TDA (Télédiffusion d'Algérie) selects Eutelsat ATLANTIC BIRD™ 3

Thursday, November 29th, 2007 
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PARIS — Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) has inked a contract for capacity on its ATLANTIC BIRD™ 3 satellite with Télédiffusion d’Algérie (TDA) to broadcast Algeria’s national Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) package of television and radio channels. The launch of the new platform underpins the Algerian government’s objective to manage the transition of the country’s broadcasting sector into a fully digital environment.

TDA’s capacity on ATLANTIC BIRD™ 3 will ensure that Digital Terrestrial Television channels benefit from immediate and complete coverage of Algeria. In the initial phase, digital channels will be available for Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite reception, and in a second phase channels will also be delivered to DTT transmitters for terrestrial rebroadcasting.

The five-year contract between Eutelsat and TDA is for one 36MHz transponder connected to ATLANTIC BIRD™ 3’s steerable spotbeam which is centred over Algeria. With this footprint, TDA is equipped to provide high-power coverage of the entire Algerian territory, the Maghreb region and Mediterranean Basin countries for DTH reception with 60cm antennas.

On December 1, TDA will initiate free-to-air broadcasting from ATLANTIC BIRD™ 3 at 5 degrees West of a package of three television channels (La Chaîne 1, Canal Algérie and A3) and four radio stations (CH I, CH II, CH III and RAI – Radio Algérie Internationale), with further channels to join the package. Homes equipped with a satellite dish pointing to ATLANTIC BIRD™ 3 will have free access to all channels in the package. Delivery of the channels to DTT transmitters via ATLANTIC BIRD™ 3 is scheduled to begin in the course of 2008 when the first batch of terrestrial transmitters is activated. TDA’s objective is to ensure access to DTT channels for all Algerian homes as quickly as possible, both in urban and the most rural parts of Algeria, which is the largest of the Mediterranean countries and the second largest in Africa after Sudan.

This new contract also further consolidates Eutelsat’s ATLANTIC BIRD™ 3 satellite in Algeria. TDA joins two anchor clients already using the satellite: Algérie Télécom for enterprise networks, broadband access and VOIP, and Orascom Algérie for broadband services for public agencies and enterprises.

When the contract was signed, Tahar Beddiar, Deputy CEO of TDA, commented: “This contract reinforces the relationship of trust between TDA and Eutelsat and demonstrates conclusively our satisfaction with the quality of broadcasting service delivered by Eutelsat. The implementation of this contract for direct broadcasting of our platform of television and radio channels is an important step in the deployment of our Digital Terrestrial Television network.”

Olivier Milliès-Lacroix, Eutelsat’s Commercial Director added: “We are delighted to be selected by TDA to broadcast Algeria’s DTT package This new contract consolidates our ATLANTIC BIRD™ 3 satellite as a core component of broadcasting infrastructure in the Francophone markets of Europe, the Maghreb and the countries of the Mediterranean Basin. TDA’s strategy of deploying capacity on ATLANTIC BIRD™ 3 for DTH reception and for delivery of a digital package to DTT retransmitters serving densely populated areas will ensure an efficient and cost-effective transition to a fully digital environment.”