First Intelsat EpicNG Ku-band satellite successfully launched

Artist's impression of an Intelsat EpicNG satellite.
Artist’s impression of an Intelsat EpicNG satellite.

Intelsat 29e, the first of the company’s EpicNG high throughput satellites (HTS), has been launched successfully from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 vehicle.

Liftoff occurred at 6:20 pm EST on 27th January 2016. The satellite separated from the rocket’s upper stage 38 minutes after launch, at 6:58 pm EST, and signal acquisition has been confirmed.

EpicNG promises to bring faster speeds to Ku-band inflight connectivity providers, such as Panasonic Avionics, by using high-power spot beams.

Manufactured by Boeing, Intelsat 29e will bring high throughput capacity in both C- and Ku-band to North and Latin America and the North Atlantic region.

The satellite will be placed into service at 310° East, where it replaces Intelsat 1R.

Intelsat EpicNG

This is the first satellite, in a series of at least seven, of the company’s next-generation, all-digital EpicNG satellite platform that combines wide beams and spot beams with frequency reuse technology and the sector’s most advanced digital payload.

This will allow customers to seamlessly access and shift capacity to match their usage needs in a particular region or timeframe.

Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer, Intelsat, said: “Today’s launch represents a truly ‘epic’ moment in communication’s history, as we begin a new era of high throughput satellite services for our customers.

“This is a testament to the innovation and creativity of the Intelsat team who envisioned the EpicNG platform nearly four years ago.

“Through design expertise and a deep understanding of our customers’ requirements, the EpicNG platform will deliver high performance, improved economics and simplified access that will expand the addressable market for our solutions.”

EpicNG is backwards compatible and fully interoperable with Intelsat’s existing satellite fleet and terrestrial infrastructure, allowing customers to use currently deployed network hardware to access the high performance connectivity.

The satellite also features spot beams for mobility customers serving the heavily trafficked North Atlantic region.

The company expects to launch the second EpicNG satellite, Intelsat 33e, which will serve Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, in the third quarter of 2016, also aboard an Arianespace launcher.

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