How Inmarsat is meeting connectivity needs of the military

03 August 2016: Todd McDonell, VP Government Solutions, Inmarsat Global Government, discusses why the need for connectivity has increased within the military space and how Inmarsat is meeting this demand, in an interview with the business publication, Talk Satellite.

“The concept of network centric warfare has truly come into play and everyone expects their systems, their people and their platforms to be connected,” explains Todd.

However governments are increasingly questioning what their model might be to access bandwidth capacity and how they can only pay for the service when they need it.

Enhance capacity

Inmarsat’s Global Xpress service has been built with government users in mind; with a commercial and military Ka-band payload, governments can choose to use their own existing Wideband Global Satcoms (WGS) and military satellite terminals or commercial terminals from Inmarsat partners such as Cobham.

This interoperability is key to military users, enabling enhanced capacity as and when required, augmenting the commercial service through six high capacity steerable spot beams – a first for the commercial satellite industry.

Todd also talks about how Inmarsat is actively leveraging its networks – both L-band and Ka-band – to solve connectivity requirements of the military such as Merlin, a satellite terminal the size of a lunchbox that can provide Beyond Line Of Site (BLOS) communications for small UAVs and Fleet Media, the movie and TV entertainment service that can help enhance crew welfare at sea and also provide access to training courses.

Innovation curve

“There is a lot of innovation in the spacecraft side,” continues Todd, “but not in how they will provide the service.

“Global Xpress is the first high-throughput satellite service in the mobile arena and we are already looking at necessary investments to make sure we’re ahead of the innovation curve.

“You have to make investments in your space segment and equipment, as well as in your ground network, regulatory licensing and terminals and bring together the whole scenario so that there’s something that your customer can use.”

You can listen to the full interview here.