16 March – Airbus Defence and Space and Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I) announced today that the companies’ strategic agreement concluded in 2014 has yielded value for end-users and is setting the course for even more maritime customer advantages as part of a seamless transition to Intelsat Epic high throughput satellites.
One year ago, Airbus Defence and Space and Intelsat announced a strategic agreement to introduce improved maritime VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) offerings to the marketplace. The agreement was to enable Airbus Defence and Space to bridge its existing maritime VSAT services to Intelsat’s high throughput satellite (HTS) Intelsat Epic platform, the first satellite of which, Intelsat 29e, is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2016.
Since that announcement, the companies have made strides toward enhancing existing VSAT services for Airbus Defence and Space’s maritime customers while ensuring the combined offering is “Epic ready.” The agreement secured Airbus Defence and Space’s access to Intelsat’s global Ku-band satellite capacity and terrestrially managed network, IntelsatOne®. Stimulating significant market demand, the partnership resulted in contracting more than 600 vessels with VSAT communications in 2014 alone. This included shipping companies such as Stolt, CMA CGM, Scorpio, and DOF and represented a doubling of Airbus Defence and Space’s maritime VSAT sales over the previous year.
“Our partnership with Intelsat has given us further flexibility to develop the connectivity services the maritime market requires today, but also for the future with the Intelsat Epic HTS satellites coming soon,” said Evert Dudok, Head of Communications, Intelligence and Security (CIS) Business Line at Airbus Defence and Space. “Our mission is to stay close to the customers and integrate the services they need into a single solution. This approach has resulted in significant sales growth since our agreement with Intelsat last year, and given the progress and offering delivered to date, we are expecting even more growth in the maritime VSAT segment.”
Kurt Riegelman, Senior Vice President, Global Sales, Intelsat, said: “Airbus Defense and Space have been a great partner; their recognition of the innovative value that Intelsat Epic will bring to their customers has set apart their offering to this segment. As a result, maritime customers are deriving benefits today from a fully integrated, global satellite solution that will progressively and seamlessly incorporate new technology as it becomes available. We look forward to continuing to work with Airbus Defence and Space to deliver higher performing, more efficient and flexible satellite solutions to a wide range of maritime customers.”
“As we move towards a smarter approach to operations our requirement for reliable connectivity grows. We need bandwidth that can be relied upon to deliver IP connectivity for a wide range of applications from engine monitoring to admin functions, which help us to operate safer and more effeciently. We experience that Airbus Defence and Space service’s provided on Intelsat satellites offer the reliability and availability we need to embrace smart operations at sea,” commented Tor Skeie, CEO Marin IT AS (DOF).
The planned transition to Intelsat Epic will enable additional capacity in key maritime routes. The flexible and backward compatible architecture of Intelsat Epic makes it easy for Airbus Defence and Space’s existing customers to leverage the digital payload for greater flexibility, network adaptability and more efficient use of spectrum with throughput up to 10 times that of traditional satellites.