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Intelsat to blanket the earth with 5G software-defined network

Satellite services provider Intelsat has signed an agreement with Thales Alenia Space to build two software-defined satellites designed to advance Intelsat’s global fabric of geo-remote (GEO) connectivity as part of its 5G software-defined network.

The addition of the Thales Alenia Space software-defined satellites, Intelsat revealed, represents an essential advancement in Intelsat’s 5G software-defined network designed to enable greater agility, flexibility and orchestration across edge, satellite and core. 

Named Intelsat 41 (IS-41) and Intelsat 44 (IS-44), the two next-generation software-defined satellites are scheduled to be in service in 2025. They will join two Airbus constructed software-defined satellites, Intelsat 42 (IS-42) and Intelsat 43 (IS-43), which were announced on January 8, 2021.

Intelsat 41 and Intelsat 44 will be based on the Thales Alenia Space’s innovative Space Inspire product line, allowing telecommunications mission and services reconfiguration, instant in-orbit adjustment to broadband connectivity demand, and superior video broadcasting performance while maximising the effective use of the satellite resources.

The satellites will also enable the continued advancement of Intelsat’s planned global software-defined satellite-based network, adding high-speed, dynamically-allocated connectivity across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia for commercial and government mobility services and cellular backhaul.

Stephen Spengler, CEO of Intelsat, said, “Intelsat’s standards-based, open-architecture network design facilitates the incorporation of the best technology at any given time, further bolstering network resiliency.

“With the addition of Intelsat 41 and Intelsat 44, in partnership with Thales Alenia Space, Intelsat will blanket the earth with software-defined satellites, progressing the world’s first global 5G software-defined network, designed to unify the global telecoms ecosystem.”

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