Highlights of 2019

19 December 2019: As the year comes to a close, Inmarsat reflects on 12 months of extraordinary achievement.

In 2019 we celebrated 40 years of innovation, launched a range of new products designed to enable customers to get the most out of our ultra-connected world, marked significant service installation milestones, and successfully launched the fifth Global Xpress satellite – the start of a four-year journey of transformation.

Here we look back on just some of the highlights of 2019:

New services

Following extensive Inmarsat research into the way smart data is impacting on how industries on land and at sea operate, we developed an Internet of Things (IoT) solution for real-time tailings dam monitoring, which enables smarter decision making and improved safety standards as well as supporting regulatory compliance.

We also launched Fleet Data, the first ever maritime IoT platform, allowing shipping operators to access, extract and aggregate all their onboard data, using it to improve operational efficiency, increase performance and benchmark data across an entire fleet or a single vessel.

Seafarers were given enhanced access to connectivity through the launch of Crew Xpress, offering high speed onboard Wi-Fi to crew on vessels which do not yet need the bandwidth offered by Fleet Xpress for operational communications.

Business aviation customers gained JX-Pro, our fastest ever Jet ConneX inflight broadband package, with unlimited data usage and 33% higher speeds.

For government customers, we continued to deliver rapid innovation to address specific government users’ requirements with the launch of SwiftBroadband Helo X-Stream, a system for rotary aircraft designed to alleviate the connectivity constraints traditionally caused by rotary blades; and we introduced the market’s smallest ruggedised terminal for Global Xpress.

2019 in numbers

The first and only high-speed mobile broadband network to seamlessly span the world, Global Xpress is now established as the gold standard across the fastest growing sectors for mobile connectivity – as evidenced by the milestones achieved this year:

  • Over 8,000 vessels now have Fleet Xpress installed
  • Jet ConneX has been activated on over 600 business jets worldwide
  • 27 leading airlines and counting have signed up for GX Aviation

It’s not only Global Xpress achieving milestones. In July, we announced that the European Aviation Network (EAN), developed by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom in partnership with leading European companies such as Thales, Nokia, Airbus, Cobham and EAD Aerospace, was delivering inflight broadband to 30,000 airline passengers across Europe every day.

Around the same time, our maritime L-band service for leisure and fishing markets, Fleet One, was installed on the 5,000th vessel.

On 16 July, Inmarsat celebrated its 40th anniversary. Established as a non-profit intergovernmental organisation to deliver maritime safety satellite communications, we quickly established our credentials as disruptive innovators, and while safety remains at the heart of what we do, we are also proud of providing governments, commercial enterprises and humanitarian organisations with global, mobile connectivity that anticipates future demand and will enable a truly connected world.

A new journey

This was the year in which we unveiled our plans for the ground-breaking development of our Global Xpress network over the next four years, representing a step change in capabilities, capacity and agility. In May we announced that Airbus Defence & Space will be our satellite manufacturing partner for the next phase of GX transformation, building three next-generation GX satellites (GX7, 8 & 9) with the first scheduled to launch in H1 2023.

In July we released the news that two additional Global Xpress payloads – GX10A & GX10B – would be launched to support rapidly growing demand in the Arctic, in a partnership with Space Norway and its subsidiary Space Norway HEOSAT.

But the end of 2019 was all about GX5, successfully launched from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana on 26 November. Currently undergoing extensive in-orbit tests before entering commercial service, the fifth satellite in our GX fleet will deliver additional, focused capacity over Europe and the Middle East.

Alongside all these significant business activities across our global organisation, we also celebrated the conclusion of the acquisition of Inmarsat by four prestigious investors who are excited by the opportunities for future growth across our diversified markets.

The Inmarsat story continues – join us on the journey in 2020.