Intelsat introduces versatile in-flight connectivity solution

IntelsatOne Flex, which aggregates Intelsat’s global Ku-band satellite fleet, EpicNG high throughput satellite (HTS) fleet and the IntelsatOne terrestrial network into a simplified ecosystem, has been launched by Intelsat to meet the growing demands of in-flight connectivity.Defined by Intelsat as a ‘Wholesale Mbps managed mobility service,’ IntelsatOne Flex aims to provide its distribution partners and their customers access to bandwidth when and where it is needed without the complexity of managing multiple beams and satellites.Intelsat’s wide beams will enable the accommodation of broadcast applications and service to the most remote regions, while fully integrated spot beams will provide layers of high throughput capacity across the highest traffic routes.The new solution offers tiered Committed Information Rate plans (which set an average bandwidth guaranteed by an internet service provider under normal conditions), as well as Service Level Agreements. Intelsat says that this, alongside the prioritisation of individual airborne terminals, should result in a more predictable cost structure directly matched to revenue generating activities.James Collett, head of mobility and energy services at Intelsat, explained, “In-flight entertainment is no longer a ‘nice to have’ element for airlines today. Passengers require the same level of connectivity that they would receive at home or in the office. This leaves many airlines and their distribution partners needing to rapidly invest in new technology to meet growing bandwidth demands, satisfy the needs of passengers and capture revenue growth.“However, integrating new technology can be a complex process and choosing the wrong network, a costly mistake. With IntelsatOne Flex, aeronautical distribution partners have a new option that provides a flexible operational environment that easily scales to meet growing broadband requirements, optimises bandwidth allocations and aligns costs with revenue demands.”Collett continued, “Importantly, to take advantage of the power, accessibility and efficiency of Intelsat EpicNG, aeronautical distribution partners can easily integrate high throughput technology into existing networks with minimal capital expenditure and provide a platform that will support their technology requirements well into the future.”IntelsatOne Flex uses iDirect Velocity – a ground infrastructure platform designed for large-scale global HTS networks – and incorporates its features that have been optimised to the Intelsat EpicNG environment. These include next-generation remote and hub processing capabilities, enabling significantly higher throughput rates and global bandwidth management to ensure connectivity across multiple spot-beams and very fast beam switching features.The service is also fully integrated with Velocity’s companion network management system, Pulse, enabling Intelsat’s distribution partners to develop differentiated service offerings by creating customised applications and system integration through open Application Programming Interfaces. Pulse also provides visibility for real-time monitoring, tracking and adjustment of vessel service levels.

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