RSCC and Eutelsat Partner on Roadmap for Satellite in Russia

Thursday, November 1st, 2012
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  • New RSCC satellite programme for 36° East neighbourhood to expand digital infrastructure in Russia
  • Agreement to expand DTH broadcasting in Far East Russia from 140° East

MOSCOW and PARIS — RSCC (the Russian Satellite Communication Company), the state-owned Russian satellite operator, and Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL), Europe’s longstanding satellite operator, today announced an agreement whereby Eutelsat will lease capacity for broadcasting and IP services on two RSCC satellites to be launched in 2013 and 2015. The contracts for Eutelsat’s two 15-year leases are valued at approximately €300 million.

RSCC’s satellite expansion plans include two new programmes: Express-АТ2 that will be launched to 140° East in 2013, and Express-AMU1 that will be launched in 2015 to provide follow-on and expansion capacity for EUTELSAT 36A at the 36° East position.

Express-АТ2 will more than double Ku-band capacity for satellite broadcasting at the key video neighbourhood serving Russia’s Far East region. The satellite is already under construction by ISS Reshetnev using a payload designed by Thales Alenia Space.

Express-AMU1 will be a state-of-the-art high-capacity satellite with up to 70 transponders. It will provide coverage of the European part of the Russian Federation in Ku and Ka bands, and also ensure service continuity and growth for broadcast markets developed by Eutelsat in sub-Saharan Africa. The satellite will transform the broadcasting infrastructure at 36° East into a broader system to support more television services and IP-based applications to match the development of Russia’s digital entertainment market. More than 11 million Direct-to-Home antennas in Russia are already pointed at this leading video neighbourhood, subscribing to the premium NTV+ platform or to Tricolor, one of the world’s fastest-growing TV platforms. The new satellite’s manufacturer will be selected by the end of 2012 following an RFP. Eutelsat will commercialise the capacity under the name EUTELSAT 36C.

Eutelsat CEO, Michel de Rosen, said: “We are delighted to have built a solid relationship with RSCC over 15 years and that we have together decided to take this new step to partner on satellite ventureswhich will secure long-term visibility at the 36° East position and open new opportunities for business at 140° East. We share the common objective to continue to work together for the benefit of our customers and to deliver satellite resources that support the expansion of a vibrant digital economy for the Russian Federation.”

“With Eutelsat we go back many years, to 1997,” Yuri Prokhorov, RSCC Director General, pointed out. “Over the past three years RSCC and Eutelsat have been moving towards a project that would essentially create new services that Russian satellite telecom users want: to view cutting-edge quality TV and personally participate in content formation, as well as have access to telecom service anywhere in the Russian Federation, both fixed and mobile.”