Intelsat EpicNG FAQs

Q1: What is Intelsat EpicNG?

Intelsat EpicNG is a high performance satellite platform based on an open architecture, designed to deliver carrier-grade, dedicated high-throughput capacity to meet the growing bandwidth needs of our customers in all regions.

  • Intelsat EpicNG represents the progressive evolution of our network infrastructure, a complementary, high performance layer to the Intelsat fleet.
  • It will combine our spectral rights with the technical advantages of spot beam technology.
  • It will provide high performance capacity to our customers with an architecture that gives them a greater level of control and freedom of choice over hardware and service attributes, allowing more opportunity to develop new service offerings and grow their businesses.

The Intelsat EpicNG design criteria includes:

  • Higher performance through lower cost per-bit to our customers
  • Open architecture, backward compatible and forward compatible, allowing customers to leverage their current network investments for easier implementation
  • Freedom of choice for customers to develop the service offerings that meet their needs
  • High reliability across all geographies and applications
  • Multi-band, aligning the right frequency for the right application and region
  • Fully integrated with our satellite and terrestrial infrastructure

Q2: How will the capacity on the new Intelsat EpicNG series platform compare to that of your current satellite fleet?

  • The Intelsat EpicNG platform will provide three to five times more capacity per satellite than our traditional fleet. The expected throughput of the satellites will vary according to application and satellite, but is expected to be in the range of 25-60 Gbps, typically 10 times more than our traditional fleet.
  • Intelsat EpicNG is designed for carrier-grade, fixed data rate services, versus consumer-grade, highly contended best effort-broadband applications.
  • Traditional capacity will still be very relevant for a wide range of applications and bandwidth requirements, thanks to its unique broadcasting and content distribution ability within wide beams all around the world.

Q3: Why isn’t Intelsat focusing on Ka band as others seem to be?

  • Intelsat will deploy Intelsat EpicNG payloads in all frequency bands, which will be optimized in the design of individual satellites, depending upon the application and region being supported.
  • Given our heritage in operating in C, Ku and Ka and our collection of orbital rights, Intelsat has a unique ability to deploy the spectrum based upon what is best suited to the application and customer.
  • Unlike many new satellite operators, Intelsat is not constrained to Ka-band.

Q4: It’s my understanding that you’re using spot beam technology with this launch. How do spot beams improve upon your current Ku-band offering?

  • Spot beams will be an important part of this platform. The combination of spot beams and wide beams will enhance the performance over expanded coverage areas.
  • Spot beams in C, Ku or Ka allow Intelsat to improve service for a given geography in the coverage area.
  • The payloads will be designed to address specific market segments where higher throughput, increased link availability and increased bandwidth are advantageous or required.

Q5: Help me understand how Intelsat EpicNG will address my current and future needs.

  • Intelsat EpicNG is simply one tool in our kit. No one else can offer what Intelsat offers, whether it’s terrestrial point to point, widebeam solutions, or more optimized spot beams via Intelsat EpicNG.
  • Our Customer Solutions team will work with customers closely to develop the optimal solution for their requirements.
  • Intelsat EpicNG adds one more choice in our ever-growing product line.

Q6: How will this new satellite platform work?

  • Intelsat EpicNG satellites will work similar to any existing satellite but will have some capabilities that will be unique to Intelsat EpicNG.
  • The Intelsat EpicNG platform combines wide beam and spot beam technology with our premium spectrum rights, resulting in a high performance platform with far greater throughput per MHz. The platform will support star and mesh topologies, offering customers better control over their network design.

Q7: Does Intelsat have any experience with this type of satellite design?

  • We are the leader in satellite design and operations, and have incorporated spot beams and frequency reuse on our satellites for some time, including on the Intelsat 9 series.
  • The decision is based on technologies that have a good flight heritage but are combined in a new, innovative way.

Q8: How many Intelsat EpicNG satellites will be launched, and what are their in-service dates?

  • To start, the platform will be comprised of two Intelsat EpicNG-class satellites with expected in-service dates in 2015 and 2016. Those satellites will be Intelsat 29e and Intelsat 33e.
  • Intelsat EpicNG is a series of satellites, and the first two are only the initial deployment. Intelsat EpicNG is the progressive evolution of our fleet, and we plan to announce additional launches in the future.
  • As we plan our fleet, we will continue to work with our customers to understand their growth plans and the applications being supported in order to determine our future satellite designs.

Q9: Will my costs on these satellites be higher than they are on your current fleet?

  • One of the key advantages of Intelsat EpicNG is that it will offer customers higher performance through lower cost per-bit.
  • Costs for customers will depend on the specific application and region being served.

Q10: What regions will they serve?

  • Initially, the two Intelsat EpicNG satellites will cover all of the populated continents.

Q11: What improvements will Intelsat EpicNG bring to the customer?

Intelsat EpicNG will bring the following benefits to the customer:

  • Higher performance through lower cost per-bit to customers
  • Wide beams and spot beams in the same band providing the combined benefits of broadcast and high throughput
  • Multi-band frequencies aligned to region- and application-specific requirements
  • Open architecture:
    • Backward compatibility; use of existing network infrastructure and customer-preferred network topology
    • Forward compatible as ground technology advances
  • High throughput, high efficiency, high availability enables smaller terminals, supporting growing applications such as maritime and aeronautical mobility services, and benefitting increasingly data-centric services like cellular backhaul
  • Frequency band cross-strapping

Q12: What will be the benefits to Intelsat’s government, media, and network services customers?

The flexibility of the Intelsat EpicNG platform allows Intelsat’s customers, regardless of their application or industry, to enjoy a high performance, open architecture solution that will surpass their current service.

In particular, our customers will benefit in the following ways:

  • Network Services: Increased efficiency
  • Media: Non-linear distribution and distribution of regional content
  • Government: Higher throughput into smaller terminals

Q13: Won’t this mean more operational complexity for customers?

  • We designed Intelsat EpicNG to simplify our customers’ operations.
  • Consider the case where today, due to limited capacity, a customer has to operate on multiple satellites with multiple uplink chains from possibly multiple locations.
  • With Intelsat EpicNG, they will be able to source all of their capacity from a single satellite, reducing the complexity and simplifying operations.
  • Our Customer Solutions team will work with customers closely to develop the optimal solution for their requirements.

Q14: Will the transition to the Intelsat EpicNG satellites be seamless for the customer?

  • Since the architectures are different, the transitions will require some customer involvement, as is true with any satellite transfer.
  • However, we will work with customers ahead of time in order to minimize the impact.

Q15: How will the Intelsat EpicNG platform integrate with IntelsatOne?

  • IntelsatOne and Intelsat EpicNG are a complementary, fully integrated infrastructure enabling the transport and distribution of large IP content around the globe.
  • Providers offering point-to-point contribution and non-linear content will be able to take advantage of the combination of solutions through Intelsat EpicNG, IntelsatOne and Intelsat’s traditional satellite service.
  • Intelsat will work with partners to develop ground technologies to continue to enhance the overall performance of Intelsat EpicNG over time, with the objective of maximizing end to end performance of the customers’ applications.

Q16: Will you still provide my current service, or will I have to go to Intelsat EpicNG, which is still several years away?

  • Intelsat EpicNG is the progressive evolution of the Intelsat fleet, and is fully integrated with our existing infrastructure.
  • Intelsat’s sales team is focused on understanding our customers’ long-term goals and objectives.
  • With our open architecture design, we will use your existing infrastructure to develop a solution that will meet your needs today, and then transition those services that can benefit from the Intelsat EpicNG platform when it is available.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.