At 1200 GMT on Wednesday, Al Jazeera English will begin broadcasting from the network's main studios in Doha, Qatar.

The first such international news and current affairs channel with its headquarters in the Middle East, it will far exceed the original launch target of 40 million cable and satellite households.

Wadah Khanfar, the director-general of Al Jazeera network, said: "Our launch figure is over double the original target we set for ourselves.

Al Jazeera English platforms:

Afghanistan:
Tolo TV Australia: Transact, UBI TV Belguim: TV Vlaanderen Bosnia & Herzegovina: Dzemo, H & S, Bulgaria: MSAT, SKAT Croatia: Vodatel Cyprus: Primetel Denmark: Canal Digitaal Estonia: Elion Ettevotted AS, AS STV, Teleset AS, City TV Finland: Canal Digitaal, TTV/Elisa Co-operation Pool France: TPS, Canal Sat, Neuf/Cegetel, Free, T Online, Tele 2, NOOS Germany: KDG, Premiere Subscribers, DNMG, Kabel BW - Land Baden-Wuerttemberg, HanseNet Telekommunikation GmbH - Hamburg, netcologne GmbH - Cologne, Kabel Kiosk (Eutelsat), Telecolumbus - Berlin, and other areas Ghana: Metro TV Greece: Nova, Teledome DSL Honduras: Cable Sula Hong Kong: HK Broadband Indonesia: XL, Ireland: Digital satellite Israel: YES, Pelephone, Cellcom, Orange Italy: Sky Italia Jordan: Jump TV Kenya: Nation TV Kuwait: United Network Company Latvia: Baltkom, IZZI Lebanon: Cablevision Lithuania: Balticum Malaysia: ASTRO, Maldives: Media Net Malta: Multiplus Middle East: NileSat (including subscribers to the Showtime network), ArabSat New Zealand: ORCUS Norway: Canal Digitaal, Consoll IPTV, Next GenTel Poland: Cyfra Plus, Cyfrowy Polsat, Toya (Lodz) Portugal: Novis Qatar: Qatar Cable Romania: iNES Group, DTH Group South Africa: Vodacom, Spain: Jazztelia TV, Orange TV, ZTV-Marina Sweden: Com Hem, Canal Digitaal Switzerland: NAXOO Thailand: Buddy TV The Netherlands: Canal Digitaal, Essent, Xtra Televisie Turkey: Turksat UAE: Etisalat, Evision UK: Digital satellite (Sky Guide 514), Vingo US: Globecast, Fision, Jump TV, VDC Uganda: Nation TV

"This is unprecedented in the broadcasting industry - no other international news channel has launched with such a high number of homes across the world.

"We will continue to build on this figure after launch and will be looking to expand our reach significantly. This is another reflection of the strength of Al Jazeera brand."

In addition to cable and satellite, it will be available on broadband, IPTV, ADSL, terrestrial and mobile phone platforms.

Lindsey Oliver, the commercial director of Al Jazeera English, said: "We particularly appreciate the support that has been shown far and wide with distributors signing up to carry Al Jazeera English on the reputation of the Al Jazeera brand, our stated goals, our on air and off air teams, and without having seen the channel on air."

Website

In addition to cable, ADSL, mobile platforms and satellite, Al Jazeera English will be available as a live stream to the one billion users of the internet worldwide.

Al Jazeera's English website, aljazeera.net/english will also be re-launched on Wednesday at 12 GMT to reflect the television's look and editorial content.

It will provide live streams of the channel, together with RSS feeds, e-mail newsletters and interactive discussion boards.