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Intelsat Continues Investment in Global 5G Software-Defined Network with Acquisition of Two Software-Defined Satellites from Thales Alenia Space

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Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network, and Thales Alenia Space, Joint Venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%) have signed an agreement to build two software-defined satellites designed to advance Intelsat’s global fabric of software-defined GEO connectivity as part of its 5G software-defined network.

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The artist’s view represents the two Intelsat software-defined satellites, IS-41 and IS-44, with the corresponding antennas configuration. (courtesy: Thales Alenia Space).

The addition of the Thales Alenia Space software-defined satellites represents an essential advancement in Intelsat’s 5G software-defined network designed to enable greater agility, flexibility and orchestration across edge, satellite and core. Named Intelsat 41 (IS-41) and Intelsat 44 (IS-44), the two next-generation software-defined satellites are scheduled to be in service in 2025. They will join two Airbus constructed software-defined satellites, Intelsat 42 (IS-42) and Intelsat 43 (IS-43), announced January 8, 2021.

Intelsat 41 and Intelsat 44 will be based on the Thales Alenia Space’s innovative Space Inspire product line allowing seamless telecommunications mission and services reconfiguration, instant in-orbit adjustment to broadband connectivity demand, and superior video broadcasting performance while maximizing the effective use of the satellite resources.

“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.”

The contract enables the continued advancement of Intelsat’s planned global software-defined satellite-based network, adding high-speed dynamically-allocated connectivity across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia for commercial and government mobility services and cellular backhaul.

“Our relationship with Intelsat has been so meaningful knowing that our attractive Space Inspire software-defined solution will contribute to the realization of Intelsat’s global 5G software-defined unified network,” said Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space. “We are proud that our advanced satellite technology will play a significant role in Intelsat’s vision to reimagine the global telecoms ecosystem.”

About Intelsat

As the foundational architects of satellite technology, Intelsat operates the world’s most trusted satellite telecom network. We apply our unparalleled expertise and global scale to connect people, businesses, governments and communities, no matter how difficult the challenge. Intelsat is building the future of global communications with the world’s first hybrid, multi-orbit, software-defined 5G network designed for simple, seamless, and secure coverage precisely when and where our customers most need it. Follow the leader in global connectivity and “Imagine Here,” with us, at Intelsat.com.

About Thales Alenia Space

Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services.

Thales Alenia Space has around 7,700 employees in 10 countries with 17 sites in Europe and a plant in the U.S. www.thalesaleniaspace.com.

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Contact information

Melissa Longo, Intelsat, +1 (240) 308-1881, melissa.longo@intelsat.com

Thales Alenia Space contact(s)
Sandrine Bielecki, +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94, sandrine.bielecki@thalesaleniaspace.com
Catherine des Arcis, +33 (0)6 78 64 63 97, catherine.des-arcis@thalesaleniaspace.com
Marija Kovac, +39 (0)6 415 129 91, marija.kovac-somministrato@thalesaleniaspace.com

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