RSCC, Eutelsat set out long-term roadmap for Russian satellite resources in Russia

Editor | 02-11-2012

The Russian Satellite Communication Company (RSCC) and leading satellite operator Eutelsat have set out a roadmap for a new satellite programme for 36° East neighbourhood to expand digital infrastructure in Russia expand DTH broadcasting in from 140° East.

RSCC claims the largest satellite constellation in Russia located in the geostationary orbital arc from 14 West to 140° East and cover the whole territory of Russia, the CIS, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific region, North and South America, and Australia. It owns five teleports - Satellite Communications Centres (SCC): Dubna, Bear Lakes, Skolkovo, Zheleznogorsk, Khabarovsk and the Shabolovka Technical Centre in Moscow as well as its own high-speed optical-fibre digital network.

As part of the new deal, for which contracts for the two 15-year leases are valued at approximately €300 million, Eutelsat will lease capacity for broadcasting and IP services on two RSCC satellites to be launched in 2013 and 2015. RSCC's satellite expansion plans include two new programmes: Express-AT2 that will be launched to 140° East in 2013, and Express-AMU1 that will be launched in 2015 to provide follow-on and expansion capacity for EUTELSAT 36A at the 36° East position.

The company said that Express-AT2 will more than double Ku-band capacity for satellite broadcasting at what it calls a key video neighbourhood serving Russia's Far East region. The satellite is already under construction by ISS Reshetnev using a payload designed by Thales Alenia Space.

Express-AMU1 will carry up to 70 transponders providing coverage of the European part of the Russian Federation in Ku and Ka bands, and also ensure service continuity and growth for broadcast markets developed by Eutelsat in sub-Saharan Africa. The satellite is attributed with being able to ‘transform’ the broadcasting infrastructure at 36° East into a broader system to support more television services. More than 11 million DTH antennas in Russia are already pointed at this leading video neighbourhood, subscribing to the premium NTV+ platform or to Tricolor. The new satellite's manufacturer will be selected by the end of 2012 following an RFP. Eutelsat will commercialise the capacity under the name EUTELSAT 36C.

Commenting on the deal, Eutelsat CEO, Michel de Rosen, said: "We are delighted to have built a solid relationship with RSCC over 15 years and that we have together decided to take this new step to partner on satellite ventures which will secure long-term visibility at the 36° East position and open new opportunities for business at 140° East. We share the common objective to continue to work together for the benefit of our customers and to deliver satellite resources that support the expansion of a vibrant digital economy for the Russian Federation."