The Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) satellite network just tripled its capacity. The newest satellite, GX5, is now active, bringing roughly double the bandwidth of the GX1-4 satellites online. And while the initial GX constellation focused on a broad, global footprint, the new GX5 satellite focuses its massive capacity on the key flight path between Europe and the Middle East, providing a major boost to the GX Aviation network.
We are in this for the long haul, with customer and partner trust based on four-decades of meeting our commitments and a bright future ahead, guided by our technology roadmap. Entry into service of GX5 is the first of several exciting steps ahead for us on that journey.– Rupert Pearce, Chief Executive Officer of Inmarsat
Activation of GX5 marks the start of a multi-year campaign to dramatically increase services and coverage available on the GX network. Another seven Ka-band payloads, all fully funded, are slated for launch by 2024. The additional satellites will add speed, capacity and resilience to the GX network. It also includes a pair in a highly elliptical orbit, providing coverage in the Arctic polar region. That broadband capacity will be unique among satellite communications services.
Inmarsat is activating six new ground stations to support the GX5 satellite.
Also key to the Inmarsat value proposition is compatibility of services across the existing installed terminal base. Planes flying with the GX Aviation or (JetConneX/JX version for business jets) can access the GX5 satellite. This immediately allows Inmarsat to increase performance while switching aircraft to less congested beams.
With the planned growth of the GX Aviation install base across Qatar Airways and Emirates the utility of this additional capacity can not be underestimated.
The existing terminals will not be able to “roam” on to the new GX+ network in North America, but the existing coverage and capacity on the GX2 satellite should continue to be sufficient for the GX aircraft flying into that region, at least until the next round of payloads enters service.
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