Insight | Global Xpress: A proven success story for government


Global Xpress: A proven success story for government


For Inmarsat, delivering trusted global mobile communications with high resilience is of paramount importance. We provide guaranteed worldwide satellite connectivity for industry and government users that is supported by in-orbit and ground station redundancy and hybrid L/Ka-satellite communications (SATCOM) capabilities for enhanced resilience and frequency diversity.

The U.S. government was the first Global Xpress customer. We began providing Global Xpress services to military users in July 2014. Today, fully deployed and operational worldwide, our award-winning Global Xpress service seamlessly complements military satellite communications (MILSATCOM). It delivers a highly reliable commercial Ka-band end-to-end network that fulfills users’ requirements and enhances flexibility of their operations in the air, at sea and on land. After four years of worldwide service, Global Xpress still remains the first and only commercial global network from a single operator, augmenting MILSATCOM anywhere and anytime.

Global Xpress is the resilient, flexible and scalable SATCOM for mobility service for the U.S. government. Users leverage our services for core functions, while integrating with MILSATCOM to provide optimal redundancy, diversity, security, scalability and global portability – the ultimate resiliency approach. In fact, our approach of augmenting existing government networks, while introducing commercial capabilities in parallel, is increasingly being adopted by government users to access our innovative, powerful, flexible and secure services as they get introduced to the market.

As the U.S. government seeks to adopt an enterprise-level, integrated architecture to fulfil its requirements and enhance flexibility of operations, Inmarsat’s end-to-end managed service – SATCOM as a Service – comes into play. This is a service delivery approach that Inmarsat’s mobile-centric strategy embraces, truly unique in the market. It is how Global Xpress delivers its seamless, affordable wideband service. Our SATCOM as a Service business model allows for rapid delivery of proven technologies that incorporates the full end-to-end capability including satellites, ground infrastructure and terminals. This on-going innovation provides fast, cost-effective solutions to meet the U.S. government’s critical need for resilience, speed and agility to ensure mission success today and in the future.

With this in mind, Inmarsat is embarking on its next chapter of innovation. Our new initiatives further refine and accelerate Inmarsat’s renowned global mobile satellite communications by integrating increased diversity, interoperability and resilience within the government’s existing architecture without additional infrastructure investment from end users.

  • On 26 November, we launched GX5, the fifth Global Xpress satellite – a Very High Throughput Satellite (V-HTS). Seamlessly integrated into Inmarsat’s existing Global Xpress network, this payload will deliver additional, focused capacity to address the rapidly growing demand for reliable, high-capacity wideband services in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. GX5 provides a fully compatible extension of the Global Xpress worldwide commercial capability and adds four additional independently steerable mil-Ka beams. GX5 is smaller and significantly more powerful than any previous Global Xpress satellites and delivered in just two and a half years from order to launch.
  • Inmarsat’s introduction of GX5 into the operational Global Xpress constellation represents a significant advancement in the capabilities of Inmarsat’s global wideband service and heralds the exciting beginning of unprecedented enhancements to the overall capacity, agility, resilience and flexibility embodied by Inmarsat’s SATCOM as a Service and mil-Ka capabilities of the Global Xpress network.
  • Looking ahead to 2020, the first of two satellites in our sixth-generation fleet is also scheduled to launch. It will have a unique dual band payload that supports Global Xpress and extends Inmarsat’s 40+ year commitment to L-band services well into the 2040s. These two satellites will support a new generation of capabilities for the 5G era, from advanced global safety services and low-cost mobile services to high-definition video streaming across Inmarsat’s hybrid satellite mobility networks.
  • Extension of the Global Xpress network to the Arctic region via two payloads, GX10A & GX10B, in 2022 will provide continuous, assured communications to tactical and strategic government users operating across the northern latitudes. Importantly, these payloads are fully interoperable with the entire Global Xpress constellation while also providing mil-Ka capacity on high-capacity steerable beams.
  • Further enhancing Global Xpress, satellites GX7, 8 & 9 are due to be launched starting in 2023 and will introduce additional very high-throughput network capacity, service capability, flexibility and interoperability and provide tremendous adaptability and agility in how we deliver Global Xpress services to existing and future customers.
  • GX5 and the forthcoming seven Global Xpress payloads are forward-looking yet, as Inmarsat has always ensured, also fully backwards compatible with existing Global Xpress terminals. The future-proofing of our SATCOM as a Service business model ensures that satellites, ground infrastructure and terminals will always provide users with a fast, continuous and cost-effective solution relevant to their dynamic requirements.

Inmarsat is a major driving force behind technological innovation in mobile satellite communications. We sustain our leadership through substantial investments and a powerful network of technologies that is critical for our most demanding, complex solutions users. We bring ground-breaking advancements in support of accelerating worldwide demand for seamless mobile capability with unprecedented flexibility, scalability and cost-efficiency – assuring that we will continue to meet and exceed customer requirements well into the next decade and beyond.

About the author

Susan Miller is President and Chief Executive Officer of Inmarsat Government Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inmarsat plc, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications to the United States government.

Ms. Miller is responsible for the overall strategy of expanding Inmarsat’s leadership position across U.S. defense, intelligence, homeland security and civilian organizations.

Ms. Miller has over 20 years of senior executive leadership experience across a wide range of satellite communication technologies that serve the U.S. government and commercial sectors. Prior to joining Inmarsat, she held leadership positions at MTN Satellite Communications, Spacenet Inc, Intelsat General Corporation, Ligado, Lockheed Martin and Hughes Aircraft Corporation.

Ms. Miller holds a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.