Inmarsat, the satellite voice and data communications company, have announce a $1.2bn (£750 million) investment in 3 new Ka-band satellites which will deliver speeds of up to 50Mbps to customers. The new satellites will be built and deployed by Boeing, and are of their state-of-the-art 702HP range which will form the Inmarsat-5 constellation.
The target market is for ships or aircraft which will be able to deliver 50meg broadband to customers, revolutionising the way people work when they are on the move. With a smaller iPad sized antenna, users could expect to receive around 10Mbps. There is obviously scope for this to be used for fixed broadband services too which could help plug some broadband not-spots using high-speed access if the service is affordable. Boeing have already committed to become a distribution partner which will use around 10% of the available capacity in the first five years after launch.
"This is a new investment for growth. With the Global Xpress network, we will be the first operator to offer global broadband coverage, offering unparalleled speeds and bandwidth to customers in remote locations around the world.
Global Xpress will be faster and less expensive than current Ku-band market offerings, it will be delivered to smaller and cheaper terminals and be the first offered on a seamless, global, end-to-end basis with high-quality of service."Andrew Sukawaty, (Chairman/CEO) Inmarsat
Inmarsat expect to launch their new Global Xpress service using these satellites in 2014.