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Program: Eutelsat

EUropean TELecommunication SATellite, also called ECS (European Communication Satellite)

In 1979 the European Space Agency decided to build five ECS satellites whose management were given to the European organization Eutelsat. The Satellites were aimed to respond to the post and telecommunications needs and to transmit EBU's TV channels. To avoid frequencies attribution problems in C-band the satellites were designed to operate in Ku-band. The OTS program had provided test transmissions with small Earth stations using on board powerful transponders.

Eutelsat was officialy created in 1985. The initial mission was to complete the telephone networks without acting contrary to Intelsat laws. In fact, Eutelsat mainly makes profit with TV channels (65% of its profits).

Eutelsat was privatized as a French company by 2 July 2001. A separate intergovernmental organisation will continue to exist in order to monitor that the new company respects the basic principles of pan-European coverage, non discrimination, fair competition and universal service.

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