Intelsat 33e launches, extending African coverage
Intelsat's newest satellite, Intelsat 33e, has successfully completed all in-orbit testing and entered service as of this week, extending coverage to millions of additional end-users around the globe - including in Africa.
The Intelsat 33e is the second of the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellites (HTS). Manufactured by Boeing and launched in August 2016, the satellite is equipped with the most advanced digital payload on a commercial spacecraft, says Intelsat.
The New York Stock Exchange-listed company says the first multi-spot beam, Ku-Band HTS service will enable the delivery of enterprise-grade, broadband services to fixed and mobile network operators, aeronautical and maritime mobility service providers and government customers.
Intelsat 33e's powerful spot beams will also enable the distribution of regionalised content for media customers operating in the region. It will extend Intelsat's HTS services to Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean regions.
Some of the local customers committed to Intelsat 33e include Telkom SA, Vodacom and MultiChoice. Other users on the continent include Orange Cameroon, Djibouti Telecom and Africell RDC SPRL.
Africa Mobile Networks, which delivers commercial service to previously unconnected rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa, will also use Intelsat EpicNG to help mobile network operators expand in these areas in a cost-effective manner and deliver social, economic, educational and other benefits to the population.
"The experience of implementing Intelsat EpicNG and bringing it to our customers has affirmed our beliefs about the potential of HTS," says Stephen Spengler, Intelsat CEO.
"We have a dynamic, open and evolving platform that will increase in capability over time, providing a technology hedge for our customers that need to make investments today on which they can build for a decade of growth."
Intelsat EpicNG services were launched in March 2016 with Intelsat 29e, which offers a footprint spanning the Americas, the Caribbean, Eastern United States and North Atlantic region. Three additional satellites - Intelsat 32e, Intelsat 35e and Intelsat 37e - are scheduled for launch in 2017.
Intelsat EpicNG's global footprint will be completed with Horizons 3e, which will be launched in the second half of 2018 to extend coverage to the Pacific Ocean region and further expand presence in Asia Pacific.
Intelsat's globalised network combines the world's largest satellite backbone with terrestrial infrastructure, managed services and an open, interoperable architecture. The group says thousands of organisations serving billions of people worldwide rely on Intelsat to provide ubiquitous broadband connectivity, multi-format video broadcasting, secure satellite communications and seamless mobility services.