Global Xpress is a Ka Band VSAT service that will offer downlink speeds of up to 50Mbps, and up to 5Mbps over the uplink, from compact user terminals.
To deliver this service, Inmarsat is investing US$1.2 billion in infrastructure that includes the new Inmarsat-5 satellites constructed by Boeing. Boeing will construct three Inmarsat-5 (I-5) satellites based on its 702HP spacecraft platform. The first is scheduled for completion in 2013.
Each Inmarsat-5 spacecraft will support users worldwide with Ka-band capacity from geosynchronous orbit, providing flexible global coverage using both fixed and steerable beams. The satellites are designed to generate some 14 kilowatts of payload power guaranteed throughout their 15-year design life.
The Inmarsat-5 satellites will provide customers with a comprehensive range of global mobile satellite services, including mobile broadband communications for deep-sea vessels, in-flight connectivity for airline passengers and streaming high-resolution video, voice and data.
Global Xpress for Enterprise & Energy
The energy sector will experience a burgeoning demand for high-bandwidth communications in the coming decades, as providers develop and roll out new technologies to support cleaner generation and production, as well as smarter consumption. The Global Xpress service will be launched in 2013, when it will start meeting that demand in remote areas where fixed-line communications are unreliable or unavailable.
Energy companies operate in some of the world’s most remote and hostile environments, building facilities and deploying equipment and personnel. Global Xpress will support them in areas such as connecting offshore sites to onshore sites and head offices. It can support operational applications, such as monitoring activities, as well as voice and data.
Low-carbon power generation, such as wind and wave power, occurs in areas that are hard to access, and may be cut off from fixed-line broadband links. In the construction phase for these facilities, which could last several years, Global Xpress will offer guaranteed high-bandwidth connectivity for a permanent office in any location onshore or offshore. While the full capacity of Global Xpress might not be required every day, it will enable occasional bandwidth-hungry services such as videoconferencing with multiple participants and it will help to maintain team welfare by delivering real-time TV, high-volume internet access and multiple simultaneous voice calls.
Each Inmarsat-5 spacecraft will support users worldwide with Ka-band capacity from geosynchronous orbit, providing flexible global coverage. Global Xpress will enable Energy companies to employ video monitoring of remote sites and infrastructure. For example, you could place cameras at regular intervals along the length of an oil or gas pipeline, using a relay point to maintain unbroken coverage of the installation over a single broadband connection.
Business continuity is vital for utilities that provide essential services such as electricity, water and gas to millions of people, so they need to be able to recover immediately from natural or manmade disasters. When a catastrophic event causes terrestrial networks to fail, utilities will be able to deploy Global Xpress terminals rapidly at key sites. They will enable utilities to maintain communications and run critical applications. For example, Global Xpress will offer a fully secure, scalable, end-to-end network to protect Smart Grid data and resources, and could be used to provide live video links for teams working to restore electricity, water or gas supplies.
Global Xpress for Maritime
Since 1979, Inmarsat has provided global mobile satellite communications to customers across the maritime sector. Over this period it has developed a reputation for reliable, highly available voice and data communications, keeping vessels in touch with shore, and each other, wherever they are in the world.
Global Xpress will revolutionise broadband services in the maritime world – while maintaining the outstanding quality, global coverage and seamless mobility customers have come to expect from Inmarsat. Global Xpress will complement the existing suite of maritime services, giving customers the flexibility and choice of services to fit their needs and requirements.
With superior engineering and quality, and backed by the L-band resilience of FleetBroadband, the Global Xpress solution will exceed the levels of service offered by existing broadband VSAT services. Global Xpress will offer significantly better throughput, at prices comparable with today’s slower VSAT services.
Global Xpress will be available globally through smaller antennas than today’s standard VSAT Ku maritime antennas. This will enable many more ships to take advantage of the superior speeds and service.
As the need for better crew benefits grows, Global Xpress will be ideal to provide a high-quality user experience for browsing, voice and media services. In addition, integrating the ship into the corporate office as a part of the enterprise will become reality, and not just a sales pitch. The advent of modern electronics means ships’ systems can be monitored in real time – and Global Xpress will be best placed to meet customer requirements in terms of throughput and cost.
Global Xpress is the broadband of the future for maritime customers, offering speed, quality and service at a level beyond what is available today. Customers’ needs and requirements will be paramount, and Inmarsat intends to provide a quality user experience at a cost-effective and acceptable price that today’s VSAT services cannot match.