EUTELSAT announces that its
W1 satellite has successfully been boosted into orbit by Ariane V132.
off of the Ariane 44P rocket delivered by Arianespace took place at 22.33 GMT
from the European Spaceport in French Guiana.
Control of the satellite by the
CNES in Toulouse was confirmed within four minutes of spacecraft separation.
W1 will go into commercial service next month at 10 degrees East and deliver
TV broadcast, Internet and data services throughout Europe and southern

Built by Astrium, W1 is a long-awaited satellite of strategic importance
to an orbital slot that already hosts many valuable networks and where there
is clear market demand for increased bandwidth and broader reach.
28 Ku-band transponders will assume the traffic currently managed at
10 degrees East by the sixteen transponders on EUTELSAT II-F4, and thereby
enable a significant increase in business in Europe and open new business
opportunities in Africa.
The commercial interest in W1 fully matches market
internet backbone connections, corporate networks including intranets
and extranets, automatic file transfer, TV programme exchanges and TV
distribution links.

With its coverage of southern Africa, W1 will also be the third satellite
to take EUTELSAT into the southern hemisphere, supporting the strategy of
international expansion that kicked off with W2 in October 1998, and that went
a step further with W4 that was launched earlier this year.
W1 will enable
interconnectivity between Europe and southern Africa as well as communications
within southern Africa.

“This is EUTELSAT’s third satellite launch in five months”, declared
EUTELSAT Director General Giuliano Berretta from Kourou, “and achieves the
targets we set ourselves for the year 2000 to secure business in our core
markets, expand into new geographical regions and broaden the portfolio of
services delivered by our satellites.
The year 2001, during which another
three satellites will be launched, will see us continue to push forward in all
these activities.”

Following the launch, EUTELSAT and Arianespace announced a contract for
the launch of two new EUTELSAT satellites.
The contract will be signed in
French Guiana on 7 September.

With the launch of W1, EUTELSAT’s satellite resource now consists of
18 Ku-band satellites.
Positioned in the orbital arc from 12.5 degrees West
to 48 degrees East they provide reach of Europe, Africa, large parts of Asia
and connectivity with the Americas.
Five new satellites are in construction
and due for launch by first quarter 2002.