Intelsat‘s in-flight connectivity solution can offer more and faster coverage across Asia, thanks to a new partnership with Japanese satellite operator JSAT. Intelsat will use Ku-band capacity on the new JSAT-1C high throughput satellite to boost performance on board.
When it comes to inflight connectivity, customers and passengers today expect a top-notch, seamless experience. Our expanded partnership with SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation to augment our network provides a leading experience, exceeding airline and passenger expectations.– Dave Bijur, senior vice president-commercial at Intelsat Commercial Aviation
Launched in late 2019, the JSAT-1C satellite offers spot beam coverage across Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea, and China’s major eastern cities of Shanghai and Beijing. Offering coverage into China is a touchy process, even in the best of times. Having satellites based outside the country with coverage of those major markets could prove beneficial for foreign carriers as they fly into the region.
Coverage also extends across the Northern Pacific Ocean, including beams situated well south of the traditional great-circle path between Asia and North America. These more southerly beams will provide coverage for eastbound aircraft which typically fly further south to take advantage of the stronger jet stream winds.
“We’ve had a long-lasting partnership with Intelsat, starting with our JCSAT-5A satellite for Intelsat’s service to Japan Airlines (JAL),” said Teruo Yamashita, Group President of Global Business Group at SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation. “As air traffic continues to grow in Japan and Asia, expanding our partnership with Intelsat was a logical solution because of the company’s reputation for delivering reliable, state-of-the-art communications and its forward-looking solutions to support global mobility.”
Intelsat continues to expand its directly-owned satellite constellation, while also partnering for capacity in key markets where it needs to support its aero-mobility customers but cannot justify the investment to host a full satellite on its own. This hybrid approach delivers what the company sees as the best of both worlds.
CCO Samer Halawi previously described the benefits of owner economics allowing “Intelsat to provide a better service and more efficient service today and support the long term prospects of growth in the sector” while leveraging partnerships for bandwidth where its future satellites will not deliver coverage. Still, expect that Intelsat-owned satellites will continue to carry the vast majority of traffic for the company’s aero network now and in the future. Halawi continued, “We are designing the next generation of software defined satellites, taking into account this sector as one of the main use cases for us, if not the most important use case for us.”
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