Over the past few weeks, services on the existing Eutelsat 28A satellite have been suffering from bouts of low power. Services on the affected satellite include the Freesat EPG and Sky Box Office plus CNBC, Al Jazeera, Universal Channel, CBS Drama and True Movies. This has resulted in lower than normal signal strengths for these services and even picture break up for some viewers.
Alongside the Astra 2 satellites at 28.2 degrees East, the Eutelsat satellite provides additional capacity for broadcasters to transmit to the UK and surrounding countries, and most satellite dishes in the UK are pointed to the Astra and Eutelsat satellites at 28 degrees East.
Whilst Eutelsat have not published any further technical details, it is expected that services will shortly begin to be transferred from Eutelsat 28A to the redeployed Eutelsat 48B satellite, which will be renamed Eutelsat 28B, according to an entry on the Eutelsat website. It is not known if Eutelsat 28A will continue to be in service for much longer, or whether both satellites will continue side by side, both sharing the load. In any case Eutelsat 28A has not got much life left in it, having been in service for over a decade.
Eutelsat 48B is in turn the satellite formerly known as W2M, which was originally rejected due to a power problem on board. It has since been used as a temporary back up satellite at several locations, carrying a small number of services.
To date, Eutelsat have not announced if they are intending to launch a permanent replacement satellite for the 28.5 degrees East orbital position anytime soon.