The first of three Inmarsat-5 satellites forming the Global Xpress network blasted off on a Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 8 December.
[Photograph shows the launch of Inmarsat-5 F1 from Kazakhstan at 12.12 GMT]
Global Xpress, the fleet of spacecraft is the result of a US$1.6 billion investment by Inmarsat, which will create the world’s first high-speed up to 50Mbps, globally available mobile broadband service.
When all three Global Xpress satellites have been launched – by the end of next year – Inmarsat will offer fast broadband connectivity to the remotest places on Earth, throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia – from the middle of an ocean to the heart of the Amazon, and for aircraft flying at 40,000ft.
Global Xpress is expected to deliver mobile broadband services 100x times faster than Inmarsat’s current Inmarsat-4 fleet.
Five fast facts of Global Xpress:
- Global Xpress is a world first – offering the only globally available mobile high speed broadband service (up to 50Mbps to mobile or fixed terminals).
- The Inmarsat-5 fleet was constructed by Boeing Satellite Systems International, Inc. (Boeing) to a proven design.
- All three spacecraft in the new fleet are being launched by International Launch Services (ILS) using a Proton Breeze M rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
- The Inmarsat-5 satellites will fly in a geo-synchronous orbit at 7,000 miles per hour some 22,000 miles above the Earth’s surface.
- External temperatures for the spacecraft in orbit exceed 200 degrees Fahrenheit, while when in shadow, the satellite’s surface can reach 200 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.
Inmarsat has been providing global mobile voice and data services for over 30 years. The company’s existing fleet of 10 satellites is used by governments, airlines (Aviation), ship owners (Maritime), energy companies, the world’s top news broadcasters and leading humanitarian organisations – among others – for data and voice services.
The Inmarsat services are also available in Malaysia via local partners such as Amberon Sdn. Bhd.& Radii Teknologi Sdn. Bhd.