Managed service helps MNOs expand coverage to more communities, roadways, parks and remote sites

Intelsat has recently seen a doubling of traffic in rural cellular networks, which we attribute to the shift in increased remote working, education and healthcare to these areas, and away from centralized urban centers. This trend is adding to the already-existing increased demand for broadband connectivity outside of traditional cellular coverage areas.

Intelsat understands that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) need a way to quickly respond to demand shifts like this with reliable, simple-to-deploy and cost-effective solutions.  

To help MNOs of any size meet this need, Intelsat has introduced a fully managed service called Intelsat CellBackhaul that empowers them to quickly and efficiently expand their coverage to any location in their market – no matter how rural or remote, without the logistical and financial complications usually associated with building out traditional terrestrial infrastructure.

Intelsat recently implemented a new gateway designed exclusively to enable Intelsat CellBackhaul  service in Europe, leveraging Comtech hubs at the Intelsat datacenter in Fuchsstadt, Germany.

With Intelsat CellBackhaul, European MNOs will soon be able to quickly and cost-effectively expand their network coverage areas – helping to connect more users, particularly those in rural, remote and hard-to-reach places.

With customers already queueing for service, Intelsat’s Regional Vice President for Europe, Rhys Morgan, answered a few questions about what this new managed service means for European MNOs and how Intelsat CellBackhaul can help to meet the growing demand for reliable connectivity in the region. 

What are some of the challenges in expanding connectivity to more people and places in Europe?

Morgan: Expanding network coverage to meet the growing demands on connectivity comes with its fair share of challenges, especially when you’re talking about bringing it to rural or remote areas and 4G/5G reliability. There are also regulator pressures to facilitate spectrum negotiations.

One of the biggest challenges we hear about from MNOs is the high cost associated with building and maintaining terrestrial backhaul solutions, like fiber, over long distances to multiple new sites. It’s even costlier to do this in difficult terrain, such as mountains, valleys or heavily forested areas, and the time commitment is extensive – particularly if they can’t generate revenue during the build-out. Intelsat CellBackhaul is a solution that can help MNOs quickly connect new cell sites and begin generating that revenue sooner.

Is this where Intelsat’s CellBackhaul managed service can step in and help an MNO expand?

Morgan: Exactly. Our managed cellular backhaul service enables MNOs to quickly and cost-effectively expand 4G, 5G and IoT coverage into underserved and unserved areas that they may have previously considered unreachable – economically or logistically.

In addition to expanding coverage, our service can also provide MNOs with a secure, auxiliary backhaul solution for existing terrestrial-backhauled coverage areas in the event of an unexpected outage due to fiber cuts, which can sever connections to an MNO’s core network.

What does an MNO get with the fully managed Intelsat CellBackhaul service?

Morgan: An efficient and cost-effective way to quickly expand their coverage areas to meet increased or variable demand, or to create a more resilient and reliable network for their subscribers.

We can help connect an entire network of even the most remote sites using a more cost-effective alternative to traditional cellular backhaul solutions – all with a guaranteed service level agreement (SLA). And, because it’s a fully managed service, you’re getting highly knowledgeable and skilled experts to help you develop and build the solution, and then be there to provide you with 24/7 technical support.

Interested in quickly expanding and adding greater resiliency to your network? Dive deeper and learn more about the Intelsat CellBackhaul managed service.