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Inmarsat making waves in communications with new GX satellite contract

By Ashton Young
Fri 2 Jun 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Inmarsat has awarded the contract for the construction of an additional Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) broadband network communications satellite to Thales Alenia Space.

According to the global mobile satellite communications provider, this award reflects Inmarsat’s strategy of adding capacity to its already established, unique, high-speed global broadband network in areas of high customer demand and against new customer commitments.

The satellite is targeted for launch in 2019 and will be a ‘Very High Throughput Satellite’ (V-HTS), providing capacity across the Middle East, Europe and the Indian subcontinent.

The company asserts the payload will seamlessly become part of Inmarsat’s existing GX high-speed global broadband network. The combination of latest satellite technology and a focus on areas of high demand, which will drive high capacity utilisation, will together result in a very low cost per bit delivered.

The value of the contract to construct the satellite is nothing to sneeze at either, coming in at approximately $130 million over the three years of 2017 to 2019 with the launch provider to be announced in due course.

It’s certainly a good time for Inmarsat, as the contract award was made following an earlier commitment by Qatar Airways to adopt GX Aviation for its In Flight Connectivity (IFC) requirements.

Inmarsat affirms the new satellite will also support the rapid adoption by other airlines of GX Aviation both in Europe and through the major Europe/Asia aviation traffic corridor. In addition, the satellite will enhance the delivery of GX services to other market segments in the region.

The company in fact already has more than 1,000 aircraft installations under signed contracts for its next-gen IFC services, with mandates being won from leading airlines worldwide including Deutsche Lufthansa Group, International Airlines Group, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

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