Inmarsat to triple GX network satellites

Inmarsat’s satellite launches Inmarsat’s GX fleet will benefit from a larger number of satellites. Image: Inmarsat
Industry Database

Inmarsat aims to triple the number of satellites servicing its flagship Ka-band Global Xpress (GX) network by 2023 to meet rapidly increasing user demand for data globally.

The plan for the GX network, the high-capacity VSAT constellation behind Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress high-speed mobile broadband service, will support data accessibility in remote regions, including the Arctic region.

Peter Broadhurst, senior vice president, yachting and passenger at Inmarsat, said: “The investment in the new satellites represents the latest milestone for Fleet Xpress, ensuring a significant advancement in the global capabilities, capacity and agility of the service for current and future Inmarsat customers.”

A giant leap

Inmarsat’s GX fleet is currently composed of four satellites (GX1-4). The initial launches will see it augmented by three GX payloads (GX5, GX6A and GX6B) by 2021. A further three satellites (GX7-9) will launch by the end of 2023, while two more (GX10A and GX10B) are due for launch in 2022 to provide unprecedented coverage of the Arctic region.

GX5, GX6A and GX6B concentrate on increasing capacity in high-traffic areas. GX6A and GX6B feature both L-band and Ka-band payloads, supporting a new generation of capabilities for the 5G era.

The GX7, GX8 and GX9 satellites will each deliver approximately twice the capacity of the current GX network. This is achieved through dynamic beamforming.

Launched into a highly elliptical orbit (HEO), the GX10A and GX10B satellites will ensure continuous coverage of the northern polar region above latitude 65°N.

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