Intelsat looks to buy broadband satellite system

Intelsat has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the purchase of a next-generation broadband satellite system as a key component of the organisation's initiative to address growing IP market demands worldwide, Ramu Potarazu, chief technology officer, announced on Monday, according to a company news release.

The RFP includes one geostationary Ku/Ka-band satellite operating in a bent pipe configuration, with options for up to four more spacecraft. The system is expected to support last-mile access for small and affordable user terminals as well as customers who target small and medium enterprises and small office-home office users. The organisation's goal is for the contract to be awarded by the fall, with deployment expected to occur in 2004.

Along with the RFP, Intelsat is looking at other opportunities to address broadband business issues. Included are current and upcoming services on its existing satellite fleet, as well as a continuing investigation of new system alternatives, Potarazu says.

"Responses to the RFP will help us to further solidify our strategy for acquiring next-generation broadband infrastructure, so this is an important step in Intelsat's plan to build on our communications industry experience to meet evolving market needs," says Potarazu. "The combination of the next-generation equipment and the new services being developed on our existing fleet is expected to ensure the company's long-term ability to not only meet those needs, but also do it in ways that will give users a leg up on the competition."

Intelsat already has 10 satellites on order, representing a total investment of more than $3.2 billion for launches planned from this year through 2003.

Intelsat presently offers Internet, broadcast, telephony and corporate network solutions around the globe through a fleet of 19 satellites. 

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