With a rapidly growing audience and channel line-up, the 7/8° West video neighbourhood is one of the most dynamic in the
global satellite TV market. Over 30 million homes in North Africa and the Middle East are already equipped for DTH reception of more
than 800 Arabic and international channels broadcast at this position by Eutelsat and Nilesat. Free-to-air accounts for the majority
of the offer (500 channels), while HD take-up is accelerating, currently representing 50 channels. The additional capacity will
meet further expansion in a satellite broadcasting market where capacity demand for video services is forecast to grow by 6.8% a
year over the coming five years (source Euroconsult). HDTV channels are expected to increase fourfold over the coming ten years.
The Eutelsat 8 West B satellite will be equipped with 40 operational Ku-band transponders designed primarily to serve DTH markets
in North Africa and the Middle East. It will also introduce a C-band mission to 8° West, with 10 operational transponders connected
to footprints covering the African continent and reaching west to South America.
THE EUTELSAT 8 WEST B satellite, based on Thales Alenia Space's Spacebus 4000 C4 platform, weighed 12,747 pounds - nearly 5.8
metric tons - at liftoff and is designed for a 15-year service life. Eutelsat 8 West B is named for its final operating post along
the equator at 8 degrees west longitude, where the satellite's 40 Ku-band transponders will beam direct-to-home high-definition and
Ultra HD television to millions of homes in the Middle East and North Africa. Ten C-band transponders will serve telecommunications
customers in Africa and South America, according to Paris-based Eutelsat. The new satellite replaces coverage offered by Eutelsat 8
West A-launched on Ariane 4 in 2001-and Eutelsat 8 West C-launched on the first Atlas 5 flight in 2002. The aging craft will be
re-deployed to other missions.