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Intelsat inks deal with Gilat to expand in-flight connectivity

Intelsat has placed a number of orders with Gilat this year for technology to enable IFC services.

Intelsat has placed a multimillion-dollar order for Gilat Satellite Networks’ SkyEdge IV Taurus modems to expand its capabilities in the in-flight connectivity (IFC) arena.

SkyEdge IV Taurus is an ultra-high-performance modem for IFC designed to provide Wi-Fi internet and IPTV for passengers on commercial airlines, regional aircraft and business jets. Taurus is backward compatible, thus preserving past investments with the SkyEdge II-c platform, already deployed globally. This will enable Intelsat to continue to deliver high-quality IFC capabilities to its customers and an enhanced user experience, as well as to make a strategic move to embrace new technologies, such as those offered in the SkyEdge IV platform.

SkyEdge IV, launched earlier this month by Gilat, is a next-generation software-centric SATCOM ground system optimised for multi-orbit constellations and very high throughput satellites (VHTS). Gilat’s SkyEdge IV Elastix Access Scheme enables high availability operational efficiencies using adaptive transmission technologies to support a variety of IFC solutions using Taurus modems on different types of aircraft on a single network.

Commenting on the deal, Dave Bijur, senior vice president of Commercial Aviation at Intelsat, said: “Giving our customers the ability to provide air travellers the ultimate in-flight online experience is very important to us here at Intelsat. That’s why we continue to work with Gilat and are embracing their Taurus aero modem solution as a key element in our IFC offering. With Taurus enhancing our in-flight capabilities, we stand ready to capture a larger share of the resurgent IFC market.”

Amir Yafe, VP of Mobility & Global Accounts at Gilat, added: “It is precisely these passenger needs that are supported by SkyEdge IV Taurus, which enables delivery of reliable, high-performance connectivity solutions to air travellers. At this time, when the global IFC market is poised to rebound, more and more travellers will be relying on Intelsat, operator of one of the world’s largest integrated IFC satellite networks. We value our close partnership with Intelsat and are pleased to take part in this endeavour to expand their network with Gilat’s Taurus modems and our new SkyEdge IV platform.”