US$1.6bn commitment to Global Xpress

Global Xpress (GX) is the world’s first globally available, high-speed broadband connectivity service and was created to enable communities across the world to benefit from the emerging digital society.

Global commercial service introduction (CSI) was achieved for Global Xpress in  December 2015 following the successful launch of the first three Inmarsat-5 generation of satellites – I-5 F1 in December 2013; I-5 F2 in February 2015; and I-5 F3 in August 2015.

As part of Inmarsat’s ongoing US$1.6bn programme commitment, a fourth GX satellite (I-5 F4) was launched in May 2017 in order to provide additional capacity as well as in-orbit redundancy that further upgrades the reliability and resilience of services.

A fifth GX satellite, being constructed by Thales Alenia Space,  is targeted for launch in 2019. The Very High Throughput Satellite (V-HTS) will serve the Middle East, Europe and the Indian subcontinent.

GX operates in the part of the radio spectrum known as the Ka-band and is the first of its kind to offer true global mobile VSAT-type services, from a single operator. Market research shows there to be an estimated US$1.9 billion market opportunity in the maritime, energy and government sectors.

Global Xpress is expected to deliver no less than US$500m of additional revenues by the fifth anniversary of the global launch of commercial services.

Connectivity for bandwidth-intensive applications

Global Xpress delivers higher speeds through more compact terminals at a lower cost than traditional VSAT services, using spectrum that is far less congested. It enables more bandwidth-intensive video applications, alongside standard applications at a much faster speed.

It’s fast and reliable, but Global Xpress is much more than a fatter pipe.

Our vision is to create a rich application and content environment. Together with Cisco, we’ve developed a new platform for advanced applications such as TV on demand, tele-presence and collaborative working.

And because Global Xpress is an all-IP environment, it enables point-and-click capability for a simple and consistent user experience worldwide.

For extra resilience, Global Xpress is complemented by our standard L-band broadband services on the Inmarsat-4s, which deliver 99.9 per cent overall network availability. Ours is the only multi-band satellite network of its kind.

Upgrade path to higher bandwidth

And while Global Xpress complements our existing L-band services, it can also provide an upgrade path to existing customers who have higher bandwidth needs, and affords them the opportunity to migrate over time to the new GX services.

Inmarsat Global Xpress is transforming today’s piecemeal approach to high-speed broadband satellite communications by bringing reliable, end-to-end global connectivity from a single trusted supplier.

We also remain well-positioned to continue growing our core L-band franchise. With three generations of spacecraft in operation, we continue to invest for the future here too.

New satellites to extend our L-band network

We intend to maintain our L-band network, and will purchase new satellites for this network on a rolling procurement basis, which means they will be replaced over time rather than in a concentrated investment period.

This additional capacity brought by Global Xpress will also free us up to enhance our existing L-band portfolio – including BGAN, FleetBroadband and SwiftBroadband, and our global handheld satellite phone range, IsatPhone.

We see a future where mobile satellite services are delivered through a combination of L-band and Ka-band satellites, harnessing the strengths of each to offer an unrivalled portfolio of solutions based on speed, price and portability.

In-flight passenger WiFi via S-band

The European Aviation Network (EAN), a revolutionary new hybrid satellite and air-to-ground network developed by Inmarsat in partnership with Deutsche Telekom,  promises aviation customers a high quality broadband service when flying over Europe.

With European air traffic forecast to double over the next decade, the EAN is designed to grow capacity to match accelerating demand. Initially combining Inmarsat’s multi-beam S-band satellite with approximately 300 Deutsche Telekom ground towers, it’s easily and cost-effectively scalable.

Passengers flying over Europe will be able to use their personal devices for internet browsing, video streaming, gaming and other online services, with unmatched high capacity, low-latency performance. EAN’s robust and ultra-compact technology makes it uniquely qualified for the European airspace, where aircraft size, flight density and frequent aircraft manoeuvring are challenging to broadband satellite-only systems.

It has been made possible by the European Commission’s S-band Application Programme. This regulatory framework provides an ideal platform to roll-out the network across the continent.

As well as delivering value-added in-flight connectivity services to EU businesses and consumers, the aviation network is expected to foster high-value R&D, encourage product and service innovation, and bring new jobs and economic growth.

The cost of the satellite programme, estimated at US$200-250 million, is shared with Hellas-Sat, which has exclusive rights to a companion Ku-band payload deployed on the satellite, launched in June 2017.

  DAYS       HRS        MIN        SEC