Communications satellite. Illustration of the Telecom 1A communications satellite in orbit over Earth. The main body (at centre right) of the satellite is flanked on either side by solar panels. Telecom 1A was launched into a geostationary orbit by France on 4 August 1984. It was used for international communications, carrying television, telephone, digital data and military communication signals. It was replaced by the Telecom 2A satellite in 1992.