Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, has announced that it has completed construction of the final four satellite access stations (SAS) for its Global Xpress (GX) fleet. This represents a significant milestone in the rollout of GX, the world’s first, global high-speed broadband Ka-band network, which is scheduled for global commercial service introduction early in the second half of 2015.
GX will deliver high-throughput broadband connectivity on land, at sea and in the air; provided by a single operator with seamless access anywhere in the world. It will also offer the only worldwide commercial satellite network that is interoperable with government military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) Ka-band systems.
The new GX stations are located in Lino Lakes in Minnesota, USA; Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada; with two sites near Auckland, New Zealand. Two further stations – in Fucino, Italy and Nemea, Greece – are already operational. All six GX SAS will act as gateways between the broadband traffic routed via the three Inmarsat-5 (I-5) satellites and terrestrial fixed networks. Each SAS delivers full ground segment redundancy for GX services, delivering highest quality resiliency, reliability and availability, for example at times of adverse weather, and offering a powerful differentiator to traditional regional Ku-band networks.
“This is an important milestone as we continue to move full speed ahead with the GX programme,” said Rupert Pearce, CEO Inmarsat. “Our satellite access station locations and capabilities are designed to support the requirements of Inmarsat’s government and commercial end-users. Government customers have been the first to deploy GX, taking advantage of the introduction of regional GX services through Inmarsat’s first Ka-band satellite – I-5 F1 – which serves Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. With many decades of serving the government and commercial markets, our end-users can trust that Inmarsat’s secure network infrastructure adheres to strict physical and Information Assurance (IA) standards, supported continuously by a dedicated cyber security team, to provide reliable assured access at all times, anywhere around the world.”
Inmarsat has been providing commercial GX services in the Indian Ocean region since 1 July 2014. The remaining satellites are set to launch early in 2015, on course to support global commercial service introduction early in the second half of 2015.