Eutelsat Communications has announced that its two high-power Hotbird 13F and Hotbird 13G satellites have entered into full commercial service. Located at Eutelsat’s 13° East flagship video neighbourhood, the satellites are reinforcing and enhancing the broadcast quality of around 900 television channels into more than 160m homes across Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East. These new satellites are also bringing advanced features to 13° East, including in-orbit redundancy ability and uplink signal protection and resilience.
The Hotbird video neighbourhood is host to 7 premium TV platforms, over 600 pay-TV channels, 300 free-to-air channels, and 500 HDTV and UHD channels. With its unique pan-European coverage, in Europe alone, Hotbird reaches 130m homes. The satellites also distribute TV channels to 90% of cable and IPTV operators in the Europe and MENA region, making 13° East the leading DTH, cable, IP, and DTT provider across the region. With their entry into service, the Hotbird 13F and Hotbird 13G satellites are releasing the three satellites previously located at 13° East, to carry out new missions.
Built by manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space, the satellites are based on the new generation Eurostar Neo telecommunications satellite platform, developed under an ESA partnership project with Airbus designed to foster innovation and competitiveness in the European space industry.
Particular to Hotbird 13G, the satellite hosts the EGNOS GEO-4 payload, pertaining to the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA). Fully operational since June, the payload enables the EUSPA to deliver reliable and secure space-based services and provides additional satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) service capabilities within and beyond the European Union, supporting a growing number of users.
Commenting on the development, Laurence Delpy, General Manager for the Video Business Unit, commented: “With are delighted that Eutelsat Hotbird 13F and Hotbird 13G are now in service. 13° East is one of Eutelsat’s long-standing, leading orbital locations and has been boosting audience growth for our broadcasters since 1983. Satellite maintains an integral role in the media supply chain, particularly to support the live transmission of major news and sporting events. Our clients across Europe and MENA can look forward to an ever-better service with this pair of powerful new satellites.”
Eva Berneke, Chief Executive Officer of Eutelsat, added: “Operating high-power orbital resources to bring video services to as many people as possible is one of the pillars of our business. With the entry into service of these two new satellites at a historic position for Eutelsat and a flagship position for Europe, North Africa and the MENA region, we are ensuring continued operational excellence for our clients. With two EGNOS payloads now hosted on our in-orbit resources, Eutelsat is also proud to complete the GNSS network for our European Union long-term customer and partner, the EUSPA, and to be part and parcel of the EU’s capacity to deliver reliable and secure space-based services.”