Intelsat is moving to solidify its long-term global broadband position, with the Board agreeing last week to solicit proposals for the purchase of a next-generation broadband satellite system. The initiative is part of a comprehensive broadband strategy, which also includes current and upcoming services on Intelsat’s existing satellite fleet.
The new satellite system will be a key element in the company’s progressive roll-out of managed last-mile access services. Starting next year, two-way, high-speed Internet protocol (IP) access solutions will be offered to service providers on a wholesale basis using existing satellites. The service will help connect end users to the public Internet backbone or to the private network infrastructure of the service provider. Primary customers of this service will be businesses needing a range of applications such as high-speed web access, EDI, e-business, file transfer, voice-IP and shared applications.
Deployment of the next-generation, high capacity, multi-beam satellites by 2004 will give the company enhanced capabilities and greater network capacity to meet increasing customer needs. It will enable end users to take advantage of new evolutions in ground antenna products and, ultimately, to choose from upstream data rates of 128 kbps to 8 Mbps and shared downstream rates of 34 to 56 Mbps.
This broadband access offering complements other Intelsat broadband services, including: existing and future IP backbone connectivity services; recently launched Intelsat Broadband VSAT – a cost-effective, closed satellite network solution supporting two-way IP and other platforms; and other services under development.
‘Broadband satellite solutions are extremely attractive to telecom service providers seeking to complement their terrestrial offerings and provide similar global solutions to every end customer they serve,’ said Mr. Conny Kullman, CEO of Intelsat .
‘This is a very important part of our growth plan, building on Intelsat’s leading position in the satellite-based IP backbone market. We will leverage existing service provider relationships, as well as cost efficiencies arising from our global operations. Our well-integrated strategy and the timely addition of the next-generation satellites will ensure the company’s long term stake in this quickly developing sector,’ he added.
Investment in the next-generation system will total more than $1.5 billion, with a contract expected by mid-2001. It will be deployed on a regional basis starting in Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Europe, with future expansion to other regions. Intelsat already has nine new satellites on order for launch in the 2001-2003 timeframe, representing a total investment commitment of over $3.2 billion.
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