Connecting the Arctic: Q&A with Inmarsat

X Scalper

Global Xpress (GX), which is owned and operated by Inmarsat, is the world’s first and only high-speed broadband service offering global coverage from a single, seamless network. It is already proving to be the most successful service launch in Inmarsat’s history and has been adopted by world leading airlines, major merchant shipping companies, governments and commercial enterprises on every continent.

Inmarsat commenced global services in 2015 and growing demand means that we are on course to launch a further six GX payloads over the next four years. To illustrate the step-change in capabilities that will be offered through these additional satellites, our GX5 spacecraft – which is on schedule to launch from French Guiana later this year – will deliver more capacity that the first four GX satellites combined.  Our 7th, 8th and 9th GX satellites, due for launch from 2023, will represent a further order-of-magnitude increase.

Of greater importance, however, is the revolution that our GX network is enabling. As we enter a new era of the always-on, pervasively connected global digital society – a planet empowered by dense, diverse interoperable 5G networks – the next generation of connectivity, as represented by GX, is transforming enterprises in a huge variety of market segments, and also having an increasingly powerful impact on the daily lives of consumers and on the relationship between governments and their citizens. 

Uniquely, Inmarsat’s two primary satellite networks – the Ka-band Global Xpress and our L-band narrow-band service – offer customers the ability to integrate the broadband power of GX with the unparalleled reliability of our L-band constellation. This has resulted in services such as Fleet Xpress for the maritime industry, where the two networks work seamlessly together.

With the recent announcement of Inmarsat’s partnership with Space Norway, two additional satellites will be placed into Highly Elliptical Orbits (HEO) to offer the world’s first dedicated broadband coverage over the Arctic region. 

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