Tricky thing, announcing a major service launch when you are in quiet period pre-IPO but Intelsat has managed it, confirming it will order at least two new satellites to provide a high capacity Ku-band spot beam service in the North Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions and the platform for of EpicNG.
EpicNG will include a complementary overlay to its fixed satellite network and will be fully integrated with Intelsat’s existing satellite fleet, using a combination of C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band to deliver world-wide broadband coverage.
The satellites will be in service by 2015 and 2016 respectively and if Intelsat’s sales story is right, provide four to five times more capacity per satellite than its traditional fleet with total throughput ‘in the range of 25-60 Gbps’.
Observers at first concluded that this was a total, not per-satellite figure meaning they would provide throughput at rates closer to 12Gbps in service, similar to Inmarsat’s GlobalXpress.
But late last week Intelsat confirmed that the throughput figure of 25-60 Gbps is indeed a per satellite figure – significantly greater than the GX per satellite throughput. The satellites will be integrated into its legacy maritime coverage in a move that will see it compete head-on with not just Inmarsat but Viasat too.
Intelsat has yet to confirm its distribution partners for the new service but the company has clearly decided that three is the ideal number of VSAT players in the high-end maritime communications space, where it has already operated for some years.
PS – Kudos to Intelsat for not being afraid of continuing the buzzword bingo with liberal-use of ‘customer-centric’ in all its material. Services designed for users are something we can all approve of.