Intelsat and OneWeb Partnership Brings Multi-Orbit Connectivity to Airlines Worldwide

CHICAGO & LONDON (OneWeb/Intelsat PR) — Leading satellite communications companies OneWeb and Intelsat have signed a global distribution partnership agreement to offer airlines a seamless inflight connectivity (IFC) solution with the best combination of performance, coverage, and reliability on the market. The partnership enables Intelsat to distribute OneWeb’s ground-breaking low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite services to airlines worldwide, coupled with Intelsat’s extensive IFC experience and existing geo-stationary (GEO) satellite service. The result is a truly multi-orbit solution for the aviation community, leveraging the benefits of both networks.

By harnessing the power of multi-orbit capabilities, Intelsat will ensure airlines and their passengers are able to enjoy the best IFC, without compromise. Airlines and their passengers will no longer have to accept significant gaps in IFC coverage or capacity – even at busy hubs, across oceans, and over polar routes. Intelsat will seamlessly manage connectivity, allowing passengers to remain connected no matter where they are.

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The Best Laid Plans: Europe’s Ambitious Launch Year Goes Awry Due to International Tensions, Schedule Delays

The James Webb Space Telescope lifted off on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, at 13:20 CET on 25 December 2021 on its exciting mission to unlock the secrets of the Universe. (Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

On Christmas Day 2021, an European Ariane 5 rocket roared off its launch pad in French Guiana with the most expensive payload the booster had ever carried, the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope. The launcher performed perfectly, sending the most powerful space telescope on a journey to its final destination 1.5 million km (900 million miles) from Earth. The launch was so accurate that Webb should have sufficient propellant to perform science operations for much longer than its planned 10-year lifetime.

There was a collective sigh of relief among the European, American and Canadian scientists and engineers involved in the long-delayed program. It was a superb Christmas gift to a world suffering through the second year of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

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David Wajsgras to Become Intelsat CEO

MCLEAN, Va. (Intelsat PR) — Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network, has tapped David Wajsgras, as its next chief executive officer (CEO). Effective April 4, Wajsgras succeeds Stephen Spengler, who announced his planned retirement in Oct. 2021.

Wajsgras has two decades of experience at the senior executive management level, providing operational, strategic and financial leadership in both the commercial and defense industries. He most recently served as president of the global, $7.5-billion, advanced-technology Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) business at the former Raytheon Company, now part of Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX). Before joining Raytheon as chief financial officer, Wajsgras was executive vice president and chief financial officer at Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA) and held other key operations and leadership roles.

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Russia Holds OneWeb Satellites Hostage; No Launch Unless Company & British Government Meet Demands

Vladimir Putin receives a briefing from Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: Office of the Russian President)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

In what is likely the first hostage drama involving communication satellites, the head of the Russian space program has demanded that the British government divest its shares in OneWeb and that the broadband satellite operator not provide services to foreign militaries in order to launch a new batch of spacecraft. The move comes amid growing tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sanctions imposed on the country by western nations.

Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin tweeted that unless these demands are met, Russia will refuse to launch 36 OneWeb satellites that sit atop a Soyuz-2.1b rocket currently on the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch is scheduled for Saturday morning Moscow time.

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Intelsat Collaborates with Microsoft to Demonstrate Private Cellular Network Using Intelsat’s Global Satellite and Ground Network

WASHINGTON (Intelsat PR) — Intelsat, operator of one of the world’s largest and most advanced integrated satellite and terrestrial networks, today announced the successful demonstration of a first of its kind private cellular network with Microsoft Azure Private Multi-Access Edge Compute and FlexEnterprise, Intelsat’s satellite-based global connectivity service.

Held at Intelsat’s office in McLean, VA, the demonstration successfully establishes a reference architecture for deploying secure, high-performance private LTE and 5G networks and other cloud services over satellite networks to enterprise locations virtually anywhere globally, including those in remote and austere environments.

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Intelsat Announces Successful Emergence from Financial Restructuring Process

WASHINGTON (Intelsat PR) — Intelsat S.A. announced today that it has successfully completed and emerged from its financial restructuring process as a private company with a substantially strengthened capital structure to support its growth as the leader in satellite communications. This final milestone follows receipt of regulatory approvals, completion of certain corporate actions, and satisfaction of other customary conditions.

Intelsat’s now effective Plan of Reorganization, supported by all creditor groups and confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court on December 16, 2021, has reduced the Company’s debt by more than half, from approximately $16 billion to $7 billion.

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Thales Alenia Space to Build State-of-the-art Intelsat 41 and Intelsat 44 Comsats

Artistic views of Intelsat 41 and 44 satellites. (Credit: ©Thales Alenia Space/Briot)

CANNES, France January 12, 2022 (Thales Alenia Space PR) – Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), announced that it has signed a contract1  with Intelsat to deliver two Space Inspire software defined satellites, Intelsat 41 (IS-41) and Intelsat 44 (IS-44).

The contract enables the progression of Intelsat’s 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.

