Intelsat to launch second next-generation satellite

By: Natasha Odendaal
28th May 2013

Africa is set to get another satellite, as communications satellite services provider Intelsat deployed its second EpicNG in 2016.

Intelsat 33 would complement the current fleet of 23 satellites dedicated to servicing the continent, the last of which was launched last year, said Intelsat regional VP for Africa Grant Marais.

The design of the satellite had been completed and it was currently scheduled to enter the standard three-year production phase.

Several tentative dates for the launch of the KU Spotbeam-configured satellite had been set, he told Engineering News Online on Tuesday.

The Intelsat EpicNG satellite is a high-performance, next-generation satellite platform.

The launch of the EpicNG satellite series, which offered high efficiency, high capacity and high performance, comes as Africa considers its options in the move from analogue to digital broadcasting.

Many African countries were mulling the use of the direct-to-home signal transmission provided by satellite technology, instead of terrestrial-based infrastructure, as the tight deadline for analogue switch-off, in 2015, nears.

Satellite technology could also aid remote regions where it was uneconomical or too difficult to roll out terrestrial-based infrastructure, such as Africa's harsh terrain, and played an integral role in the move to digital terrestrial television.

Intelsat currently had a network of 53 satellites.

Link to Engineering News Article Online


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