Boeing platform and payload meets all the specifications iDirect completes FAT and SAT testing of core GX modules
07 March 2014: Inmarsat, (LSE:ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, today confirmed that the first satellite in its game-changing Global Xpress (GX) constellation (Inmarsat-5 F1) is on course to achieve commercial service introduction (CSI) by mid-year 2014. The announcement follows the successful completion of Inmarsat-5 F1’s month-long in-orbit testing (IOT) programme, in conjunction with its partner Boeing, which saw the new Ka-band satellite pass key tests with flying colours.
With IOT successfully completed, Boeing has now handed over the first of four Ka-band satellites it is constructing for Inmarsat. The second and third GX satellites are scheduled to be deployed by the end of 2014, which together with Inmarsat-5 F1 will create the world’s first globally available Ka-band, mobile broadband satellite network, providing high-throughput services on land, at sea and in the air.
Inmarsat has also confirmed that its technology partner iDirect has successfully completed Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) and Site Acceptance Testing (SAT) of the infrastructure and VSAT technology that will be the foundation of all GX terminals. With IOT now completed, over the coming few months, Inmarsat and its partners will be running full, end-to-end tests of the radio access network (RAN).
These final shake down tests for Inmarsat-5 F1, which will serve EMEA and East Asia, will include rigorous testing of the services supported over the iDirect-based infrastructure; of GX terminals being developed by Inmarsat’s GX manufacturing partners; and of new GX service offerings being developed by Inmarsat’s Value Added Resellers network.
“This is an important milestone for Global Xpress,” said Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat. “The testing of the Boeing-built platform and payload has been completed and shown to meet all our specifications. We are now beginning the final phase of testing with iDirect, and our terminal manufacturing and VAR partners, before Inmarsat-5 F1 formally enters commercial service with a regional Global Xpress service.
“Global Xpress is perhaps the most ambitious and exciting programme in Inmarsat’s history and the fact that we have passed these recent highly significant milestones on schedule is down to the immense dedication and skill of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress team and our partners Boeing and iDirect.”
Craig Cooning, chief executive officer of Boeing Satellite Systems International, said: “This delivery is the first of the significant milestones we expect to accomplish during this landmark year in the Boeing-Inmarsat relationship.”
Dave Bettinger, CTO of iDirect said: “The successful system testing demonstrates yet another substantial step forward in the commercial service introduction of GX. We look forward to equally successful completion of the final phases of over the air testing.”
The full constellation of three GX satellites is on schedule to be fully deployed by the end of 2014, offering the world’s first seamless, global, end to end, high quality mobile broadband service. Global Xpress is a US$1.6bn investment programme by Inmarsat to deliver the next generation of high-throughput commercial communication satellites.
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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).