June 16 2022  |  Connectivity & Satellites

Intelsat unveils “revolutionary” IFC solution

By Mary Jane Pittilla, in Hamburg, Germany

Dave Bijur, Senior Vice President for Intelsat's Commercial Aviation business, pictured beside a 3-D printed model of the new ESA-based terminal

Hamburg - Intelsat, the leading inflight connectivity provider, has launched a new IFC solution for airline customers.

Described as lighter and more versatile than previous options, the ESA-based solution is the first in a new line of ground-breaking multi-orbit terminals developed by Intelsat with the ability to interoperate with Intelsat’s established GEO satellites in addition to new LEO or MEO satellites.

This important feature will deliver direct benefits to airlines and passengers, the company said.

The new terminal fits a variety of aircraft ranging from small commercial aircraft to wide-body aircraft. Standing just 3.5 inches (90mm) high on the fuselage, it delivers operational savings driven by a low-profile installation that reduces drag, fuel burn and carbon emissions.

The antenna’s first-of-its-kind solid state design provides market-leading reliability for aircraft operators and relies on antenna technology from Ball Aerospace, while leveraging design and integration partner Stellar Blu Solutions’ modular design that will offer simplified maintenance, access and improved reliability.

Commenting on the new terminal at the AIX show in Hamburg, Intelsat’s Senior Vice President, Commercial Aviation, Dave Bijur, said: “We’ve always been a leader in revolutionary aero terminal design and integration; our 2Ku antenna remains the market leader and we’re now complementing the line-up with this new option.

“The Intelsat terminal not only provides the most flexible solution for customers but is built for true multi-orbit operation which will outperform emerging competitors that are using smaller ESA solutions capable of working solely on LEO networks.”

Intelsat anticipates a first installation on a CRJ-700 in late 2022, with production installations to occur about a year later.

“One thing we’re hearing consistently is that our airline partners demand a provider that’s got substantial aeronautical expertise and depth. With Ball Aerospace and Stellar Blu at our side, we know the Intelsat package puts airlines in a winning position,” Bijur added.

In other news, Air Canada has selected Intelsat to equip up to 45 Airbus A321s with its next-generation line fit and retrofit 2Ku satellite connectivity solutions.

These installations will include Intelsat’s next-generation modem, delivering industry-leading speeds to support advanced video streaming and superior performance around the globe while significantly reducing costs with Intelsat’s investment in its global 5G software-defined satellite network.

“Air Canada’s commitment to delivering an exceptional inflight experience with quality streaming connectivity is admired throughout the globe,” said Bijur. “Our continuous launch of satellites over the next several years, starting with Intelsat 40e in early 2023, positions us well in the future to deliver unmatched reliability, redundancy and speed to passengers – all of which maximizes guest satisfaction.”

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