Intelsat, operator of the world’s first Globalized Network, powered by its leading satellite backbone, announced on 30 January 2017 that Intelsat 33e, the second of the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellites (HTS), successfully completed all in-orbit testing and entered service on 29 January 2017.
Manufactured by Boeing and launched in August 2016, Intelsat 33e is equipped with the most advanced digital payload on a commercial spacecraft. With this exceptionally flexible HTS payload design, Intelsat 33e, operating from 60° East, will extend Intelsat’s HTS services in C-, Ku- and Ka-band to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean regions. This will enable the delivery of enterprise-grade, broadband services to fixed and mobile network operators, aeronautical and maritime mobility service providers, and government customers. Intelsat 33e’s powerful spot beams will also enable the distribution of regionalized content for media customers operating in the region.
The customers committed to Intelsat 33e and the applications supported reflect the vast geographic coverage of the satellite:
- Maritime broadband leaders GEE, Speedcast and Marlink
- In-flight entertainment and connectivity leaders Gogo and Panasonic Avionics
- Pakistani Internet service provider SuperNet Limited
- Telecommunications infrastructure customers Telkom South Africa, Orange Cameroon, IP Planet, Vodacom, Djibouti Telecom and Africell RDC SPRL
- Russian network service providers Romantis and RuSat LLC support enterprise applications
- Media companies TV & Radio Broadcasting (formerly Television and Radio Broadcasting of Armenia) and MultiChoice of South Africa
In addition to existing customers, Intelsat 33e is attracting new customers. For example, Africa Mobile Networks (AMN), which delivers commercial service to previously unconnected rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa, will use Intelsat EpicNG to help mobile network operators expand in these areas in a cost-effective manner and deliver social, economic, educational and other benefits to the population.
“The experience of implementing Intelsat EpicNG and bringing it to our customers has affirmed our beliefs about the potential of HTS,” said Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer, Intelsat. “We have a dynamic, open and evolving platform that will increase in capability over time, providing a technology hedge for our customers that need to make investments today on which they can build for a decade of growth. Intelsat is delivering on the promise of HTS, and our design and strategy will advance our vision of unlocking access to new, larger and faster growing sectors for Intelsat and our customers.”
“Many U.S. government customers are eager to begin using Intelsat 33e,” said Skot Butler, President, Intelsat General Corporation. “Testing previously conducted with Intelsat 29e using a small, flat-panel antenna designed for aeronautical applications confirmed that the Intelsat EpicNG platform delivers superior performance for unmanned aircraft systems. The coverage Intelsat 33e provides is ideal to support U.S. Department of Defense mobility applications and means deployed forces in these regions will benefit from the same game-changing performance and efficiency that Intelsat EpicNG already delivers in the Americas and the North Atlantic.”
Intelsat EpicNG services were launched in March 2016 with Intelsat 29e, which is located at 310° East and offers a footprint spanning the Americas, the Caribbean, Eastern United States and the burgeoning North Atlantic region. Three additional Intelsat EpicNG satellites – Intelsat 32e, Intelsat 35e and Intelsat 37e – are scheduled for launch in 2017. Intelsat EpicNG’s global footprint will be completed with Horizons 3e, which is to be stationed at 169° East with a launch planned in the second half of 2018. Horizons 3e will extend Intelsat EpicNG’s coverage to the Pacific Ocean Region and further expand Intelsat EpicNG’s presence in Asia Pacific.