High Throughput Capacity on the Horizon in the POR
By Terry Bleakley, Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific
The announcement that Intelsat will launch an Intelsat EpicNG satellite to serve the Pacific Ocean Region (POR) is welcome news for providers of commercial and government fixed and mobile broadband services. Horizons 3e, as it will be called, will be our seventh high throughput satellite, and the first in the POR, complementing our coverage of the Asia Pacific region and completing the global high throughput overlay of our FSS fleet.
This is big news for the Oceanic region, which includes countries such as French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the Solomon Islands. These countries are characterized by small populations located over multiple islands spanning large geographies, which, as you would imagine, call for satellite-based solutions for connectivity. However, traditional capacities which we have provided over the past decades necessitated large remote antennas requiring reliable power. Expensive to install and run, these solutions have limited appeal.
Horizons 3e with its greater performance and improved economics, will overcome that obstacle in these islands. This is because the antenna needed to receive the HTS service is dramatically smaller, with reduced power requirements, opening up viable alternative energy options such as solar power. The net effect is enabling high performance connectivity deeper into the islands so more communities can enjoy better connection to the world – whether it be accessing newer generation mobile phone networks or accessing broadband internet.
Countries such as New Zealand and Japan will also benefit from Horizons 3e. The New Zealand government is in the process of providing faster internet access under two schemes: the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) imperative, which calls for fiber connectivity to 75% of homes, and the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) which is looking to use other technologies to connect the 25% of households in more challenging geographies. Horizons 3e is well suited to augment other technologies providing connectivity to these more remote communities in New Zealand.
In Japan, strict regulations are being enforced for telecommunication networks to have networks up in times of disaster. This is another instance in which Horizons 3e is well suited. Better economics and a smaller footprint will enable Horizons 3e to be a critical component of telecommunication companies’ disaster recovery solutions.
Completing the Global HTS Overlay
The first Intelsat EpicNG satellite, Intelsat 29e, is set to launch in January, delivering fixed and mobile broadband services throughout the Americas and across the Atlantic. The second, Intelsat 33e, will be at 60ºE in the Indian Ocean Region, bringing high throughput connectivity to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the west coast of Australia. Horizons 3e, to be launched in 2018, will complete Intelsat’s global high throughput fabric and also provide coverage over a key maritime and aeronautical route: the transpacific.
The satellite will be jointly owned by Intelsat and Japan’s SKY Perfect JSAT Corp., and will provide optimized C-band and high throughput Ku-band capacity to meet mobility and broadband connectivity demand in the POR.
I am excited about the possibilities of Horizon 3e and the services it will enable for our customers in the region and around the world. Here’s to high throughput capacity on the horizon in the POR!