Paris-based operator Eutelsat has ordered an all-electric broadcast satellite from Space Systems Loral to boost its EMEA coverage. The 7C bird will almost double Eutelsat’s capacity over Sub-Saharan Africa from its position, serving anchor clients such as Azam TV, Montage and Muvi TV by making room for several hundred new digital channels.
Paris-based operator Eutelsat (EPA: ETL) has ordered an all-electric broadcast satellite from Space Systems Loral to boost its EMEA coverage.
Eutelsat did not disclose how much it was paying for the satellite, which will be financed through its capex programme and does not change its capex guidance, a spokesperson told SatelliteFinance.
Eutelsat 7C (pictured below) will have 44 Ku-band transponders and be located at 7E alongside Eutelsat 7B, with Eutelsat 7A moving to a different orbital slot.
The higher-capacity 7C will mean Eutelsat will almost double its capacity over Sub-Saharan Africa from the position, increasing from 22 to 42 transponders, serving anchor clients such as Azam TV, Montage and Muvi TV by making room for several hundred new digital channels.
It will be launched in Q3 2018 and Eutelsat has confirmed it is yet to select a launch provider.
Rodolphe Belmer (pictured above), Eutelsat’s CEO, said: “With Eutelsat 7C, we are leveraging advanced technologies to improve synergies across two high-power co-positioned satellites.
“In raising the bar at the 7E neighbourhood we will be able to increase our support for clients in fast-growing video markets.”
Based on the SSL 1300 platform, the new bird also has a beam to provide enhanced capacity for government services over Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, and a steerable beam that can cover any region visible from 7E.
SSL has used electric propulsion on a number of its satellites in the past, but they have been hybrids using electric propulsion for station keeping and traditional bi-prop for orbit raising. The 7C will be the manufacturer’s first all-electric satellite, and is its first order of a geostationary satellite in 2016, following on from a busy December when it won orders from Telesat and Telkom Indonesia.
It will become the fifth all-electric in Eutelsat’s fleet and its third SSL-built craft, following Eutelsat 25B and Eutelsat 65 West A, which was launched by Arianespace earlier this month.