Inmarsat awards contract for additional Global Xpress satellite

02 June 2017: Inmarsat has awarded the contract for the construction of an additional Global Xpress (GX) broadband communications satellite to Thales Alenia Space.

Photograph shows (left to right) Jean-Loic Galle, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space and Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, at Inmarsat’s HQ in London to sign the contract for the construction of the fifth Global Xpress satellite.

The move reflects Inmarsat’s strategy of adding capacity to its already established high-speed global broadband network in areas of high customer demand and against new customer commitments.

The Very High Throughput Satellite (V-HTS), targeted for launch in 2019, will serve the Middle East, Europe and the Indian subcontinent. The new satellite will seamlessly join Inmarsat’s existing GX network.

High capacity

The combination of the latest satellite technology and a focus on areas of high demand which will drive high capacity utilisation will together result in a very low cost per bit delivered.

The value of the contract to construct the satellite will be approximately US$130 million over the three years 2017-2019. This contract award is anticipated to operate within the company’s existing capital expenditure guidance for 2017 and 2018. The launch provider will be announced in due course.

This contract award has been made following today’s material commitment by Qatar Airways to adopt GX Aviation for its in-flight connectivity (IFC) requirements. The new satellite will also support the rapid adoption by other airlines of GX Aviation both in Europe and through the major Europe/Asia aviation traffic corridor. In addition, the satellite will enhance the delivery of GX services to other market segments in the region.

Inmarsat now has over 1,000 aircraft installations expected under signed contracts for its next generation IFC services. Mandates have been won from leading airlines worldwide including Qatar Airways, Deutsche Lufthansa Group, International Airlines Group, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

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