Insight | Inmarsat’s ground breaking new satellite enters service


Inmarsat’s ground breaking new satellite enters service


Rupert Pearce outlines our ambitious vision for the future as the most powering Global Xpress satellite to date, GX5, goes into operation over Europe and the Middle East.

Inmarsat is proud to announce the company’s brand new satellite, GX5, successfully entered commercial service on 10 December 2020. GX5 is Inmarsat’s 14th in-service satellite and is by far the most powerful of these geostationary satellites to date.

Launched on the 26 November 2019, GX5 delivers approximately double the combined capacity of the entire existing GX fleet (GX1-GX4) and is also 25% smaller than the other members of the GX fleet.

GX5 will meet the growing demand for government customers, inflight passenger connectivity on commercial airlines and high-speed broadband for shipping. It offers additional capacity to Europe and the Middle East on the industry leading high-speed satellite broadband service, Global Xpress (GX).

GX is the most successful service launch in the history of Inmarsat. It has been available since 2015 and the company will be celebrating the fifth anniversary of GX as a globally available service, early next year. It has already become the gold standard for seamless, mobile broadband services across multiple sectors. Tens of thousands of active users throughout aviation, maritime, enterprise and government depend on GX daily.

But Inmarsat is not stopping here. As the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, the company has an ambitious vision for the future. Inmarsat is progressing the most innovative technology development programme in its history to achieve this.

All services delivered over GX5 and future GX satellites will be backwards compatible with existing GX terminals, ensuring future-proofing of customer investment in GX technology and services. The strength, resilience and agility provided by Inmarsat will give partners and customers dependable support.

As an innovative and diversified business that works in partnership with communities, companies and countries across the world, Inmarsat’s communications infrastructure and the way in which it works with partners and customers ensures that the company is enabled to address the most complex challenges and opportunities, especially during these recent unprecedented circumstances.

GX5 has bridged the gap between the current GX fleet and the upcoming 7th generation of satellites. What makes it even more extraordinary is that this is only the start of the transformation of Global Xpress.

Inmarsat is in this for the long haul, with customer and partner trust based on four-decades of meeting commitments and a bright future ahead, guided by the company’s technology roadmap. Entry into service of GX5 is the first of several exciting steps ahead for us on that journey.

About the author

Rupert Pearce was Inmarsat’s Chief Executive Officer from January 2012 until February 2021. Rupert joined Inmarsat in January 2005 as Group General Counsel and, from January 2009, additionally held the position of Senior Vice President, Inmarsat Enterprises. Previously, Rupert worked for Atlas Venture, where he was a partner working with the firm’s European and US investment teams. He was previously also a partner at the international law firm Linklaters, where he spent 13 years specialising in corporate finance, M&A and private equity transactions. Rupert received an MA (First Class) in Modern History from Oxford University and won the 1995 Fullbright Fellowship in US securities law, studying at the Georgetown Law Center. He has been a visiting fellow of the Imperial College Business School, London, lecturing on the school’s Entrepreneurship programme, and is the co-author of Raising Venture Capital (Wiley).