Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L), the provider of global mobile satellite communications services, confirmed that the third satellite in the transformational Global Xpress (GX) programme – Inmarsat-5 F3 (I-5 F3) – has been scheduled for launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12.44pm (BST) on Friday 28th August.
The third Global Xpress satellite to be launched, I-5 F3, will cover the Pacific Ocean Region and will, together with Inmarsat-5 F1 and Inmarsat-5 F2, create the world’s first globally available, high-speed mobile broadband service, delivered through a single provider.
Inmarsat’s 5th generation satellites have all been built by Boeing Satellite Systems International Inc. (“Boeing”) in California. The launch is being undertaken for Inmarsat by International Launch Services (“ILS”) using a Proton launch vehicle.
Global Xpress will deliver broadband speeds around 100 times faster than the company’s fourth generation (I-4) constellation. It will offer new opportunities for customers, in both the public and private sectors, to significantly enhance their connectivity and to access bandwidth-hungry applications, even in the remotest and most inaccessible regions of the world.
Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “The completion of the Global Xpress constellation will be a significant milestone for our organisation and is fundamental to the delivery of a new era in mobile satellite communications which will change the future for us all. We believe that our GX technology will drive innovation and support value-added services and solutions for our government and enterprise customers on land, at sea and in the air; in opportunities as diverse as the merchant maritime, business and commercial aviation, government, energy & resources and enterprise VSAT segments. We are particularly pleased that GX will support vital programmes enabling governments to meet the rapidly changing requirements of our world, including the transformation of remote societies that are currently inadequately served by terrestrial networks.”
The first Global Xpress satellite – Inmarsat-5 F1 – was launched in December 2013 and entered commercial service in July 2014, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. This was followed by the launch of Inmarsat-5 F2 on 1st February 2015, which covers the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean and which will enter commercial service later this month.
Following the successful launch of I-5 F3, Inmarsat expects to commence global commercial GX services by the end of the year.