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Inmarsat’s most powerful satellite enters service

Global Xpress coverage map with the addition of GX5 (purple overlay for additional capacity for Europe and the Middle East) Global Xpress coverage map with the addition of GX5 (purple overlay for additional capacity for Europe and the Middle East)

Inmarsat has announced commercial service introduction (CSI) of GX5, the company’s newest, most powerful geostationary satellite to date.

GX5 is the fourteenth satellite currently in service with Inmarsat and provides additional capacity to Europe and the Middle East on the Fleet Xpress (GX) Ka-band high-speed satellite broadband service designed for the maritime industry.

The satellite, launched in November 2019, delivers approximately double the combined capacity of the entire existing GX fleet (GX1-GX4). Together with a significantly expanded ground station network and enhanced cloud-based processing, GX5 supplements the global coverage of GX and supports the rapid growth in customer demand for GX services in the region, particularly for maritime sectors such as the leisure, merchant and offshore sectors.

This milestone heralds the start of an unprecedented enhancement in the overall capacity and capabilities of the GX network, which was the first and remains the only globally available high-speed mobile broadband network delivered by a single operator. Inmarsat’s technology roadmap will see a further seven launches by 2024, five in geostationary orbit - adding speed, capacity and resilience - and two in highly elliptical orbit, which will begin the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service in the commercially and strategically critical Arctic region.

Inmarsat dec 10 2

Above - Inmarsat’s ground network is expanding from 21 in 2019 to 30 by 2021

“As the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, we have an ambitious vision for the future and we are progressing the most innovative technology development programme in our history to achieve this. During these recent unprecedented circumstances, we have supported our partners and customers with the speed and agility for which Inmarsat has become known globally. We are in this for the long haul, with customer and partner trust based on four-decades of meeting our commitments and a bright future ahead, guided by our technology roadmap. Entry into service of GX5 is the first of several exciting steps ahead for us on that journey,” said Rupert Pearce, chief executive officer of Inmarsat.

GX is the most successful service launch in the history of Inmarsat. The company will celebrate the fifth anniversary of GX as a globally available service in early 2021 and it has already become the gold standard for seamless, mobile broadband services across multiple sectors. Tens of thousands of active users throughout aviation, maritime, enterprise and government depend on GX daily, supported by Inmarsat’s network of world leading technology, manufacturing and channel partners.

Peter Hadinger, chief technology officer of Inmarsat, said: “Inmarsat is investing more than ever before to deliver global, highly differentiated technology platforms on which partners & customers can securely invest & innovate for growth. The company’s fully funded technology roadmap will lead to forthcoming launches for our sixth generation of satellites, the I-6s, then on to GX7, 8 & 9 and two Arctic payloads, GX10A and GX10B, to provide further fresh impetus to our GX success story. Our partners and customers can confidently invest in long-term, transformational global digitalisation strategies based on Inmarsat’s innovative technology roadmap for the future.”

The services delivered over GX5 will be backwards compatible with existing GX terminals, future-proofing customer investment in GX technology and services. Inmarsat partners and customers benefit from the strength, resilience and agility provided by the company, an innovative and diversified business that works in partnership with communities, companies and countries across the world. The flexibility inherent in Inmarsat communications infrastructure and the way in which the company works with partners and customers ensures that they are enabled to address the most complex challenges and opportunities that they face. Customers will see the benefits of GX5 as they are brought into the network in the coming weeks.

Mr Pearce concluded: “Anytime and anywhere, our partners and customers are strongly positioned to take advantage of new opportunities as they emerge, based on their ability to deploy our unique portfolio of agile, global, mobile connectivity solutions and services. We believe that reliable, seamless connectivity is now more vital than ever and will play a crucial role in the accelerated adoption of digital technology as the world emerges from COVID-19.”

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