Inmarsat’s GX-5 satellite successfully reached orbit on Tuesday, beginning its mission to dramatically increase Ka-band capacity over Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It also represents a key milestone as the GX Aviation prodcut evolves. It is not just about the increased capacity, though that bandwidth makes the future plans easier and less expensive to deliver.
Cutting the cost for delivering satellites into space is a key factor to increasing capacity and improving coverage in the inflight connectivity market. SpaceX and Arianespace both announced programs today that will help on this front.
One of the three ViaSat-3 satellites was planned for a launch on the Ariane 5 rocket from Arianespace. That will no longer happen.
Eutelsat and Arianespace signed a five launch deal this week, including use of the Ariane 6 rocket now in development. That’s a big rocket and a big deal for the two.
Viasat now holds launch contracts for all three satellites of its upcoming ViaSat-3 constellation. The company announced today that United Launch Alliance (ULA) will carry one of the three satellites into orbit between 2020 to 2022 on an Atlas 5 rocket.
Passengers flying across the Pacific Ocean are set for a major upgrade in inflight connectivity performance. Panasonic Avionics and Eutelsat announced this week that Eutelsat 172b is now in service, delivering a massive increase in capacity to the market, particularly for the routes aircraft use between the United States and Asia.