Eutelsat IIF4 and ATLANTIC BIRD 2 to Support Emergence of Airborne Broadband Connectivity
Connexion by BoeingSM, the breakthrough high-speed mobile information service, has contracted with Eutelsat to use the IIF4 satellite to provide additional transponder capacity that will provide real-time connectivity for airborne travelers en route between North America and Europe. Two transponders -- one each for transmit and receive -- are being leased onboard the satellite located at an orbital slot at 12 1/2 degrees West.
Plans for Connexion by Boeing to use transponders onboard the Brazilian Estrela do Sul 1 satellite, scheduled for launch in early 2003, for long-term service support in the North Atlantic region, remain intact. However, the addition of the Eutelsat IIF4 satellite supports advance system testing and bolsters satellite coverage for the commencement of commercial service demonstrations in January 2003 for Lufthansa and in February 2003 for British Airways.
"The North Atlantic corridor is critical in our efforts to bring broadband connectivity to airlines that operate between Europe and the U.S.," said Ed Laase, director of development for Connexion by Boeing. "We already are conducting network and system testing in the region to ensure our service is robust and service ready, and that it meets and exceeds airline expectations when we introduce the Connexion by Boeing service to international travelers early next year."
Connexion by Boeing is also using the Eutelsat ATLANTIC BIRDTM satellite located at 8 degrees West to support airline service demonstrations aboard the Connexion One 737 flying laboratory at the Farnborough International Air Show. Using the satellite capability, leading airline industry executives are able to experience first-hand the tremendous power and added value that real-time broadband connectivity can provide to passengers and to airline operations in the air and on the ground.
About this agreement, Guiliano Berretta, President & CEO of Eutelsat, said: "This turn-key service is a new illustration of the ability of satellites to provide high-speed internet access, virtually all over the planet, whether from the earth or the sky. Fully in line with one of our key development axis of expanding the scope of satellite usage to new leading-edge applications, we are proud to partner with Boeing in the framework of their innovative Connexion by Boeing service, which for Eutelsat opens new commercial prospectives.
Connexion by Boeing is a mobile information services provider that is bringing high-speed Internet, data and entertainment connectivity to aircraft in flight. The service is currently available to the executive services market in the U.S., which includes operators of private and government aircraft. Connexion by Boeing also remains on track with leading European carrier Lufthansa to begin service demonstration in January 2003 followed by the commencement of service trials with British Airways in February 2003. Earlier this week, Connexion by Boeing and Japan airlines also have signed a Letter of Intent to install the innovative service on 10 of its long-haul aircraft serving routes between Japan and Europe. For additional information, visit the
Connexion by Boeing website.
Eutelsat S.A. is one of the world's leading satellite operators. The company provides seamless coverage across four continents, encompassing Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Southwest Asia and North and South America. Eutelsat's satellite infrastructure gives it the flexibility to offer TV and radio broadcasting services, corporate network solutions and a portfolio of IP applications including distribution of rich multimedia content, broadband Internet access and Internet backbone connections. From its strategic HOT BIRD orbital position and other orbital positions, Eutelsat transmits more than 1200 television and 600 radio stations to 98 million cable and satellite homes. With headquarters in Paris, Eutelsat's workforce comprises 400 people from 24 countries.