EETimes: Satellite communications operators Eutelsat Communications and SES Global are forming a joint venture to transmit video, radio and data to mobile devices and vehicle receivers in the S-band. Alcatel Alenia Espace has won the contract to make the W2A satellite that will be used for the service, which is scheduled to start operating in 2009.
The two operators are investing Euros 130 million in the 50:50 joint venture, subject to the companies receiving regulatory approval.
Based on the Alcatel Alenia Space Spacebus 4000C4 platform, the satellite will also have up to 46 transponders in Ku-band and a C-band payload of 10 transponders.
Operating in the S-band (2.0 and 2.2GHz) is a new opportunity for both Eutelsat (Paris, France) and SES (Betzdorf, Luxembourg) and will target operators of mobile networks and digital radio. The companies say the development of mobile video services through a satellite-based hybrid network will provide content providers and operators with alternative or complementary solutions to terrestrial-based networks such as DVB-H or those that use Internet Protocol (IP) streams sent over an existing Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) network.
The S-band payload at 2.2 GHz on W2A will allow the delivery, initially and for the first time, of mobile multimedia broadcast services directly on to terminals in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the U.K. It will be the start of a hybrid infrastructure over Europe, combining satellite and terrestrial networks, providing both universal coverage and indoor penetration for mobile TV services.
W2A’s S-Band payloads will also enable other communications services, for example for security communications or crisis management.
Romain Bausch, President and CEO of SES Global, said in a statement Monday (Oct.30): “This joint investment will allow for the development of new, innovative satellite delivered mobile broadcast services, thereby enabling satellite to compete with as well as to complement terrestrial infrastructure solutions in the mobile television and radio distribution chain.”
He added satellite provides highly efficient coverage and the joint investment would increase choice and convenience for consumers, content providers and service providers. “Mobile applications form an important element of our strategic development plan, and by joining forces with Eutelsat, this infrastructure investment offers an attractive business opportunity in line with our internal investment hurdle rates,” Bausch said.