When the third Boeing-built Inmarsat-5 satellite, which is now in orbit, becomes fully operational later this year it will provide the technology and coverage necessary for worldwide high-speed broadband access, Chicago, IL-based Boeing reported August 29.
Inmarsat-5 F3 sent signals from space following its launch yesterday on an International Launch Services Proton Breeze M launch vehicle. After reaching final orbit, the spacecraft will undergo testing and checkout before becoming operational.
“The Inmarsat Global Xpress network will be the first high-speed Ka-band broadband network to span the world,” said Rupert Pearce, CEO, Inmarsat. “New technology and engineering design will allow us to steer capacity where it’s needed most and adjust to shifting subscriber usage patterns and evolving demographics over the minimum 15-year life span of the network. We can now look forward to the introduction of global GX commercial services by the end of this year.”
Each of the three Inmarsat-5 satellites use fixed narrow spot beams to deliver higher speeds through more compact terminals. Steerable beams direct additional capacity in real-time to where it’s needed to provide seamless, global broadband communications coverage to Inmarsat users worldwide on land, at sea, and in the air. The first two Inmarsat-5 Global Xpress satellites were launched December 2013 and February 2015, respectively. A fourth Boeing-built Inmarsat-5 (F4) is scheduled for delivery in mid-2016.
“The 702HP (high power) satellite is ideally suited for delivering the advanced capabilities Inmarsat required for this mission,” said Mark Spiwak, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International. “More than 20 of these 702HP spacecraft are in orbit now for customers, including Inmarsat, providing reliable, affordable and innovative service.”
Boeing has a strategic marketing partnership with Inmarsat and currently provides both military Ka-band and commercial Global Xpress services to U.S. government customers. Boeing recently concluded an extensive demonstration program for ten U.S. government customer communities using the Inmarsat-5 F2 spacecraft.