Satellite and terrestrial network operator Intelsat, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to restructure debt, launched a cellular backhaul service. Intelsat CellBackhaul is an end-to-end managed service the company says will help Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) provide cost-efficient and rapid 4G and 5G broadband coverage to Americans everywhere, including rural areas.
“We innovate to help our customers connect more people, places, and devices they otherwise would not be able to connect, and we do that on a global scale,” said Intelsat Director of Product Management for Networks Gerry Collins. “Our service will enable our U.S. mobile network operators to quickly and cost-effectively expand their coverage and bring connectivity into unserved and underserved areas, including many previously considered unreachable or unprofitable.”
MNOs can use Intelsat CellBackhaul for network densification, and to provide backup coverage, ensuring their subscribers stay connected, according to the company.
As the FCC moves forward with its planned $9 billion 5G Rural Fund, as much as 67 percent of the U.S. land mass in 49 states and three U.S. territories could be eligible for funds to bring broadband into rural communities. Intelsat characterizes that as “a tremendous opportunity for U.S. MNOs.”
Intelsat plans to roll out the Intelsat CellBackhaul service to mobile operators in additional regions, including Africa, in late 2020.