Eutelsat and ictQATAR select builder for new satellite

by Andy Sennitt.

Eutelsat Communications and ictQATAR (representing the State of Qatar) have selected Space Systems/Loral to build the high-performance satellite they will jointly own and operate at the 25.5° East location in geostationary orbit.

To enter into service in early 2013, this powerful satellite will provide a significantly expanded mission and superior coverage across the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia to follow on from Eutelsat’s Eurobird™ 2 satellite, which is currently operated at 25.5° East. In addition to securing Ku-band continuity for Eutelsat and additional Ku-band resources for ictQATAR, it will initiate a Ka-band capability to open business opportunities for both parties.

The spacecraft’s multi-mission architecture will enable ictQATAR and Eutelsat to respond to demand for the fastest-growing applications in the Middle East and North Africa, including video broadcasting, enterprise communications and government services. The television market will in particular benefit from the installed base of more than 13 million satellite homes already equipped for Direct-to-Home reception from this neighbourhood.