Epic fail disrupts maritime VSAT services

Intelsat 29e was the first satellite in Intelsat's Epic series

Satellite operator Intelsat has issued a statement confirming that the propulsion system on its Intelsat 29e satellite, the first of its Epic series of High Throughput Satellites (HTS) launched in 2016, has suffered damage which has caused disruption to maritime VSAT services for customers in the Latin America, Caribbean and North Atlantic regions.

Late on April 7, the Intelsat 29e propulsion system experienced damage that caused a leak of the propellant on board the satellite resulting in the service disruption for customers, the company said yesterday.

“While working to restore the services, on 9 April, the satellite experienced a second anomaly that caused a loss of communications to the satellite. Communication with the satellite has been intermittent,” Intelsat added, in a statement.

“Intelsat continues to work with the satellite’s manufacturer, Boeing, on recovering communication.  The Intelsat customer-facing team is focused on migrating customer services from Intelsat 29e to other Intelsat satellites serving the region, as well as third party services.”

Intelsat is one of the most prominent suppliers of wholesale satellite capacity to the maritime industry, with its latest generation Epic HTS constellation relied upon by service providers including Marlink, KVH and Speedcast to deliver VSAT connectivity to vessels at sea.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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