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Inland Cellular, a mobile network operator serving the Pacific Northwest, will use satellite connectivity from Intelsat to provide backhaul connectivity as Inland builds out 4G LTE service to rural areas of Washington state.

According to the companies, Inland Cellular had sought a way to extend 4G LTE broadband service to customers regardless of their location, so it began using Intelsat CellBackhaul earlier this year. The managed service solution provides connectivity over Intelsat’s global network, in order to overcome technical and economic challenges of rural terrestrial backhaul deployments.

Intelsat’s CellBackhaul service links an operator’s towers to its core network over Intelsat’s integrated space and ground network. Intelsat is targeting rural areas around the globe that may be too costly to reach with traditional backhaul methods.

“That’s precisely why we launched Intelsat CellBackhaul, so mobile operators like Inland Cellular, who serve large rural areas, can quickly and efficiently expand their coverage to travelers, vacationers, rural businesses, tourist operations and IoT integrators — ultimately connecting more people and places,” said Intelsat Regional Vice President of North America Tim Schermerhorn, in a prepared statement. “We look forward to a long and productive partnership with Inland Cellular, helping them grow their business by expanding their coverage beyond the limits of terrestrial backhaul.”

In recent months, Intelsat has been in the news primarily as one of the satellite operators that provides connectivity for video providers to receive content from programmers using the C-band, part of which will now be auctioned, with Intelsat and other satellite operators receiving monetary compensation. But as the Inland Cellular news illustrates, Intelsat also has other lines of business.

Joan Engebretson contributed to this report.

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