SATCOM as a Service: effortless connectivity for government delivered by Global Xpress

12 December 2017

Kai Tang, VP, Commercial Strategy & Operations, Inmarsat U.S. Government Business Unit

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  • global-xpress

In the same amount of time it will take you to read this article, you could unpack a Global Xpress terminal, assemble it and connect it to the internet.

Satellite communications is widely considered among government users to be a mission critical enabler. Reliable access to, and distribution of, information to the field is always a necessary part of any intelligence-driven operation.

Modern world events have produced exponentially greater demands on operators in the field, turning the very simple concept of connectivity into a complex and challenging task. Satellite communications (SATCOM) is rarely the purpose of the mission, but a poorly designed connectivity solution will easily make it feel like that’s the case. As the challenge to deliver more and more throughput to users has grown, ease of use and reliability have consistently been sacrificed when using legacy fixed satellite systems.

How many of the following burdening tasks are familiar to government users?  And, what is the value of cost and schedule risk that is accepted as a result?

  • Months of contracting activity and complex acquisition processes;
  • Pre-planning that requires days or months of approval time;
  • Week-long training courses for operators and maintainers;
  • Complex logistics tails for shipping large transit cases and for spare parts to support high-failure items, and innumerable LRUs (Lowest Replaceable Units);
  • End-to-end architecture engineering and testing;
  • Complex configuration files that must be created for each use, and sent to the operator;
  • Hours of antenna and terminal assembly;
  • Hours of satellite acquisition;
  • Troubleshooting the gateway, the fiber, the modem, the routers.

Reliable worldwide connectivity

There is an answer to this problem: none of these issues exist for customers using Inmarsat services.

Users familiar with Inmarsat’s solutions understand the difference between a network designed for reliable worldwide connectivity and one that is a legacy patchwork VSAT system. They have recognized the benefits to Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) when leveraging a worldwide service designed from end to end by a single satellite operator, and delivered by a world-class ecosystem of experienced partners.

With more than 35 years heritage of enabling safety at sea, we are the market leader in providing reliable communications, and our BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) service has been the first choice for first responders and military alike for its reliability and ease of use.

To satisfy mobile government users who demand high data rates, Inmarsat has invested over $1.7B to deliver effortless, global connectivity now in wideband. Global Xpress is the world’s first and only commercial Ka-band network built from the ground up to deliver a true smartphone-like experience for high-throughput satellite communications anywhere in the world.

Connectivity in under seven minutes

Only a Global Xpress terminal and standard monthly subscription are required to connect anywhere in the world at any time.

From the moment the transit case is opened, connectivity is established in under seven minutes with minimal operator interaction. Once online, Committed Information Rates with a 99.5% availability is what the mission relies on. Not the promise of “up to” data rates. Not half a second of latency.

We are proud to support General Services Administration (GSA) and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) in their mission to make the acquisition of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) capabilities efficient and meet their customers’ needs. With the availability of BGAN and Global Xpress on the DISA Direct Order Entry (DDOE) website, easy to use services are also easy to buy – in just a few clicks, users can access a full range of affordable Global Xpress subscription services and terminals.

Join the thousands of government users who use Inmarsat for effortless connectivity. Contact us or find out more details about our services here.


About the author

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Kai Tang is Vice President for Commercial Strategy & Operations for the U.S. Government Business Unit at Inmarsat.  In this role, he is the Inmarsat wholesale representative to U.S. government users and channel distribution partners and is responsible for Inmarsat’s U.S. government market and pricing strategy, product marketing and management, as well as channel and sales strategy and operations. Prior to joining Inmarsat, Mr Tang was the GS-15 Division Director for Navy Satellite Communications (SATCOM) within the Navy’s Communications Program Office for the Program Executive Officer Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I) in San Diego, California. There, he was responsible for a $1.6B FYDP (Future Years Defense Program) portfolio overseeing the overall acquisition efforts including development, testing, fielding, and life cycle support of all Navy Military and Commercial SATCOM systems. This included the Navy EHF SATCOM Program (NESP), Super High Frequency (SHF) terminal programs, Broadcast Service (GBS) and Commercial SATCOM programs such as the Commercial Broadband SATCOM Program (CBSP), Commercial Wideband SATCOM Program (CWSP), Television-Direct to Sailors program (TV-DTS), and the Navy’s Iridium project. Mr Tang was also responsible for airborne and expeditionary programs such as Navy VIP Aircraft Communications and the Joint VSAT project for JIEDDO. As the Navy’s senior SATCOM acquisition expert, Mr Tang was a frequent public speaker on topics of commercial satellite operations and acquisition strategy.