Inmarsat to triple satellites servicing GX network

Aug 29, 2019 by Triton Staff

Global mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat has announced plans to triple the number of satellites servicing its Ka-band Global Xpress (GX) network by 2023. According to a company press release, the new satellite launches will meet increasing user demand from superyachts and expedition vessels for data across the globe, including the Arctic region.

Inmarsat’s four current satellites (GX1-4) will be augmented by three GX payloads (GX5, GX6A and GX6B) by 2021. The first of these initial launches is scheduled for this year. Three more satellites (GX7-9) will launch by the end of 2023, while two more (GX10A and GX10B) are due for launch in 2022.

According to Inmarsat, GX5, GX6A and GX6B are concentrated 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 about twice the capacity of the current GX network. 

Inmarsat Global Xpress

To date, all of Inmarsat’s satellites have been geostationary, orbiting above the equator and keeping a fixed station above the Earth’s surface. A stable location makes them easy for ground terminals to track, but coverage cannot extend to the poles. The new GX10A and GX10B satellites will solve this for the Arctic. Launched into a highly elliptical orbit, the two new satellites will ensure continuous coverage of the northern polar region above latitude 65°N.

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