Ready, Set, Live! Sky News first live broadcast on Inmarsat Global Xpress service

Reaching the latest milestone, Britain’s Sky News successfully broadcasts the first live, on-air transmission via Inmarsat’s new Ka-band satellite network, Global Xpress (GX). Partnering with Network Innovations (NI) and Inmarsat, Sky News was able to live stream HD video over the GX satellite (Inmarsat-5 F1) broadband network from Athens for the 25th January Greek election news coverage. This recent achievement comes just days before Inmarsat launches the second GX satellite, Inmarsat-5 F2, scheduled for lift-off on Sunday 1 February.

GX’s worldwide Ka-band service will offer opportunities for broadcasters to send live SD and HD video from the most remote and inaccessible regions of the world, and significantly enhances their satellite broadband connectivity options, complementing Inmarsat’s highly portable, backpack broadcasting L-band streaming IP solutions.

“We have been using Ka-band satellite broadband since 2011, in flyaway kits and more recently on vehicles. It provides our crews with portable, reliable IP connectivity when out in the field.” said Richard Pattison, Deputy Head of News Technology at Sky News. “Our team in Greece demonstrated that we can do the same with a GX terminal and, once fully operational, the GX service will be delivered across a truly worldwide footprint. Sky News loves to innovate, so we jumped at the chance to try the GX service for real; the fact that we delivered the first broadcast live over GX was a nice bonus.”

The provider, Network Innovations, is a leading Inmarsat partner in the media, government and maritime verticals and a distributor of the Global Xpress service.  “At NI, we have continued to innovate Ka-band technologies in conjunction with our major clients such as Sky News and network operators like Inmarsat, especially for DSNG applications.” said John Stoltz, Director of Media Sector at Network Innovations.  “The Explorer flyaway and new Global Xpress service fulfills a niche for broadcasters’ constant demand for worldwide, reliable, non-contended satellite bandwidth for live streaming and is an ideal complement to bonded-cellular technologies.”

The new GX network not only adds higher guaranteed bandwidth for live video streaming but also introduces a full range of cutting-edge Ka-band terminals to the world of satellite broadband.  It opens more possibilities for connecting devices, such as bonded-cellular backpack encoders, and is ideal for ‘cellular failover’ when networks are unavailable or congested.  Unlike other operators, Inmarsat also offers seamless, global coverage for L-band and Ka-band communications for the media market. These products and services include satellite phones, backpack BGAN (HDR) streaming terminals and now portable GX flyaways for SNG applications.

“GX represents a significant opportunity for media,” said Martin Turner, Director of Media, Inmarsat Enterprise. “The ability to live stream HD content to news-hungry audiences worldwide is crucial in a competitive industry and we are proud to be able to deliver a service that enables the world’s media to do just that; no matter how remote their location. Reliability, speed and quality are of unique importance to our media customers and we will continue to deliver on these areas, supported by a suite of terminals, when the GX network becomes fully operational.”

The GX network is expected to become commercially operational on a global basis early in the second half of 2015.

Network Innovations will exhibit a range of L-band & Ka-band terminals and services at the upcoming Satellite-2015 show in Washington, DC from March 16~19 and NAB-2015 Broadcasters show in Las Vegas, NV from April 13~16, 2015.

Further information

About Network Innovations

Network Innovations (NI) is a satellite communications integrator, focused in the provision and support of solutions that enable our customers to communicate anywhere on the planet. Incorporated in 1988, Network Innovations has grown consistently and profitably through a team of professionals located at offices around the globe. Our success has come through the development and delivery of turn-key communications solutions for the media, energy, maritime, enterprise and government sectors. Our flexibility to custom design solutions and integrate various satellite communications technologies for customer and industry specific needs, sets us apart from the competition.

John Stoltz
Network Innovations
[email protected]

About Inmarsat 

Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,600 staff in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L).

The Inmarsat press release newsfeed and corporate updates are on @InmarsatGlobal.

Jonathan Sinnatt
Director of Corporate Communications
[email protected]
+44 (0)20 7728 1935 Katie Potts
Corporate Communications Manager
[email protected]
+44 (0)20 7728 1492