Intelsat has contracted with Thales Alenia Space to build two software-defined satellites designed to advance its global fabric of software-defined geosynchronous Earth-orbit (GEO) connectivity as part of its 5G software-defined network, the satellite operator said. According to Intelsat, it operates the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network. The company said that Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67 percent) and Leonardo (33 percent).
“The addition of the Thales Alenia Space software-defined satellites represents an essential advancement in Intelsat’s 5G software-defined network designed to enable greater agility, flexibility and orchestration across edge, satellite and core,” a statement from Intelsat reads. “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), announced on Jan. 8, 2021.”
Intelsat 41 and Intelsat 44 will be based on the Thales Alenia Space’s innovative Space Inspire product line, allowing seamless telecommunications mission and services reconfiguration, instant in-orbit adjustment to broadband connectivity demand and superior video broadcasting performance while maximizing the effective use of the satellite resources, 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,” said Stephen Spengler, CEO of Intelsat. “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.”
The contract enables 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, the satellite company said.
“Our relationship with Intelsat has been so meaningful knowing that our attractive Space Inspire software-defined solution will contribute to the realization of Intelsat’s global 5G software-defined unified network,” said Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space. “We are proud that our advanced satellite technology will play a significant role in Intelsat’s vision to reimagine the global telecoms ecosystem.”
Intelsat said that it applies expertise and global scale to connect people, businesses, governments and communities. The company said it is building the future of global communications with the world’s first hybrid, multi-orbit, software-defined 5G network designed for simple, seamless, and secure coverage precisely when and where its customers most need it.
According to Intelsat, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures.
“Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our solar system and beyond,” the Intelsat statement reads. “Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a range of services. Thales Alenia Space has 7,700 employees in 10 countries with 17 sites in Europe and a plant in the United States.