Eutelsat's future at 28.5°E

timo_w2s

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With the potential transfer of 500MHz of bandwidth over to SES next month (see other thread) I was thinking what the future might hold for Eutelsat at 28.5°E. If they are left with just 250MHz of bandwidth and assuming they are confident they can keep this 250MHz without it being stolen taken over by another satellite operator in the near future, I was thinking about what they could do to make up for the lost revenue.

I assume the partially crippled and idle Eutelsat 28B may eventually be used for services at 28.5°E for the next few years. 28A with its wider range of transponders and movable spots may have better use elsewhere for its final few of years.

This got me thinking if Eutelsat might order a similar satellite to the soon to be launched Eutelsat 9B which has a number of smaller spots over Germany, Italy, Greece and Nordic/Eastern Europe.

They could do something similar at 28.5°E, with a spot over the UK for guaranteed high interest and income from UK broadcasters. With additional spots over other areas not covered by 9B, they could increase capacity (and revenue) from 28.5°E by introducing spots over say Spain/Portugal, Turkey, Eastern Europe/Russia and so reselling the same narrow block of frequencies again a number of times. Assuming, of course, these areas do not interfere with SES's plans to broadcast to the Middle East and Africa.

28.5°E is a good location for Eastern Europe if Astra's 31°E takes off plus the Russian hotspot at 36°E. It's also not too far from 19.2°E for extra Spanish channels.

As an added "bonus" the frequency reuse within Europe would limit UK reception much more so than Astra's current UK spots do, which might be a selling point for some FTA broadcasters looking for extra protection.

I'm not looking to scare people or spread doom and gloom about the demise of UK TV abroad, just trying to see things from Eutelsat's point of view and how they might overcome this rather unprecedented situation. After all it's all about money and if Eutelsat can recover some of the lost revenue from losing 500MHz of bandwidth, maybe this is one possible solution?

On the other hand maybe Eutelsat will keep their 250MHz of channels on a much wider beam that covers all of Europe unlike SES who seems to be favouring Western Europe more for their 2F and 2E satellites.

Hopefully they won't abandon 28.5°E totally.

Thoughts and comments?
 

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Pride Of Cucamonga

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I don't think the argument for or against spots is much different whether they have 500MHz or 2GHz. ultimately that's the way things are heading. In the meantime there has to be a demand for Ku band at 28.5 in other markets and not sure there is for now. Probably most efficient option is for Eutelsat to sell / licence / exchange remaining 500Mhz to SES and abandon the position altogether.
 

timo_w2s

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I don't think the argument for or against spots is much different whether they have 500MHz or 2GHz. ultimately that's the way things are heading. In the meantime there has to be a demand for Ku band at 28.5 in other markets and not sure there is for now.

You are probably right, 28E has been so heavily used for the UK and Irish market for so many years that most other countries are now well established in other parts of the satellite arc.

Probably most efficient option is for Eutelsat to sell / licence / exchange remaining 500Mhz to SES and abandon the position altogether.

Maybe, although if they could use 28B then costs could be kept to a minimum for a good few years. In the old days satellites used to run just a few transponders each and remain (I assume) reasonably profitable.
 

Pride Of Cucamonga

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Thinking about it, is selling / licensing to SES actually an option? I.e. can 2E,F or G cover the frequencies required for the remaining 500MHz held by Eutelsat?
 

timo_w2s

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It's 250MHz they have left. I think 2F and 2G could cover it but not 2E.
 

Analoguesat

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Thinking about it, is selling / licensing to SES actually an option? I.e. can 2E,F or G cover the frequencies required for the remaining 500MHz held by Eutelsat?

If Eutelsat vacate 28.5E completely they will forfeit the orbital slot eventually. SES had been leasing tp's off Eut 28A for years before the SES spectrum grab.
 

Piltdownpaul

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As i understand, no company is going to give up its slot in the arc, it's still valuable and while its operating it's still a presence.
 
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