e-Bird: The first Internet broadband satellite in orbit

DQC Bureau
New Update

Eutelsat announced the successful launch of e-Bird, the first satellite in the world specially designed for two-way broadband communications. Built by Boeing Satellite Systems, it was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. After a series of in-orbit tests, the satellite will enter service in November to provide coverage of Europe and Turkey.


The launch of e-Bird’s satellite boosts Eutelsat’s commitment to developing resources and technology in Europe that enable satellites to be a key player in bridging the digital divide by serving regions not served by ADSL and other terrestrial broadband technologies. With a configuration of multiple spotbeams, each providing high-power regional coverage, e-Bird can contribute to national and pan-European broadband programs such as the European Union’s (EU) e-Europe initiative that aims for all schools, universities and businesses to have access to the Internet by 2005. It is estimated that a quarter of the population and between 10 to 40% of SMEs in the EU and candidate countries do not have access to broadband today.

Commenting on the successful launch Eutelsat’s CEO Giuliano Berretta says, “The e-Bird will benefit service providers in Europe by enabling them to expand their broadband offer to users who are not be served by terrestrial broadband solutions.”

The particular bandwidth efficiency of e-Bird has been achieved through a mix of transponders that accommodate the asymmetric nature of Internet traffic between requests and content delivery. This configuration has been coupled with high-gain beams so that users can have broadband connectivity for high-speed Internet access and VPN via sub one metre antennas. Transmissions to service providers will be routed through the four 108 MHz bandwidth transponders and the return path will be routed through the sixteen 36 MHz bandwidth transponders. Hub stations connected to the Internet backbone will receive the signals from users and send content back in high-power.