EUTELSAT and the Italian Inter-University Consortium For Telecommunications to Provide a Tele-Education Network Using Ka-Band Frequencies and Bandwidth-On-Demand

December 8, 2000

PARIS — EUTELSAT announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CNIT (Italy’s national inter-university consortium for telecommunications) for Ka-band satellite capacity. CNIT will use this capacity to set up a new satellite-based tele-education network which will enable postgraduate students to pursue their studies for a telecommunications doctorate by means of coursework delivered by the academic leaders throughout Italy in this field.

The network will operate via Ka-band capacity on the Italsat F2 satellite that EUTELSAT is using in advance of full commercialisation of the Ka-band on its HOT BIRD(TM) 6 satellite that is due for launch in just over one year. It will also use capacity on a bandwidth-on-demand basis that will enable CNIT to manage its fully meshed network with a high degree of efficiency, as well as two-way satellite interactivity. The telecommunications doctorate consists of 27 seminars in English of 10 hours each, that can be watched real-time, recorded for playback or made available for web-based training.

Telespazio, a company specialised in satellite systems and services that is part of the Telecom Italia Group, is currently setting up and managing the earth stations at the first seven of the 26 universities that are part of the CNIT (Bologna, Catania, Genoa, Florence, Naples, Padua and Pisa) with a view to going live in first quarter 2001.

EUTELSAT Director General Giuliano Berretta said on the agreement: “This new network marks our entry into the Ka-band in advance of full commercialisation of capacity on HOT BIRD(TM) 6. I am very pleased that new technologies that we are developing can support the academic community’s ambition to increase inter-university cooperation and distance-learning. I am equally delighted that EUTELSAT is participating in the education of a new multimedia generation that will soon be shaping our future.”

CNIT Director Franco Russo declared: “The agreement with EUTELSAT represents a major step for CNIT in the area of services for multimedia distance learning, making it possible to deliver to our graduate students nationwide the most complete and advanced expertise available in the Italian Universities. Satellite communication for distance learning is expected to spread in the future, as the university system is strengthening its cooperation in this direction in order to increase the efficiency and the quality of service.”

In addition to providing full coverage of Italy the footprint provided by Italsat’s Ka-band includes southern France, Switzerland, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Montenegro, parts of Serbia, Kosovo and the northern regions of Greece and Tunisia.


As one of the world’s leading satellite operators, Paris-based EUTELSAT enables TV and radio broadcasters, Internet service providers, telecommunications companies and corporations to transmit and receive content throughout Europe and Africa, large parts of Asia and the Americas. EUTELSAT was the first operator in Europe to deliver DVB-based consumer television and today broadcasts 800 channels to 84 million satellite and cable homes, making it one of the largest TV offers to the largest audience in the world.

EUTELSAT is currently extending its potential in the broadband environment through alliances with content delivery companies such as TV Files, and collaboration with industry such as Nera for the development of low-cost two- way satellite terminals using the new DVB-RCS standard. With an active launch programme over the next 24 months which includes the addition of substantial new capacity on six satellites, EUTELSAT is reinforcing in-orbit security and service continuity for an expanding client base in business-to-business and business-to-consumer communications. For more information visit

About CNIT

CNIT (Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Telecomunicazioni) is a consortium of 26 Italian universities for advanced research and education in telecommunications. It aims to promote collaboration between industry, operators, public and private research centres, to coordinate Reasearch and Development Programmes and to provide graduate and post-graduate education and training programmes. The CNIT is committed to international cooperation and to the development of services and user-oriented technology.

Contact Information:

Vanessa O’Connor of EUTELSAT

phone: +33-1-5398-4757

fax: +33-1-5398-3788