Inmarsat has awarded the final contract for a Global Xpress (GX) satellite access station (SAS) to Telecom, New Zealand's largest telecommunications and IT services provider.
The agreement marks a milestone in the development and deployment of Inmarsat's market-changing GX network, which will deliver the world's first global Ka-band network, providing mobile users with true broadband speeds of up to 50Mbps.
A total of six GX satellite access stations will act as gateways between the broadband traffic routed via the three Inmarsat-5 (I-5) satellites and terrestrial fixed networks.
I-5F1 Indian Ocean Region (IOR) coverage will be served by satellite access stations in Fucino, Italy – hosted by Inmarsat partner Telespazio – and Nemea, Greece – established by OTE.
For I-5F2 coverage in the Atlantic Ocean Region (AOR) and Americas, partners Telesat and Encompass Digital Media will host SASs in Winnipeg, Canada and Lino Lakes, Minnesota, USA.
Telecom will develop its Warkworth satellite earth station, located near Auckland on New Zealand's North Island, to host Inmarsat and its I-5F3 satellite antenna.
Warkworth will act as a co-primary GX SAS for the Pacific Ocean Region (POR), alongside Inmarsat's own land earth station and teleport based in Auckland.
“The GX development programme is on time and on budget,” said Leo Mondale, Managing Director of Growth Management and Support at Inmarsat.
“The sites for all six GX satellite access stations have now been selected and operational readiness is well advanced on the stations supporting our first Inmarsat-5 satellite serving the Indian Ocean Region, which we expect to launch around the turn of the year.”
The full Inmarsat-5 constellation is on course to deployed by the end of 2014, providing a single global broadband service which can be accessed by users on land, at sea and in the air.
The satellites are currently under construction or testing at Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems' El Segundo facility in California.
Global Xpress: www.igx.com