EuropeStar and France Telecom are to establish a joint company to provide fixed satellite services to Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The company, called Stellat, will be 70% owned by France Telecom with EuropeStar holding the remainder. EuropeStar, the London-based satellite owner-operator, is a joint venture between Alcatel Spacecom and Loral Space and Communications.

Stellat will also become part of the Loral Global Alliance, a consortium providing worldwide fixed satellite services.

Alcatel Espace will build a high power communication satellite, designated Stellat 5, to be based on a Spacebus 3000 B3 platform and equipped with 35 Ku-band and 10 C-band transponders. The communications satellite will be launched in 2002 into a geostationary orbit position at 5íW.

Stellat 5 will provide Ku-band spot-beam direct-to-home video and high-speed internet services across Europe and North Africa, while the Ku-band wide-beam will extend internet and video distribution to Eastern Europe and the Middle East, supplemented by a steerable beam.

The C-band hemi-beam will cover Africa and Europe. C-band and Ku-band coverage will include connections across the Atlantic and will be capable of linking the Eastern USA and South America with Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Stellat 5 will also be capable of providing two-way communications for fully interactive high speed Internet services using dishes as small as 1m (3.3ft). EuropeStar currently operates fixed satellite services from its EuropeStar1 and B satellites.

Source: Flight International