[SatNews] Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L) has successfully transitioned key voice and broadband data services for the EMEA region from Inmarsat-4 F2 (I-4 F2) to the Alphasat satellite.
The services transitioned overnight from March 24 through 25 during a regular maintenance window for the EMEA region, include four of Inmarsat’s market-leading mobile satellite communication services; FleetBroadband (for maritime), SwiftBroadband (for aviation), BGAN (for land-based communications), and Classic Aero. Inmarsat’s GSPS services for EMEA have been operating on Alphasat since November 2013.
Alphasat was built through a public–private partnership (PPP) between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Inmarsat, and remains one of the largest PPP telecom projects in Europe. The satellite was constructed under the ESA initiative to provide a new spacecraft platform (Alphabus), capable of carrying the largest state-of-the-art communications payload. Alphasat and I-4 F2 will continue to jointly provide services over the EMEA region until the transition of the last two services—L-TAC1 and IsatData Pro2—scheduled to be completed by the end of Q2 2015. Following this, I-4 F2 will be flown to a new orbital position to create a fourth L-band region, serving the Middle East and Asia (MEAS). The new region is on course to begin commercial services by the end of the year and will support BGAN, FleetBroadband, SwiftBroadband and GSPS services.
“Transitioning our EMEA L-band services to Alphasat enhances Inmarsat’s capabilities in this key region: adding additional capacity and providing us with a platform for new and enhanced services for our maritime, aviation and land customers,” said Ruy Pinto, Group Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Inmarsat. “Of equal importance, Alphasat allows us to create a fourth satellite region, addressing the increasing need for our highly reliable and secure voice and data connectivity in a region where we are seeing the greatest growth in demand for Inmarsat’s services.”
Stephane Lascar, Head of ESA’s Telecommunication Satellite Programmes Department, said: “Alphasat was and is a hugely ambitious project for ESA. Every element, from its advanced Integrated Processor to hosted payloads demonstrating cutting-edge technology, is marked by innovation and made possible through successful cooperation.
“With Alphasat working perfectly in orbit as planned, ESA is looking forward to deployment of new Inmarsat safety services that have been developed in partnership with ESA."
1 L-TAC extends the capabilities of existing in-service military and civilian government tactical radios to access Beyond Line of Sight communication without the need to modify the radio hardware or cryptography.
2 IsatData Pro provides a two-way short message service for machine-to-machine (M2M) communication.