[London, ENGLAND] European satellite operator EUTELSAT
announced Friday the successful launch of EUROBIRD,
a new satellite that will provide additional bandwidth
for entertainment and business networks in western and
EUROBIRD is the first of three satellites scheduled for
launch by EUTELSAT this year. It was launched into
space from the Guiana Space Centre on board an Ariane 5
rocket at 22.51 GMT.
EUROBIRD’s large footprint takes in both Germany and
the British Isles, enabling the operators to serve
millions of people with digital entertainment and
In the U.K. and Ireland, EUROBIRD will serve five
million homes equipped with 45cm antennas, via
broadcasters such as BskyB, Extreme Sports, Online
Classics and Euronews.
EUTELSAT Director General Giuliano Berretta said
there was a tremendously high level of commercial
interest in the new satellite. He added that
EUTELSAT was committed to the continued growth and
diversification of digital services in Europe.
The delivery of Internet services by satellite in
Europe is still very limited, even though millions
of people use satellite for receiving television
programs. However, usage is almost certain to
grow rapidly as more people discover they can
use exactly the same 45 to 60 cm satellite dishes
for the Internet as they use for TV.
EUTELSAT’s skyDSL enables people to download files
from the Internet, surfing at 125 times ISDN speed
or 240 times normal modem speed.
Based in Paris, EUTELSAT broadcasts 850 channels to
over 84 million satellite and cable homes. Its
2000 turnover was around US $640 million, up 45
percent over the previous year.