May 30 2019  |  Connectivity & Satellites

Inmarsat GX to launch three new satellites in 2023

By Rick Lundstrom

A new generation of three satellites, promising an array of capability, flexibility and cost effectiveness will be developed with Airbus Defence & Space and launched for use by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) customers, the company announced today.

Inmarsat announced the contract with Airbus this morning in a conference call with media. The satellites will be named GX7, 8 and 9 and will launch first in 2023. They will join four satellites currently in operation and three more being launched over the next three years, starting with the GX5 satellite later this year.

The three new satellites will be built with thousands of dynamically formed beams that precisely direct capacity over high demand areas. From the beginning, company officials stressed that the new satellites represent more than an addition to its current group.

“This is not business as usual,” said Phil Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation. “This is a shift in our capabilities. A huge step forward.”

The three satellites will focus “ultra-high-power” capacity that will be layered over high demand flight routes and airport hubs during peak hours, when airlines and passengers are demanding connectivity. As air traffic grows and shifts and connectivity becomes the norm for air travel Inmarsat will equip the satellites with capability for remote upgrades.

What passengers will experience is a 5G capability in the sky, the same as consumers of the future will use in the offices or at home, said Peter Hadinger, Chief Technology Officer at Inmarsat.

“The next evolution of GX assures customers that their requirements will continue to be met, not only today, but into the next decade and beyond,” said Balaam, in a release on today announcement. “It also demonstrates once again that we have the strategic vision, expertise and financial commitment to stay ahead of competitors.”

Following the announcement Inmarsat will set about picking launch sites for the new capacity.

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