We have entered a strategic alliance with Airbus Defence and Space that will give our customers access to the X and UHF frequency bands using the Skynet satellite constellation, increasing our capabilities and services in the Asia Pacific region.
“This new partnership will enable Intelsat General to offer Skynet services to their already strong existing customer base,” said Richard Franklin, head of secure communications at Airbus Defence and Space. “The services will notably be using the newly relocated Skynet 5A satellite and enable users to operate in the Asia Pacific regions, and augment and complement their existing services.”
The hardened Skynet fleet of seven satellites complements Intelsat EpicNG, our high-throughput satellite (HTS) platform. Three of these HTS spacecraft, Intelsat 29e, 32e and 33e, are currently in service with the most advanced digital payload on a commercial spacecraft. The latest, Intelsat 33e, entered service on January 29 operating from 60 degrees East, extending Intelsat’s high-throughput satellite services in C, Ku- and Ka-band to the Asia Pacific region, among other areas.
Airbus moved its Skynet 5A satellite from 6 degrees East to 95 degrees East to provide global X-band and UHF coverage in the Asia Pacific region. Skynet X-band coverage and services are now extended from 178 degrees West to 163 degrees East. Intelsat General is committed to always accommodating customer requirements, including purchasing third-party capacity when necessary.
X-band is a special frequency set aside for government and military use. Extremely low rates of atmospheric attenuation means that X-band SATCOM remains reliable in harsh weather conditions, even when using very small terminals. X-band’s position on the RF spectrum also allows for higher throughput, delivering more voice, data and imagery without the need for spread spectrum techniques.
Together, Intelsat General and Airbus will help augment the satellite capacity that is currently available in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region with highly resilient military satellite communication services. It is well known that there is not as much capacity in APAC as there is in areas such as EMEA, and the global satellites operators do not have as much flexibility to respond to sudden increases in usage. Other SATCOM available in the region only offers fragmented spectrum and is owned wholly or partly by non-U.S. government agencies.
The theater of space is going through a period of transformation, and Intelsat General is committed to remaining the best possible resource for its government customers. Whether it requires third-party capacity, next-generation satellite performance or new approaches such as managed services, we’ll always be there supporting the warfighter.