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Intelsat Achieves Confirmation of Plan of Reorganization, Final Court Milestone in Financial Restructuring Process

  • Fully Consensual Plan Will Reduce Debt by More Than Half and Position Company for Long-Term Success
  • Early 2022 Emergence Expected as Company Builds World’s First Global 5G Satellite-Based, Software-Defined, Unified Network
  • Commitments Obtained for Nearly $8 Billion in Exit Financing

MCLEAN, Va., December 16, 2021 (Intelsat PR) – Intelsat S.A. (OTC: INTEQ) announced today that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, has approved its Plan of Reorganization, marking the final Court milestone in the Company’s financial restructuring process. Intelsat is poised to emerge from the process in early 2022 upon receipt of regulatory approvals, completion of certain corporate actions, and satisfaction of other customary conditions.

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Kymeta, Intelsat and Fraunhofer IIS Successfully Demonstrate Satellite-Enabled 5G Connectivity for Mobile Communications

Credit: Kymeta

Kymeta and Intelsat develop future 5G technologies for satellite-based communications with mobility with Fraunhofer IIS

REDMOND, Wash., and McLEAN, Va., November 9, 2021 (Kymeta/Intelsat PR) — Kymeta (www.kymetacorp.com), the communications company making mobile global, and Intelsat (https://www.intelsat.com), operator of the world’s largest and most advanced integrated satellite and terrestrial network, announced today the successful demonstration of satellite-enabled 5G services on Kymeta’s electronically steered flat-panel u8 antenna using Intelsat’s global integrated satellite and terrestrial network—the first test of its kind in a mobile environment.

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Planned Comsat Constellations Now Exceed 94,000 Satellites

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A wave of new applications submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week for approval for communications satellites operating in the V band has sent the number of spacecraft in large constellations soaring to nearly 100,000.

A list compiled by Parabolic Arc shows that 94,255 satellites are included in the constellations. That number includes 29,439 satellites approved by the FCC or in development in China. The FCC has applicants pending before it for another 64,816 satellites.

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Intelsat and OneWeb Demo Global Multi-Orbit Satellite Service to U.S. Department of Defense

McLean, Va. (Intelsat PR) – Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network, OneWeb (OWT), a global provider of innovative, secure satellite communications, and Linchpin Solutions, a leader in C5ISR systems and programs, successfully demonstrated a multi-orbit satellite communications solution for representatives of the U.S. Army and Department of Defense (DoD).

This is a strategic demonstration to the U.S. DoD that shows transport diversification between the geostationary orbit (GEO) and low Earth orbit (LEO) constellations with seamless switching between them.

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Intelsat Announces Planned Retirement of Stephen Spengler as Chief Executive Officer

McLEAN, Va. (Intelsat PR) – Intelsat S.A. (OTC: INTEQ), operator of the world’s largest and most advanced integrated satellite and terrestrial network, announced today that Chief Executive Officer Stephen Spengler has decided to retire as CEO upon the Company’s emergence from its financial restructuring process and the naming of a successor. Until that time, Spengler will continue as CEO and lead Intelsat through the final stages of this process, ensuring a smooth transition. 

“We are nearing the conclusion of our restructuring with enhanced financial strength and are ideally positioned to embark on an exciting new business strategy for the next generation of 5G network connectivity,” Spengler said. “This is the right moment to make my retirement plans clear so that work can begin on identifying a new leader for the long term.”

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Intelsat to Provide Inflight Connectivity on Air France’s A220 Fleet

Contract award cements Intelsat’s IFC leadership on the A220 airframe 

McLean, Va. (Intelsat PR) – Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network, has been selected by Air France to install its 2Ku high-speed, satellite-based inflight connectivity solution on 60 new Air France A220-300 aircraft. With deliveries commencing in 2021, the aircraft will fly to short and medium-haul destinations of the Air France network.

Intelsat’s solution is the industry’s leading inflight connectivity (IFC) because it simply delivers the highest throughput and best reliability to aircraft and devices globally, providing a superior connected passenger experience and exceptional Net Promoter Scores (NPS). 

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Intelsat and Orange Expand Partnership to Deliver Mobile Network Services and Provide Reliable 3G/4G Services in French Guiana

McLean, Va.. (Intelsat PR) – Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest and most advanced satellite fleet and connectivity infrastructure, today announced it is expanding its relationship with Orange, one of the world’s leading telecommunications carriers, to provide cellular backhaul services in French Guiana that will provide universal services and increase access to both telecommunications and advanced connectivity solutions for Orange customers.

By integrating Intelsat-enabled cellular backhaul and support services into its network planning strategy, Orange will be able to extend mobile broadband coverage and connect more subscribers across Kaw, Camopi, Grand-Sancti, Papaichton and Maripasoula, ensuring consistent connectivity with a reliable service and great user experience.

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Launch 2020: Europe’s Ambitions Frustrated by Pandemic, Booster Failure

The Ariane 5 for Flight VA251 departs the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone with its EUTELSAT KONNECT and GSAT-30 satellite passengers. (Credit: Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Last year was a tough one for Europe in terms of launches. The COVID-19 pandemic closed the Guiana Space Centre for extended periods. And the most troubled of the three rockets launched from the spaceport had another bad day.

Despite the problems, there were seven launches from French Guiana in 2020, with six successes and one failure. Five of the flights involved European rockets, and two others were Russian Soyuz boosters.

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