Based on the Alcatel Alenia Space’s Spacebus 3000B3 platform, the new satellite will join Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD™ family of satellites co-located at 13 degree East and currently broadcasting 850 television channels and 550 radio channels to 110 million homes over Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Designed with a lifetime of 15 years, HOT BIRD™ 7A has 38 Ku-band transponders, a launch mass of 4,100 Kg and its solar panels will deliver 10 kW of electrical power. This satellite will replace HOT BIRD™ 1, will increase in-orbit capacity from 100 transponders to 102 transponders at HOT BIRD position and will provide redundancy.

Alcatel Alenia Space President and CEO Pascale Sourisse noted: “Alcatel Alenia Space and Eutelsat have been partnering for nearly 20 years. With 16 Alcatel Alenia Space-built satellites provided to Eutelsat* to date, we are extremely proud of this long-term position as a preferred supplier. ”

* 5 Eutelsat II (F1 to F5), HOT BIRD™ 1, HOT BIRD™ 6, HOT BIRD™ 7A, W2, W4, W5, W6, SESAT 1 (with NPO-PM), EuroBird™ 1, Atlantic Bird™ 2, Atlantic Bird ™ 3.

About Alcatel Alenia Space

Alcatel Alenia Space is the European leader in satellite systems, at the forefront of orbit infrastructures. Created in July 2005, the company brings together the vast experience and know-how of Alcatel Space and Alenia Spazio to form a new leading force in European space technology. Alcatel Alenia Space represents a worldwide standard for space development that impacts everybody’s future: from navigation to telecommunications, from meteorology to environmental monitoring, from defence to science and observation. Alcatel Alenia Space is an Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA) (67%) and Finmeccanica (Milan:SIFI.MI, FNC.IM) (33%) company.

About Alcatel

Alcatel provides communications solutions to telecommunication carriers, Internet service providers and enterprises for delivery of voice, data and video applications to their customers or employees. Alcatel brings its leading position in fixed and mobile broadband networks, applications and services, to help its partners and customers build a user-centric broadband world. With sales of EURO 13.1 billion and 58,000 employees in 2005, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries.