22 January 2015: Inmarsat will complete another significant milestone in the delivery of its transformational Global Xpress service with the scheduled launch of the Inmarsat-5 F2 (I-5 F2) satellite at 12:31 GMT on Sunday 1 February.
The company is investing US$1.6bn in the delivery of Global Xpress, which will create the world’s first globally available, high-speed mobile broadband service delivered through a single network operator.
Inmarsat’s fifth generation satellites, which form the Global Xpress network, have all been built by Boeing Satellite Systems in California, USA. I-5 F2’s launch on a Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is being undertaken for Inmarsat by International Launch Services (ILS).
Global Xpress will deliver broadband speeds more than 100 times faster than the company’s fourth generation (I-4) constellation. It will offer new opportunities for end-users, in both the public and private sectors, to significantly enhance their connectivity and to access bandwidth-hungry applications, even in the remotest and most inaccessible regions of the world.
The first Global Xpress satellite – Inmarsat-5 F1 – was launched in December 2013 and entered regional commercial service in July 2014, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Inmarsat-5 F2 will provide Global Xpress services to the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean Region.
Following the launch of the third Global Xpress satellite, Inmarsat-5 F3 – which is scheduled for early Q2 this year – Inmarsat is planning to commence global commercial Global Xpress services early in the second half of 2015.
The new network, which complements Inmarsat’s existing fleet of L-band communication satellites, will deliver seamless, superfast mobile broadband services across the planet.
Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “Global Xpress is a truly transformational technology and, as we complete its global roll-out, 2015 promises to be one of the most significant chapters in our company’s history.
“Through Global Xpress, the world can move forward from the ‘Internet of Everything’ to the ‘Internet of Everywhere’, in which high-speed, reliable and secure connectivity is available anywhere and at any time – even in the most inaccessible regions – for customers on the move or to fixed locations.
“We believe that our new global network will power innovation, support economic development and help transform social services, from education to healthcare, in regions not adequately served – or not served at all – by terrestrial networks.”
Each of the three satellites in the initial Global Xpress fleet has 89 beams and six steerable high-power spot beams for multi-regional coverage. The satellite weighs 6100kg at launch with a wing-span wider than a Boeing 737’s. All three have a design life of 15 years.