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Intelsat Taps Airbus to Build Software-Defined Satellites


Intelsat awarded Airbus a contract of an undisclosed sum to design, manufacture and deliver two software-defined satellites that support various frequency bands for global communications services.

The satellites will be based on Airbus' OneSat portfolio and feature advanced digital suite and ground segment software components that would support operation of end-to-end satellite resources when paired with the software-defined network ecosystem of Intelsat, the company said Friday.

The contract is a part of Intelsat's multiyear effort that seeks to enable space and ground network transformation by investing in assets with optimized speeds and better capacity flexibility, redundancy and backwards compatibility.

The company seeks to launch Gogo commercial aviation in-flight broadband offerings and managed services through the software-defined network, according to Stephen Spengler, CEO of Intelsat.

Jean-Marc Nasr, head of Airbus' space systems business, said the contractor has implemented new industrial capabilities across its sites in Europe and will build on its experience in the production of Eurostar geostationary satellites to support the manufacturing of OneSat units.

Airbus will deliver the satellites by 2023.

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Written by Matthew Nelson

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