Inmarsat has announced the successful transition of key voice and broadband data services for the EMEA region from Inmarsat-4 F2 (I-4 F2) to Alphasat, Europe’s largest and most sophisticated telecommunications satellite.
The aviation services transitioned include SwiftBroadband and Classic Aero.
Alphasat was built through a public–private partnership (PPP) between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Inmarsat, and remains one of the largest PPP telecom projects in Europe.
It was constructed under the ESA initiative to provide a new spacecraft platform (Alphabus), capable of carrying the largest state-of-the-art communications payload.
Alphasat and I-4 F2 will continue to jointly provide services over the EMEA region until the transition of the last two non-aviation-related services.
Following this, I-4 F2 will then be flown to a new orbital position to create a fourth L-band region, serving the Middle East and Asia (MEAS).
The new region is on course to begin commercial services by the end of the year and will support SwiftBroadband.
Ruy Pinto, Group Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Inmarsat, said “Transitioning our EMEA L-band services to Alphasat enhances Inmarsat’s capabilities in this key region: adding additional capacity and providing us with a platform for new and enhanced services for our maritime, aviation and land customers.
“Of equal importance, Alphasat allows us to create a fourth satellite region, addressing the growing demand for our highly-reliable and secure voice and data connectivity in a region where we are seeing the greatest growth in demand for Inmarsat’s services.”
Stephane Lascar, Head of ESA’s Telecommunication Satellite Programmes Department, said: “Alphasat was and is a hugely ambitious project for ESA. Every element, from its advanced Integrated Processor to hosted payloads demonstrating cutting-edge technology, is marked by innovation and made possible through successful cooperation.
“With Alphasat working perfectly in orbit as planned, ESA is looking forward to deployment of new Inmarsat safety services that have been developed in partnership with ESA.”
The successful deployment of Alphasat was one of the key components in Inmarsat’s upcoming certification of satellite-based aviation safety services.