Inmarsat next-generation satellites set to transform IFC for business aviation market

posted on 5th June 2019 by Justin Burns

Global mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat has announced that its ground-breaking new generation of satellites will mark an important step-change in inflight broadband capabilities for the global business aviation market.

Airbus Defence & Space has been selected to deliver Inmarsat’s newest fleet of satellites as part of a long-term strategy to develop the most agile, flexible, diverse and cost-effective constellation ever conceived.

The satellites, named GX7, 8 & 9, are optimised for real-time mobility and feature thousands of dynamically-formed beams that direct capacity with laser-like precision over high-demand areas. 

The new satellites are scheduled to launch from 2023 and build upon the existing GX high-speed global network, which consists of four satellites already in operation and three more being launched over the next three years.

The network powers Inmarsat’s highly successful Jet ConneX inflight broadband solution, which has already been installed on more than 500 business aviation aircraft across the world. 

With focused, ultra-high-power capacity layered over high demand flight routes and airport hubs during peak hours, the satellites will revolutionise business aviation connectivity. The network will immediately relocate capacity in line with real-time flight patterns and seasonal demand surges across the globe, future-proofing the ability for business aviation customers to invest in a consistently high quality of service for passengers into the future.

The network can rapidly grow capacity for customers through in-orbit repositioning or even launching a new satellite, making it perfectly suited to meet the business aviation industry’s ever-changing needs. In addition, each satellite will be equipped for remote upgrades to ensure the network remains at the cutting-edge of innovation.

Breaking from industry tradition to enable a faster response to growing customer demand, the next-generation GX satellites will be delivered significantly faster than traditional procurement lifecycles. In addition, the newly announced satellites provide backward compatibility, allowing existing business aviation customers to also benefit from even greater capabilities of the GX network.

Inmarsat Aviation’s senior vice president of Channel, Kai Tang said: “Jet ConneX has firmly established itself as the gold standard for business aviation inflight broadband. It is built on 40 years of Inmarsat’s experience in global, mobile connectivity and we are proud of that leadership over the years, paving the way with our partners for what a reliable and trusted connectivity service looks like for the most demanding and important customers. 

“That’s exactly what we’re doing with the announcement of the GX7, 8 & 9 satellites, which will introduce an unprecedented wealth of new capabilities to our market and for our partners to build on. The news has already elicited an overwhelming response and we look forward to implementing the technology with our global network of value added resellers – Collins Aerospace, Honeywell and Satcom Direct.”