We have to remember that Global Xpress is still three years away and that the playing field could change considerably between now and then. By the time Inmarsat launches, there will be much other Ka band capacity available with the launch of KA-Sat, Viasat1, Yahsat 1A & 1B and others. ...more>
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| Inmarsat to offer 50Mbps Global Ka-Band VSAT | Inmarsat Selects iDirect for Global Xpress(TM) | Inmarsat buys Ship Equip |

Inmarsat has been the backbone of maritime satellite communications for more than 30 years. Inmarsat was founded in 1979 as a consortium of about 67 countries around the world for safety and communications of ships at sea. In 2005 Inmarsat transformed into a private company and continues to provide worldwide coverage voice, data and safety services.

Inmarsat uses lower, L-Band frequencies (1.5Ghz), which have wider beam width and are therefore more forgiving on pointing accuracy than higher frequency VSATs.  This allows the use of slightly less sophisticated stabilization and lower cost terminals.

The downside is that there is not much bandwidth available at L-Band compared to the the higher frequency C-band and Ku-band and is therefore at a premium. As an analogy, the value of L-Band bandwidth is like city real estate, whereas C and Ku-Band are like country farmland.

Inmarsat provides global coverage (except extreme polar regions) using 3 or 4 dedicated, geostationary satellites to over 200 000 maritime terminals.

The legacy I3 satelites use 4 satellites positioned at:    
IOR Indian Ocean Region 64.0E  
AOR-E Atlantic Ocean Region East 15.5W  
AOR-W Atlantic Ocean Region West 53.0W  
POR pacific Ocean Region 178.0E  
These are used for Fleet 77, Fleet 55, Fleet 33 and Inmarsat B, and C

The new technology Fleet Broadband is covered by three I4 satellites at
Americas 98o W N and S America, E. Pacific
EMEA 25o E Europe, Middle East and Africa
Asia-Pacific 143.5oE India, China, Australia, W.Pacific
Inmarsat has announced that it will provide a seamless, global Ka-Band VSAT service to antennas as small as 20 cm, beginning in 2014

The new Inmarsat F5 constellation, provided by Boeing will commence operation in 2014 under the name of Global Xpress™. It is said that the service will be faster and less expensive than current Ku-band offerings, and it will be delivered to smaller and cheaper terminals.

LONDON, February 18, 2011. Inmarsat  announced today that  they have awarded  US$60m contract to iDirect to provide the ground network infrastructure and core module technology for the satellite terminals for their Ka-band Global Xpress service.

iDirect will design, develop, manufacture, test and commission the Global Xpress Ground Network Infrastructure.iDirect will supply a Global Xpress compatible Core Module for integration into Maritime satellite terminals. iDirect also plans to produce a range of Global Xpress Core Modules specifically designed for the Aeronautical and Government sectors. The network and Core Modules that iDirect will deliver will be fully consistent with the Global Xpress objective delivering up to 50Mbps downlink speeds to 60cm aperture terminals.

Global Xpress is planned to commence commercial services in 2013."

Inmarsat has bought Ship Equip, for US$159.5 million.

Ship Equip has an installed base of over 900 vessels using its SEVSAT. Revenues for Ship Equip for 2010 were approximately $56 million.Ship Equip will be part of Inmarsat Solutions Limited and operate as a separate subsidiary alongside the Stratos and Segovia.



"Ship Equip is the perfect partner for Inmarsat, bringing a large installed base of maritime VSAT customers, who we expect to be in the forefront of the transition to Global Xpress services, and a management team with extensive knowledge of VSAT operations and customers, to help us ensure that Global Xpress is a compelling proposition for the maritime community."

See more details at Digital Ship