Eutelsat Communications has launched into orbit the EUTELSAT 8 West B satellite by an Ariane 5 rocket.
After a full series of performance tests EUTELSAT 8 West B will be located 7/8° West where it will be the hotspot for television broadcasts to homes across the region stretching from Morocco to the Gulf. It is expected to go into full commercial service in early October providing capacity equivalent to an additional 180 High Definition television channels.
Michel Azibert, deputy CEO and chief commercial and development officer of Eutelsat, said: "The launch of the EUTELSAT 8 West B satellite marks a new milestone in the growth story of the leading video neighbourhood in the Middle East and North Africa that Eutelsat has steadily built in a spirit of collaboration with Nilesat. It equips us in particular to meet demand from broadcasters and service providers to deliver more digital and High Definition content to over 250 million viewers in a vast region stretching from Morocco to the Gulf.”’
“This new satellite also underscores the strength and longevity of our relationship with leading European space companies: EUTELSAT 8 West B is the 30th satellite launched for Eutelsat by Arianespace and the 25th built for our company by Thales Alenia Space. Over more than 30 years of collaboration we have together raised the bar of performance in space and continue to set new standards,” he added.