Intelsat has launched a new satellite to enhance maritime satellite communications over Asia and the Middle East
Ship-to-shore communications over Asia, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean will be enhanced with the launch of a new geostationary satellite.
Intelsat 39 was deployed into orbit over the equator on an Arianespace Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana.
It was manufactured by Maxar Technologies and is operated by Intelsat to deliver both C-band and Ku-band for VSAT-based communications.
Intelsat 39 will replace Intelsat 902 at the 62ºE orbital location. It has wide beams and high-powered steerable spot beams to enhance mobile connectivity for aeronautical, maritime, enterprise and government customers.
Intelsat chief executive Stephen Spengler said “Intelsat 39 adds to the breadth of services and vast geographic reach that our global network provides.”
Its C-band and Ku-band will increase the bandwidth maritime service providers operating in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East can provide. This includes services in the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, East China and South China seas and sections of the Atlantic Ocean close to Africa.
“Businesses and communities across three continents will have greater access to robust, reliable and resilient connectivity services whenever they need it,” said Mr Spengler.
Intelsat 39 is expected to enter service in Q4 2019. Its steerable beams will enable satellite communications providers to rapidly reposition their services to respond to changing applications or geographic requirements.
At the same time, Ariane 5 deployed Avanti’s HYLAS 3 satellite into orbit for terrestrial applications.
This satellite has more than 4 GHz of capacity in eight steerable beams of Ka-band for broadband coverage over Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Its steerable beams could be deployed rapidly to provide higher levels of bandwidth for emergencies or mission-support. For example, on Avanti’s HYLAS 4, one of the steerable beams was deployed in less than 24 hours to assist humanitarian aid relief in Mozambique following Cyclone Idai in April 2019.
Intelsat 39’s launch comes after Intelsat completed its first constellation of high-throughput satellites, EpicNG, for maritime VSAT. This augments wide-beam Ku-band and C-band services with higher power Ku-band spot beams for high-end maritime, offshore and cruise ship requirements.