[SatNews] Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L) has confirmed that its third Global Xpress (GX) satellite—Inmarsat-5 F3—has safely arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in anticipation of its launch later this month.
The satellite left the Boeing El Segundo facility in Los Angeles, California, on Wednesday, (April 29th), on board an Antonov AN-124 heavy transporter.m This is the third GX satellite, when combined with I-5 F1 and F2 which are both already in geostationary orbit, will allow Inmarsat to offer seamless, global GX coverage. Inmarsat is investing $1.6bn investment in the development and delivery of Global Xpress, the world’s first globally available, high-speed mobile broadband service, delivered through a single network operator. Inmarsat’s 5th generation satellites—which form the GX network—have all been built by Boeing Satellite Systems International Inc. in California.
Global Xpress will deliver broadband speeds up to 100 times faster than the company’s fourth generation (I-4) constellation. It will offer new opportunities for end-users in government, maritime, aviation, enterprise and the third sector, to significantly enhance their connectivity and to access bandwidth-hungry applications, even in the remotest and most inaccessible regions of the world.
Michele Franci, CTO of Inmarsat, said: “We are approaching the completion of our GX constellation and the arrival of Inmarsat-5 F3 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome is another significant milestone. This project represents a major commitment by Inmarsat and its successful completion and the start of global commercial services later this year will bring to life the prospect of the Internet of Everywhere. For the first time, we will be able to deliver seamless, superfast broadband communications across the globe—on land, sea and in the air—from one single operator.”
The first Global Xpress satellite - Inmarsat-5 F1 – was launched in December 2013 and entered regional commercial service in July 2014, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Inmarsat-5 F2, launched 1st February, 2015, will provide Global Xpress services covering the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean. Inmarsat is planning to commence global commercial GX services in the second half of the year. The new network will complement Inmarsat’s existing fleet of L-band communication satellites.
Each of the three satellites in the initial GX fleet has 89 beams and six steerable high-power spot beams for multi-regional coverage. The GX satellite, with a design life of 15 years, weighs 6100kg at launch with a wing-span wider than a Boeing 737.