Launched by an Ariane 4 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana on 28 April 1998 at 22:53:00 UTC by the European Space Agency, it was manufactured by the European company Matra Marconi Space (Astrium), and started official broadcasting on 31 May 1998 with an Expected Life Time of 15 years. At launch the spacecraft weighed 1,840 kg (fully fuelled).
It was parked at the geostationary orbital position of 7° West together with its sister Satellite Nilesat 102 and carries 12 Ku band 100 W high power wide beam transponders of 33 MHz bandwidth to provide digital communications and terrestrial Direct to Home ((DTH)) TV, Radio Broadcasting, Multimedia and Data services for countries in North Africa, South Europe and Middle East. The two satellites carry approximately 280 TV channels covering all the Middle East countries; north from Southern Europe to Central Africa, south, and east from Iran to the Atlantic Ocean, west.
Nilesat 101 was operated by The Egyptian satellite Co. Nilesat that was established in 1996 with the purpose of operating Egyptian satellites and their associated ground control station and uplinking facilities.
Nilesat and Eutelsat have agreed in September 2005 to lease capacity on Eutelsat’s Hot Bird 4 satellite after relocating it to 7° West and renaming it to Nilesat 103, the satellite is scheduled to be repositioned to this location in second quarter 2006 after the launch and entry into service of Eutelsat’s Hot Bird 7A and Hot Bird 8 satellites.
In February 2013 the satellite was derobited thus ending permanently its service.
See also 
- Nilesat homepage
- European Space Agency homepage
- Nilesat 101 Ku-band Wide Beam footprint(s) at SatBeams