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Agile. Resilient. Reliable.

For more than four decades, Inmarsat has led the way as an innovator and investor in space technology.

We have built the world’s most reliable satellite networks and deliver an unrivalled portfolio of solutions to keep people and things connected on land, at sea and in the air – every minute of every day.

But we do not stand still. Inmarsat’s fully-funded technology roadmap charts our long-term plan to stay ahead of the ever-increasing demand for seamless, global mobile connectivity.  The roadmap gives our customers confidence that Inmarsat will always be there – both to help them solve their toughest connectivity challenges today and to give them the edge in addressing emerging opportunities tomorrow.

Global first

From our original, and continuing, core mission to protect lives at sea, we have always provided service to the most remote locations on the planet. We fly our satellites in geostationary orbit, 35,786km (22,236 miles) above the Earth, because this meets the needs of our global mobility customers and it only takes three satellites to cover the globe.  

Our strategy has always been to deliver global coverage first, then increase capacity as demand builds. We want our networks to be the most reliable, so we build redundancy into our infrastructure in space and on the ground.   

Today we own and operate 14 geostationary satellites powering seamless safety and mission-critical mobile broadband communications around the world. To meet ever more complex bandwidth demands, we will launch a further seven satellites by 2023 and significantly expand our ground network to support them. 

To further meet those demands, we’re always looking to the future and for ways to add to our long track record of successful, customer-centric innovation. This has led us to create multi-dimensional solutions as part of our global coverage services. Like the European Aviation Network, which combines an S-band satellite with ground-based LTE in a hybrid air-to-ground network. And Fleet Xpress, which provides a dual-band service by bringing together both Ka-band (Global Xpress) and L-band (ELERA) in a single product.

Global Xpress

Our GX5 satellite, which entered commercial service in 2020 over Europe and the Middle East, is five times as powerful as its predecessors in our Ka-band network. But the next generation will deliver even more: a transformation in capability and agility as well as capacity. Each delivering twice the capacity of the entire existing fleet, GX7, 8 & 9 will employ dynamic beam forming to simultaneously create thousands of independent beams of different sizes, bandwidth and power that can be reconfigured and repositioned across the globe in real time.

Two HEO (highly elliptical orbit) payloads, GX10A & 10B will become the world’s first and only mobile broadband payloads dedicated to the Arctic region, through a partnership with Space Norway and its subsidiary Space Norway HEOSAT.

ELERA

We launched the world’s first global 3G mobile satellite network in 2008, powered by our Inmarsat-4 L-band fleet. Now, as we enter the 5G era, we are continuing to invest in our ELERA global narrowband network to deliver new innovations in global, mobile satellite communications and transform the capabilities offered to Internet of Things (IoT) and mobility customers for years to come. 

The Inmarsat-6 fleet of satellites will support a new generation of advanced applications and enhanced global safety services into the mid 2030s and beyond. The two I-6 spacecraft will also host Global Xpress payloads, known as GX6A & 6B, to add further depth to GX coverage. 

Ground network

Complementing our growing fleet in space is an even bigger expansion on Earth. Investment in our ground network of satellite access stations (SAS) saw six new traffic gateways commissioned in 2020 to support GX5.

Strategically located across Europe, these diverse sites will support the high capacity of GX5 while providing the high assurance synonymous with Inmarsat. Another eight sites will be commissioned by 2022 to support further regional connectivity expansion and the new Inmarsat-6 satellites.

As our ground network becomes ever more software-driven with cloud-hosted processing capabilities, it is becoming more efficient and agile even as we massively increase capacity.

Terminals

A new generation of satellite terminals will further enhance the unique qualities of each service. With Global Xpress that means supporting much higher sustained rates when used on GX5 and future satellites while BGAN network terminals will be smaller, lighter and more cost effective in delivering essential low-to-medium data rate services with high reliability.

Terminals already in use will work better too, thanks to the capacity we are adding to high traffic regions where congestion is most likely.

ORCHESTRA

Inmarsat has recently announced the next stage in our roadmap; ORCHESTRA: a unique, multi-dimensional, dynamic mesh network that integrates GEO, LEO and 5G into a single advanced solution for global mobility.

ORCHESTRA is a natural progression of our technology roadmap. By leveraging our existing market-leading assets, and adding new technologies, it creates unprecedented new services to support our on-going strategic focus on global mobility customers.