Inmarsat has awarded the contract for the construction of an additional Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) broadband network communications satellite to Thales Alenia Space.
The satellite, which is targeted for launch in 2019, will be a Very High Throughput Satellite (V-HTS), providing capacity across the Middle East, Europe and the Indian subcontinent.
The payload will become part of Inmarsat’s existing GX Ka-band high-speed global broadband network.
It says the combination of latest satellite technology and a focus on areas of high demand, which will drive high-capacity utilisation, will together result in a very low cost per bit delivered.
This a departure for Inmarsat as the previous four GX satellites were built by Boeing in El Segundo near Los Angeles. Thales Alenia Space is, however, building the payload for its S-band satellite for the European Aviation Network.
The value of the contract to construct this satellite will be approximately $130 million over the three years 2017 to 2019.
This contract award will operate within the company’s existing capital expenditure guidance for 2017 and 2018. The launch provider will be announced in due course.
This contract award has been made following today’s material commitment by Qatar Airways to adopt GX Aviation for its In Flight Connectivity (IFC) requirements.
Inmarsat says the new satellite will also support the rapid adoption by other airlines of GX Aviation both in Europe and through the major Europe/Asia aviation traffic corridor.
This contract award has been made following today’s material commitment by Qatar Airways to adopt GX Aviation for its in flight connectivity (IFC) requirements.
“Get Connected” reported on Qatar’s commitment to GX in April, and the contract has now been signed. GX Aviation technology has already been equipped on Qatar Airways’ latest Airbus A350s and installations on the airline’s remaining Airbus A350s, together with its Boeing 777s, will commence on a retrofit basis from this summer.
In addition, Inmarsat says satellite will enhance the delivery of GX services to other market segments in the region.
Inmarsat now has more than 1,000 aircraft installations expected under signed contracts for its next generation IFC services.
Mandates have been won from many leading airlines worldwide including Qatar Airways, Deutsche Lufthansa Group, International Airlines Group, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle.