Typically high throughput platforms, according to Jean Philippe Gillet, Intelsat’s regional vice president for Europe and Middle East sales, miss the mark in supporting commercial applications due to “closed architecture that limits choice and control, sub-optimal network design, more attention paid to Mbps than Bits/Hz, the inability to support carrier grade solutions and platforms that are designed to consumer broadband standards, among other limitations.”
Global IP traffic is expected to more than double between now and 2015 with the global mobile data traffic slated to grow three times faster than fixed IP traffic. The time has come for an epic effort, stated Gillet, speaking to SatellitePro ME on the sidelines of IBC 2012.
“Intelsat announced in June 2012, the Intelsat EpicNG platform, a high performance satellite platform based on an open architecture, designed to deliver carrier grade, dedicated high throughput capacity.
“It will combine our spectral rights with the technical advantages of spot beam technology and provide architecture that gives them [our customers] a greater level of control and freedom of choice over hardware and service attributes.
“Initially comprised of Intelsat 29e and Intelsat 33e, Intelsat EpicNG will use multiple frequency bands, wide beams, spot beams and frequency reuse technology. The Intelsat EpicNG satellites will provide four to five times more capacity than our traditional satellites.
“The expected throughput of the satellites will vary according to the application served and satellite, but is anticipated to be in the range of 25-60Gbps.
“The two satellites are expected to launch in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
“We believe the EpicNG satellites will bring increased capacity designed to support maritime, aero, enterprise network, cell backhaul, military and DTH applications.”
Speaking specifically about the EMEA region, Gillet believes the impact of the new platform will be profound. “On the video side, demand in the region is mainly driven by the distribution of content both within the region and to other regions such as North America and Africa. We are seeing growth with HD and regional programme distribution. On the network services side, growth of new applications specifically in the Middle East is also driving business development. The cellular backhaul service is popular due to the fact that it is deployed quickly and very often, satellite is used as a complement to an already present terrestrial infrastructure. Likewise with VSAT networks.”
Going forward, Gillet believes that global internet usage through mobile devices including across the Middle East, and overall demand for connectivity, will drive demand for satellite capacity and the company is gearing for the surge with initiatives such as the Intelsat EpicNG platform.