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Intelsat Orders 2 Software-Defined Satellites from Thales Alenia Space

By Rachel Jewett | January 12, 2022

Intelsat orders Intelsat 41 and Intelsat 44 satellites, based on the Thales Space Inspire product line. Photo: Thales Alenia Space

Intelsat has ordered two software-defined satellites from Thales Alenia Space that will contribute to the operator’s plans for a 5G unified global network. The two satellites — Intelsat 41 (IS-41) and Intelsat 44 (IS-44) — will be based on the Thales Space Inspire product line, and are scheduled to be in service in 2025.

These software-defined satellites will provide dynamically-allocated connectivity across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia for commercial and government mobility services and cellular backhaul. 

Intelsat said the satellite design allows for mission and services reconfiguration, in-orbit adjustment to broadband connectivity demand, and superior video broadcasting performance. The order, announced Wednesday, follows Intelsat’s order last year for two Airbus OneSats, the Airbus software-defined satellite line.  

“Intelsat’s standards-based, open-architecture network design facilitates the incorporation of the best technology at any given time, further bolstering network resiliency,” said Stephen Spengler, CEO of Intelsat. “With the addition of Intelsat 41 and Intelsat 44, in partnership with Thales Alenia Space, Intelsat will blanket the earth with software-defined satellites, progressing the world’s first global 5G software-defined network, designed to unify the global telecoms ecosystem.”