Intelsat 29e, the first of the Intelsat Epic high throughput satellites, was launched successfully from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 vehicle on Wednesday (27 January 2015).
Liftoff occurred at 6:20 pm EST. The Intelsat 29e satellite separated from the rocket’s upper stage 38 minutes after launch, at 6:58 pm EST, and signal acquisition has been confirmed.
Manufactured by Boeing and equipped with the most advanced digital payload on a commercial spacecraft, Intelsat 29e will bring high throughput capacity in both C- and Ku-band to North and Latin America and the North Atlantic region. Intelsat 29e will be placed into service at 310° East, where it replaces Intelsat 1R.
Intelsat 29e is the first satellite of Intelsat’s next generation, all digital Epic satellite platform, which combines wide beams and spot beams with frequency reuse technology and the sector’s most advanced digital payload. The digital payload will provide customers with unprecedented security and flexibility, enabling customers to seamlessly access and shift capacity to match their usage needs in a particular region or timeframe. Intelsat Epic is optimised to provide satellite connectivity for applications including the Internet of Things, enterprise, wireless infrastructure, aeronautical and maritime mobility, and government, which are expected to provide a combined $3 billion incremental opportunity by the year 2020.
“Today’s launch represents a truly ‘epic’ moment in communication’s history, as we begin a new era of high throughput satellite services for our customers,” says Stephen Spengler, CEO of Intelsat. “This is a testament to the innovation and creativity of the Intelsat team who envisioned the Intelsat Epic platform nearly four years ago. Through design expertise and a deep understanding of our customers’ requirements, the Intelsat Epic platform will deliver high performance, improved economics and simplified access that will expand the addressable market for our solutions.”
The Intelsat Epic platform design reflects the company’s innovative approach to introducing high throughput technology into the world’s largest community of enterprise-grade satellite networks which operate on the Intelsat fleet. Intelsat Epic is backwards compatible and fully interoperable with Intelsat’s existing satellite fleet and terrestrial infrastructure, allowing customers to use currently deployed network hardware to access the high performance connectivity. The platform’s open architecture allows customers to have control over service offerings and hardware selection, providing differentiation of service offerings.
The payload will deliver carrier-grade services to fixed and mobile network operators, and broadband for applications such as enterprise, aeronautical and maritime mobility, and government throughout the Americas. The satellite also features spot beams for mobility customers serving the heavily trafficked North Atlantic region. Companies such as Harris CapRock, Panasonic, EMC (formerly MTN), Axesat and leading national telecom operators in Latin America will be among the first to deploy services on the platform.
Intelsat 29e is the 56th Intelsat satellite launched by Arianespace. Intelsat expects to launch the second Intelsat Epic satellite, Intelsat 33e, which will serve Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, in the third quarter of 2016, also aboard an Arianespace launcher.