Press Release

Eutelsat Status Report on Hot Bird 3 Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
October 9, 2006
Filed under , ,

Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD™ 8 broadcast satellite was brought into full commercial service this week with the complete transfer in the night of October 2 to 3 of all broadcast traffic from HOT BIRD™ 3 to the Group’s newest satellite. The transfer took place seamlessly with no interruption of service for broadcast clients. With the entry into service of HOT BIRD™ 8, which comes five months after HOT BIRD™ 7A, the Group has met an objective to provide customers with extensive redundancy across a constellation of copositioned satellites at 13 degrees East.

Released from its mission at 13 degrees East, HOT BIRD™ 3 has begun transfer operations for its relocation to 10 degrees East. Copositioned with Eutelsat’s W1 satellite, it is scheduled to begin service later in October at 10 degrees East under the new name of EUROBIRD™ 10.

In the night of October 3 to 4 HOT BIRD™ 3/EUROBIRD™ 10 experienced an anomaly at the end of the eclipse period which has resulted in substantial damage to a solar array and subsequent loss of satellite power. Eutelsat, together with the satellite’s manufacturer, EADS Astrium are pursuing investigations into the cause of the anomaly. This incident does not impact on procedures for the satellite’s transfer to 10 degrees East, which continue unchanged although the satellite will operate a lower number of transponders than foreseen.

At 30 September 2006 the net carrying value of HOT BIRD™ 3 amounted to 55 million euros, including in-orbit performance incentives. Depending on a more precise assessment of the consequences of the anomaly over the next few days, the Group may have to record a non-cash impairment charge under its accounting policies.

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A. The Group is a leading satellite operator with capacity commercialised on 23 satellites providing coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas. The Group is one of the world’s three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues. Its satellites are used for broadcasting more than 2,100 TV and 970 radio stations to more than 120 million cable and satellite homes. The Group also provides TV contribution services, corporate networks, mobile positioning and communications, Internet backbone connectivity and broadband access for terrestrial, maritime and inflight applications. Eutelsat Communications is headquartered in Paris, and the Group’s workforce comprises over 490 employees from 27 countries.

SpaceRef staff editor.