Despite an error-free launch, Eutelsat suffered a crippling loss of its W3B satellite within 24 hours of deployment as a leak in the W3B propulsion system left the newly-built spacecraft short of its planned orbit. Constructed by Thales Alenia and equipped with Ku- and Ka-band transponders, W3B had been intended to replace three existing Eutelsat spacecraft—EUROBIRD 16, W2M and SESAT 1—at the 16° East Longitude orbital position. In addition to serving TV and radio broadcast clients throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East, W3B had been slated to provide data services to customers in these areas. W3B was deployed via an Ariane 5 rocket that also carried the BSAT-3B broadcasting satellite owned by Broadcasting Satellite System Corp. of Japan. Engineers from Lockheed Martin, the builder of BSAT-3B, reported no problems with the positioning and operation of that satellite. Until another Eutelsat spacecraft, W3C, takes up its position in the 16° E.L. neighborhood late next year, Eutelsat will maintain operation of the EUROBIRD, W2M and SESAT satellites at their current position.