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Intelsat unveils plans to deploy next-generation satellite system

Satellite operator Intelsat has unveiled plans to deploy new technology on its satellites that will enable the use of multiple frequency bands, a combination of widebeams and spotbeams and frequency re-use.

The Epic NG platform will take the form of a complementary overaly that will be integrated with Intelsat’s existing satellite fleet and global IntelsatONE terrestrial network.

Initially, the platform will feature two next-generation satellites. Intelsat is evaluating proposals by several manufacturers. These satellites, Intelsat 29e and Intelsat 33e, have projected launch dates in 2015 and 2016, and combined will serve every populated region in the world, according to the operator.

According to Intelsat, the platform will deliver higher performance and lower cost per-bit, multi-band frequencies aligned to region- and application-specific requirements, backward compatibility and use of existing network infrastructure and customer-preferred network topology, high throughput, high efficiency and high availability, will enable smaller terminals, will support applications such as mobility and aero, and will benefit increasingly data-centric services like cellular backhaul.

“The Intelsat Epic NG 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.”