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Eutelsat Launches FRANSAT, the New Satellite Service Offering French Free DTT Channels Across Mainland France

June 29, 2009

PARIS, June 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Eutelsat Communications
(Euronext Paris: ETL), Europe’s leading satellite operator, today announced
the full commercial launch of FRANSAT, the new service giving satellite
access in metropolitan France to all French free DTT (Digital Terrestrial
Television) channels.

Commenting on the launch Giuliano Berretta, Chairman and CEO of Eutelsat
Communications said “The launch of FRANSAT on our ATLANTIC BIRD(TM) 3
satellite underscores Eutelsat’s objective to support the seamless transition
of broadcasting in France into a fully digital environment, as mapped out in
the government’s “Digital France 2012″ Plan. The Plan expressed the ambition
for a solution to switch to digital for the significant number of satellite
homes already receiving analogue TV in areas not served terrestrially. Our
5degrees West orbital position has been delivering French national analogue
channels to terrestrial transmitters for more than 20 years. Over this period
a large installed base of Direct-to-Home and community satellite antennas has
developed to deliver these channels to homes in areas beyond terrestrial
reception. Five months before the programme for switch-off of terrestrial
analogue broadcasting begins it is natural for Eutelsat to propose a solution
which enables these homes to switch to digital without any need to adjust
their dish.”

To receive FRANSAT households can buy a labelled Pack comprising a
decoder and a FRANSAT conditional-access smartcard. Packs are already
available at typical points of sale for satellite TV (individual suppliers
and antenna installers, as well as major DIY centres, specialist retail
warehouses and hypermarkets), with particular emphasis on availability in
“white zones”. The new service is principally addressing the 10-15% of TV
homes in metropolitan France which will be unable to receive terrestrial DTT
or who will have poor reception with the definitive switch-off of terrestrial
analogue broadcasting, scheduled on 30 November 2011.

    FRANSAT: for an immediate transition to a fully-digital environment:

    - All free-to-air DTT channels, including HDTV channels:

FRANSAT offers access to France’s 18 free DTT channels, plus France O and
the four HD channels TF1 HD, France 2 HD, M6 HD, ARTE HD.

– A subscription-free service with no time limit:

Based on the same model as terrestrial DTT, satellite reception of
France’s free DTT channels via FRANSAT is subscription-free and not
time-limited.

    - A solution for homes unable to receive DTT terrestrially,
      requiring no dish change for the 1.5 million homes equipped for
      analogue reception of France's national French channels:

For homes equipped with a dish fitted with a universal LNB to receive
France’s six national analogue channels via ATLANTIC BIRD(TM) 3, by replacing
their analogue decoder with a digital FRANSAT Pack they will get instant
access to France’s free DTT channels with no change to their dish.

– A label guaranteeing quality and simplicity:

As a guarantee of high-quality equipment and optimal satellite reception
of France’s free DTT channels, FRANSAT has developed the “FRANSAT Via
Eutelsat” label. Decoders with this label offer a series of functions
including fast installation and automatic numbering of channels, availability
in metropolitan France with Viaccess conditional access, a parental lock,
automatic decoder upgrades, multi-satellite reception (DiSEqC facility) as
well as access to all channels broadcasting via ATLANTIC BIRD(TM) 3 and other
satellite positions.

    A broad range of decoders to meet all needs and budgets:

    - Four manufacturers and distributors (Aston, Metronic,
      Servimat, Wisi) are providing labelled FRANSAT decoders tailored to
      individual needs. This product range will be progressively extended
      to offer consumers the widest possible choice. Decoder prices depend
      on the functionality provided (high definition, recording function
      ...).

    A non-proprietary system open for multi-reception:

    - FRANSAT-labelled decoders are designed to give users full
      freedom to deploy their equipment in compliance with laws for
      interoperability of reception equipment.

A full set of technical solutions for community reception of
satellite-delivered free DTT channels:

    - A single cable per home is sufficient to distribute all
      television and radio channels in a community building, including
      FRANSAT. Users simply need to connect their FRANSAT decoder into the
      plug-in socket.

About Eutelsat Communications

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is
the holding company of Eutelsat S.A.. With capacity commercialised on 27
satellites that provide coverage over the entire European continent, as well
as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the
Americas, Eutelsat is one of the world’s three leading satellite operators in
terms of revenues. At 31 December 2008, Eutelsat’s satellites were
broadcasting 3,200 television channels and 1,100 radio stations. More than
1,100 channels broadcast via its HOT BIRD(TM) video neighbourhood at 13
degrees East which serves over 120 million cable and satellite homes in
Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The Group’s satellites also serve a
wide range of fixed and mobile telecommunications services, TV contribution
markets, corporate networks, and broadband markets for Internet Service
Providers and for transport, maritime and in-flight markets. Eutelsat’s
broadband subsidiary, Skylogic, markets and operates services through
teleports in France and Italy that serve enterprises, local communities,
government agencies and aid organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the
Americas. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ 591
commercial, technical and operational experts from 28 countries.

    http://www.eutelsat.com

http://www.fransat.fr

    For further information
    Press contacts
    Vanessa O'Connor   Tel: +33-1-53-98-38-88
    voconnor@eutelsat.fr

    Frederique Gautier Tel: +33-1-53-98-38-88
    fgautier@eutelsat.fr

    Investor relations
    Gilles Janvier     Tel: +33-1-53-98-35-30
    investors@eutelsat-communications.com

SOURCE Eutelsat Communications


Source: newswire



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