Inmarsat has selected Airbus Defence & Space (Airbus) as its satellite manufacturing partner as part of a major push to improve global mobile broadband coverage with a transformation in network capacity and service capability.

This contract with Airbus is for the manufacture of three next-generation GX satellites (GX7, 8 & 9), with the first scheduled to launch in H1 2023.

“This network development encompasses a major enhancement to the GX ground network, which will deliver full integration of each generation of GX satellites to form a highly-secure, inter-operable, ultra-high performance network,” added InMarsat. “Future GX satellites offering new capabilities can easily be added to this dynamic framework whenever and wherever demand dictates.”

The network will be tailored automatically to the exceptionally fluid nature of customer demand in diverse global mobile broadband markets. This will maximise the efficient deployment of diverse capabilities and enable them to be mobilised instantaneously.

Future-proofing customer investment and supporting Inmarsat’s growth and capex profil

The new GX technology will be compatible with existing terminals, allowing Inmarsat customers to benefit seamlessly from this and future service enhancements. Through regular upgrades by Inmarsat to the GX network capabilities and features, customers will be able to take advantage of future technology innovation.

Having established leading positions in the emerging global Maritime, Aviation and Government mobile satellite broadband markets, Inmarsat is on track to achieve its objective of delivering annual GX revenues at a run rate of US$500m by the end of 2020.

upert Pearce, Chief Executive Officer, Inmarsat said:  “On its launch in 2010, Global Xpress revolutionised satellite telecommunications and, even in 2019, GX remains the world’s only truly seamless global mobile broadband network. As such, I am delighted today to announce the next steps in GX’s development, in partnership with Airbus, which will ensure that our customers continue to benefit from GX’s ground-breaking technology and capabilities for many years to come.

“Worldwide demand for mobile broadband connectivity has grown exponentially in recent years and we expect this trend to continue. put in  rkThis next phase in the evolution of our GX network provides a dynamic and powerful answer to the challenges created by this growth in demand, building on the strong foundations we have already established.

“Significantly, our new approach in collaboration with Airbus and other technology partners will provide us with much greater velocity and agility with which to respond to future competitive challenges and to adopt new technologies on a highly dynamic, rolling basis.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Airbus who have more than risen to the significant strategic and technological challenges we set them. This announcement signals the start of a new long-term strategic partnership.

“GX has rapidly become a very significant and sustained revenue growth contributor for Inmarsat. More importantly, it embodies our strategic, long-term approach to network augmentation as we continue to meet and exceed customer requirements.

“In our fortieth year, we move forward with a radical new model which builds on our existing GX investments to deliver a step-change in future GX services and in our ability to help our diverse customer base capitalise on the opportunities afforded by a digital society.”