ictQATAR (representing the State of Qatar) and Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) announce today the signing of a partnership agreement to invest in and operate a new high-capacity satellite at Eutelsat’s 25.5 degrees East location, one of the two longstanding and anchored neighbourhoods serving fast-growing markets in the Middle East and North Africa regions. To be launched at the end of 2012, the new satellite will provide both a significantly expanded mission and superior coverage and power across the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia to follow-on from Eutelsat’s EUROBIRD(tm) 2 satellite. In addition to securing Ku-band continuity for Eutelsat and additional Ku-band resources for ictQATAR, it will initiate a Ka-band capability opening business opportunities for both parties.
This multi-mission architecture will enable both partners to respond to the fastest-growing applications in the Middle East and Africa, including video broadcasting, enterprise communications and government services. The television market will in particular benefit from the installed base of more than 13 million satellite homes already equipped for DTH reception from this neighborhood. Eutelsat and ictQatar are scheduled to place the order for the new satellite by the middle of 2010, with launch in late 2012. This program is part of the capex plan communicated by Eutelsat Communications for the period 2009-2012.