INTELSAT TO DEVELOP NEXT GENERATION, MULTIBEAM, BROADBAND SATELLITES
Intelsat’s board of governors has agreed to solicit proposals for its next generation, multibeam, high capacity, broadband satellite system.
The company said it expects to spend more than $1.5 billion (E1.71 billion) on its next generation system and plans to award a contract by the middle or third quarter of next year.
It wants to deploy the first satellite “by 2004”.
The next generation system “will enable end users to take advantage of new evolutions in ground antenna products and, ultimately, to choose from upstream data rages of 128 Kbits/s to 8 Mbits/s and shared downstream rates of 34 to 56 Mbits/s,” commented Intelsat.
Ka-band capacity is definitely part of what Intelsat is looking for in its next generation of satellites, an Intelsat spokeswoman said. At present, it appears that Ka-band would be needed for Latin American and a combination of Ka and Ku-band for the Asia Pacific Region. However, studies are continuing and the mix of frequencies could change, she added.
Intelsat is looking toward the first deployment to cover Latin America, then the Asia Pacific Region and Europe, in that order. The upcoming solicitation will seek proposals for one satellite, the spokeswoman said. However, Intelsat actually is looking at three birds in the next generation, which is why it spoke of investing more than $1.5 billion.