London-based Inmarsat’s latest Global Xpress satellite launch will enable high-speed broadband from space with almost worldwide coverage.

Plans to create the world’s first globally-available, high-speed mobile broadband service delivered through a single provider are nearing completion.

The third satellite in the Global Xpress (GX) programme – Inmarsat-5 F3 (I-5 F3) – successfully launched today, completing the network, which is scheduled to come into service by the end of the year.

The new I-5 F3 satellite will cover the Pacific Ocean Region and, together with Inmarsat-5 F1 and Inmarsat-5 F2, will enable a service that can deliver broadband speeds of 50 megabits per second.

The GX system, using ka-band satellite broadband technology, is promised to bring high-speed data and access to bandwidth-hungry applications to the world’s most remote regions. However it will not include coverage of the poles. It paves the way for airborne internet access for air passengers.

The first Global Xpress satellite – Inmarsat-5 F1 – was launched in December 2013 and entered commercial service in July 2014, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. This was followed by the launch of Inmarsat-5 F2 in February 2015, which covers the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean and entered commercial service this August.

The company has invested $400million in each of the GX satellites – which each have a design life of 15 years – and has a fourth ‘spare’ which will be launched in 2016 to provide extra capacity when in orbit.

Related articles

Inmarsat has promised that the new service will result in more affordable broadband with a variety of service plans available.

Sailors will be able to access the GX services through the maritime service offering, Fleet Xpress. For small craft, that would be via a GX60 terminal and a FB250.

Inmarsat Fleet One is another service designed to offer leisure/fishing users the satellite voice and data services enjoyed by much larger vessels, while the Fleet Media service provides onboard entertainment options.

Find out more at: