Inmarsat’s next-gen GX satellite enters service, doubling combined GX capacity to date

Inmarsat’s latest Global Xpress satellite, GX5, has now entered commercial service, with the company’s most powerful geostationary satellite to date set to boost capacity for existing Fleet Xpress customers.

GX5, launched in November 2019, delivers approximately double the combined capacity of the entire existing GX fleet (GX1-GX4) and is the company’s fourteenth satellite currently in service. It will be used to provide additional capacity to Europe and the Middle East for Fleet Xpress Ka-band users, as well as GX customers in other industries.

“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,” said Rupert Pearce, Chief Executive Officer of Inmarsat.

“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.”

“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.”

Inmarsat will celebrate the fifth anniversary of GX as a globally available service in early 2021, the company’s first foray into VSAT connectivity after decades as a purely L-band satellite operator. The company’s future technology roadmap includes plans for a further seven launches by 2024, five in geostationary orbit and two in a highly elliptical orbit (HEO) to cover the Arctic region.

This will include its sixth generation of satellites, the I-6s, then GX7, 8 and 9 and the two Arctic payloads, GX10A and GX10B. The services delivered over GX5 will be backwards compatible with existing terminals, the company notes, so customers should see the benefits of GX5 when in the relevant coverage area in the coming weeks.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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