Inmarsat has announced a new deal with Airbus Defence & Space to be the satellite manufacturing partner for three next-generation Global Xpress satellites (GX7, 8 & 9), with the first satellite in the series scheduled to launch in early 2023.
Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) network was first designed in 2010 and began global services in 2015. This announcement with Airbus marks the beginning of the next phase of GX’s evolution, Inmarsat says, which will bring with it a step change in network capacity and service capability.
The network development project also encompasses a major enhancement to the GX ground network, which will support the integration of each generation of GX satellites to form an inter-operable network. Future GX satellites offering new capabilities can then be added to this dynamic framework as demand dictates, the company notes.
Inmarsat says that the new GX technology will be compatible with existing terminals, allowing its current customer base to benefit from service enhancements through regular upgrades to the GX network’s capabilities and features.
“On its launch in 2010, Global Xpress revolutionised satellite telecommunications and, even in 2019, GX remains the world’s only truly seamless global mobile broadband network. As such, I am delighted today to announce the next steps in GX’s development, in partnership with Airbus, which will ensure that our customers continue to benefit from GX’s ground-breaking technology and capabilities for many years to come,” said Rupert Pearce, Chief Executive Officer, Inmarsat.
“Worldwide demand for mobile broadband connectivity has grown exponentially in recent years and we expect this trend to continue. This next phase in the evolution of our GX network provides a dynamic and powerful answer to the challenges created by this growth in demand, building on the strong foundations we have already established.”
“Significantly, our new approach in collaboration with Airbus and other technology partners will provide us with much greater velocity and agility with which to respond to future competitive challenges and to adopt new technologies on a highly dynamic, rolling basis. We are delighted to be partnering with Airbus who have more than risen to the significant strategic and technological challenges we set them. This announcement signals the start of a new long-term strategic partnership.”