New Inmarsat satellite to boost Fleet Xpress capacity

(LONDON) — Inmarsat has confirmed the successful launch of GX5, the fifth satellite in the Global Xpress (GX) fleet delivering Fleet Xpress high-speed maritime broadband services. The satellite was lifted into orbit by an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA-3) in Kourou, French Guiana.
GX5 is scheduled to enter commercial service in early 2020 and deliver additional, focused broadband capacity over Europe and the Middle East that will amount to more than the existing four satellites in the Global Xpress network (GX1-GX4) worldwide combined.
In a recent analysis of maritime customers, Inmarsat established that fast-growing demand for digitalised services saw average data consumption of a merchant ship in mid-2019 reach 270 GB per month, compared to 5 GB five years ago. Growth rates among high data use offshore customers is even greater. To match accelerating demand, GX5 will be joined by a further seven advanced GX payloads in the next four years, releasing Fleet Xpress capacity via the world’s first and only global, seamless mobile broadband network.

“As data use and demand for vessel and crew applications continues to grow we are already seeing data volumes of more than 1 terabyte [1,000 gigabytes] per month per ship,” said Inmarsat Maritime President Ronald Spithout, “The successful launch of GX5 heralds a major step forward in meeting that demand with capacity for customers in one of our main markets and the next step in Inmarsat’s unrivalled commitment to the future of maritime connectivity.”

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By Professional Mariner Staff