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Inmarsat launches new Global Xpress satellite

Ship broadband communications will be improved by the successful launch of the fourth Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) satellite. The Inmarsat-5 F4 (I-5 F4) satellite was launched by SpaceX on a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA.

This satellite will boost Inmarsat’s existing GX network as it will supplement the existing three satellites already providing Ka-band broadband to maritime industries.

Inmarsat offers Ka-band VSAT to shipping in its Fleet Xpress service that also includes L-band back-up through FleetBroadband for when Ka-band coverage is not available. The commissioning of the fourth GX satellite should reduce the need for L-band back-up.

I-5 F4 was manufactured by Boeing Network & Space Systems. It is being transferred to a geostationary orbit, at which point the satellite will deploy its solar arrays and reflectors, and undergo payload testing.

Inmarsat chief executive Rupert Pearce said I-5 F4 adds further capacity to the GX network and in-orbit redundancy, which further upgrades the reliability and resilience of Inmarsat’s service offerings.

“For Inmarsat, reliability and resilience are paramount,” he said. “I-5 F4 augments the capabilities of GX and, alongside our existing L-band constellations, enables Inmarsat to provide guaranteed global connectivity to industries and governments worldwide.”

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