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Intelsat to improve VSAT capacity with new satellite network

Intelsat has introduced its EpicNG satellite platform, a new series of satellites which will combine Intelsat's spectral rights in the C-, Ku- and Ka-bands.

The satellite network will be built upon an open architecture design and will utilise multiple frequency bands, wide beams, spot beams and frequency reuse technology.

The new technology will also be integrated with Intelsat's existing satellite fleet and global IntelsatONE terrestrial network, for backward compatibility.

“The Intelsat EpicNG platform represents the next generation of satellites, a progressive evolution of the Intelsat fleet,” said Intelsat CEO Dave McGlade.

“As the global demand for bandwidth surges and penetration of communications reaches ever further into developing regions and mobile applications, we are strategically investing in this platform to support our customers with a highly reliable and efficient broadband infrastructure as they launch new services and enter new geographies.”

With the launch of its new satellites Intelsat is promising higher performance, and therefore a lower cost per-bit.

For each satellite, four to five times more capacity than Intelsat’s traditional satellites will be available, with an anticipated throughput of a massive 25-60 Gbps per satellite.

Intelsat says it will deploy EpicNG payloads in all frequency bands (C-, Ku- and Ka-), which will be optimised in the design of individual satellites, depending upon the application and region being supported.

The company also notes, in what could be interpreted as a slight on Inmarsat’s upcoming Global Xpress services, that “unlike many new satellite operators, Intelsat is not constrained to Ka-band.”

The company says that the wide beams and spot beams which will be employed will help to provide the high levels of throughput, while the multi-band frequencies can be aligned to region- and application-specific requirements.

These features should also enable smaller terminals to be used, and Intelsat says they will be better able to support growing applications in mobility, such as in maritime, and benefit increasingly data-centric services like cellular backhaul.

“The driving force behind the creation of our Intelsat EpicNG next generation platform comes from listening to our customers, and building a technical and strategic understanding of their business requirements and long-term objectives,” said Intelsat EVP of sales, marketing & strategy Steve Spengler.

“The open architecture design of Intelsat EpicNG will allow our telecommunications customers to customise and control their own service offerings, determining critical elements such as speed, hardware and network topology.”

“This freedom of choice is not currently available in other high throughput satellite solutions, but it was essential to our design considerations because our customers will be able to differentiate their service offerings to better serve their respective market segments.”

Initially, the Intelsat EpicNG platform will feature two next generation satellites, with Intelsat noting that it is currently evaluating proposals by several manufacturers.

These first two satellites, Intelsat 29e and Intelsat 33e, have projected in-services dates in 2015 and 2016.

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