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Intelsat and Microsoft demo private mobile network

Jean-Philippe Gillet - Intelsat 16.9.png

Intelsat has completed a demonstration of a 'first of its kind' private mobile network with Microsoft.

The trial used Microsoft's Azure Private Multi-Access Edge Compute and FlexEnterprise solutions and Intelsat’s satellite-based global connectivity service.

Carried out at Intelsat’s facilities in McLean, Virginia, the demo created a reference architecture for deploying private LTE and 5G networks as well as other cloud services over satellite networks. This includes connectivity to enterprise locations globally, as well as those in remote and austere environments.

“As enterprises look to private cellular networks to improve the reach, security, and quality-of-service over Wi-Fi-only local networks, the ability to support deployments at any site is crucial to creating a fully connected organisation,” said Jean-Philippe Gillet (pictured), SVP of global sales media & networks at Intelsat.

“The applications demonstrated here with Microsoft highlight the increased automation and standardisation of enterprise data processing services that globally-available private cellular networks will enable. Support for high-bandwidth, low-latency networks is central to Intelsat’s vision of an end-to-end ecosystem for a global software-defined 5G network.”

The test creates a private LTE service using Azure Private 5G Core deployed on an Azure Stack Edge device, enabled by Intelsat’s FlexEnterprise.

Using the private mobile network, users can access local enterprise resources via SIM-authenticated connections to the Azure Stack Edge and access remote resources through the FlexEnterprise connection, the IntelsatOne global network and Azure. The LTE network also enables a WiFi access point and suports IoT applications.

“At Microsoft, we are committed to enabling an ecosystem of satellite operators through collaborations such as this one with Intelsat," said Tom Keane, corporate vice president at Mission Engineering.

"As the world continues to move to 5G, Microsoft’s Azure Orbital platform, together with our Azure hyper-scale computing platform, allows operators to deploy and maintain faster, easier, and more cost-effective solutions anytime and anywhere.”

The news comes as Mobile Experts Inc predicts that the global private LTE and 5G equipment and services market to grow at compound annual growth rate of roughly 20% reaching around 10 billion in 2025.

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