Eutelsat at Africacom: high-power satellites for expanding broadband and broadcast markets across Africa

Eutelsat at Africacom: high-power satellites for expanding broadband and broadcast markets across Africa

Cape Town, 12 November 2013 – With digital infrastructure build-out high on Africa’s agenda, leading media and telecoms players are assembling in Cape Town this week for the 17th Africacom exhibition and conference.

The newest satellite technologies and services will be showcased this year by Eutelsat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators. Eutelsat will present the features of recently launched and upcoming satellites designed to serve the African continent, and new solutions to support markets for digital broadcasting, VSAT networks, mobile backhauling, IP trunking and broadband access.

Eutelsat, the broadest satellite portfolio over Africa

With its 31 satellites concentrated in the geostationary arc from 15° West to 172° East, Eutelsat offers an exceptional footprint of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and continues to pursue investments that will accompany the growth of digital services.

A unique portfolio of satellite resources spanning C, Ku and Ka-bands equips Eutelsat to respond to multiple markets and affords a high level of commercial flexibility. C-band capacity is connected to powerful continental footprints offering unrivalled service availability for robust data networks. Ku-band transponders are connected to high-power regional beams optimised for broadcasting and also for data. In the higher Ka-band range of frequencies, Eutelsat has already deployed capacity over North Africa with the KA-SAT satellite for broadband services. This capability will be expanded in 2014 to sub-Saharan Africa with the EUTELSAT 3B satellite.

Three new innovative and highly flexible satellites with Africa at the core of their footprint

These new satellites are designed to provide ISPs, telecom and mobile phone operators, video companies and government service providers with national, regional and continental coverage as well as connectivity with Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region.

  • EUTELSAT 21B has increased resources at the established 21° East position by 30% and opened a new service area over North-West Africa down to the Gulf of Guinea, combined with interconnectivity with Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia;
  • Unique of its kind, EUTELSAT 70B has been designed to optimise resources from a single orbital slot at the crossroads between Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. With high frequency reuse, four powerful regional Ku-band beams are located on a single platform. EUTELSAT 70B has more than doubled capacity at 70.5° East for data and government services, broadband access, GSM backhauling and professional video exchanges.
  • EUTELSAT 3D has opened additional Ku-band transponders with extended coverage of Sub-Saharan Africa at Eutelsat’s 3° East location. Capacity at 3° East will be taken a step further with the launch of EUTELSAT 3B early 2014. This is a tri-band satellite (C, Ku, and Ka) enabling operators to choose the frequency band most adapted to their services. The Ku and C-band capacity will further consolidate Eutelsat’s response to broadcast and data markets. High throughput beams in the Ka-band, which are individually steerable to regional and national markets and operated with scalable allocation of power and spectrum, are ideal to support innovative applications in bandwidth-demanding markets.

New resources further boosting support for clients in Africa

Eutelsat’s long-term roadmap is clear: to continue to renew and increase capacity as well as raise in-orbit security so customers can boost their business and open paths of expansion. Three satellites to launch by early 2015 will take resources for Africa to a new level:



H1 2014

Africa, Europe, Middle East, Central Asia, Latin America

30 Ku / 9 Ka / 12 C



Q3 2015

Africa, Middle East, South America

40 Ku / 10 C



H2 2015

Sub-saharan Africa, Russia

Up to 52 Ku / 18 Ka

1 When launched to 3° East, EUTELSAT 3B will release EUTELSAT 3D to 7° East for video markets in Turkey

2 Partnership with RSCC. Transponders indicated for Eutelsat portion only

IP Easy broadband service now available across Sub-Saharan Africa

IP Easy is an affordable and easy-to-install two-way broadband access solution for residential and home office users as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. Following its first year of operation, IP Easy is now available across sub-Saharan Africa via the EUTELSAT 10A satellite.

Combining the strengths of Ku-band capacity with Newtec’s successful Sat3Play® technology, IP Easy delivers downlink speeds of up to 4Mbps and can support VOIP and reception of TV channels in triple play mode. The selection of Newtec’s Sat3Play® product, which uses Point&Play self-installation, also enables end users to autonomously install the complete system with no specific qualification needed or expensive tooling.

Eutelsat broadcasting over 720 TV channels in Africa and Indian Ocean

Over 50% of the 1,400 satellite channels in Africa and Indian Ocean islands broadcast from one of Eutelsat’s market-leading video neighbourhoods. Channels have increased by 20% over the last two years, with the majority of video activity concentrated at two Eutelsat positions:

  • The 36° East neighbourhood occupied by the EUTELSAT 36A and 36B satellites is the leading orbital position for satellite TV in Africa. It is the neighbourhood of choice for pay-TV platforms that include DStv, operated by MultiChoice, and ZAP, operated by ZON from Portugal. With new capacity at 36° East over 170 new channels have joined this neighbourhood over the last two years, taking the count to 300 channels.
  • The 16° East neighbourhood – occupied by EUTELSAT 16A – and selected by Canal+ Overseas, Orange, Parabole Réunion and France Télévisions, is the point of reference for digital TV in Indian Ocean islands. EUTELSAT 16A also broadcasts a platform hosting over 30 francophone channels to homes in Western Africa.

EUTELSAT 7A – a new star for Africa, hosting AzamTV

In addition to these longstanding neighbourhoods, the sub-Saharan Africa footprint of EUTELSAT 7A has been selected by Azam Media Ltd. to broadcast its new TV venture, AzamTV, starting in East Africa, from its base in Tanzania. To launch on November 29, AzamTV will offer over 55 African and international channels, including three home-grown channels, Azam One, Azam Two and Sinema Zetu (films in Kiswahili) and Tanzania Premier League matches. In addition to capacity and uplink services, Eutelsat has developed a training programme for installers called ‘Satëlite’ to ensure that subscribers to AzamTV receive the best service for the installation of their DTH equipment.



Transitioning to digital

The roll-out of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) is also driving demand for satellites across Africa. Satellites are already an established platform for delivering DTT channels to terrestrial retransmitters and enabling homes beyond range of terrestrial reception to receive content on a Direct-to-Home basis. Building on the extensive experience gained in responding to the multiple challenges faced by mountainous regions, deserts, tropical and equatorial areas, Eutelsat will be showcasing at Africacom a full range of solutions including the primary transport of DTT and DTH broadcasting as well on-ground solutions including encoding, multiplexing, uplink services, implementation of on-ground stations and training programmes.


Where to meet Eutelsat at Africacom:

12 November, 3.00 – 3:20pm

Keynote: How Future Satellite Communications Will Improve Cost-Efficiency In Africa – Rodney Benn, Vice President for Africa, Eutelsat

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