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Better In-Flight Wi-Fi Is Coming… From Space

Better In-Flight Wi-Fi Is Coming… From Space
Jackie Reddy

Inmarsat’s GX5 satellite launched into orbit on Friday, November 22nd from French Guiana. The company says that the device is the most advanced model within the GX fleet and that it has the potential to increase global broadband coverage both in the skies and across big swathes of the globe.

Inmarsat, a London-based satellite company, launched a new satellite into orbit. The device, the Global Xpress 5 or GX5, will be put into orbit by Inmarsat’s launch partner Arianespace. The launch is to take place at 08:45 p.m. at Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

In a statement, the company explained that this particular type of satellite “is the most advanced satellite in the Global Xpress (GX) fleet”.

Increasing Wi-Fi Worldwide

It added that “In less than four years, GX has become the gold standard for seamless, globally available, mobile broadband services across multiple industry sectors with thousands of active users throughout the aviation, maritime and government sectors.”

In comparison to older models from its GX fleet of satellites, this device, the company says, “…is significantly more powerful than any previous GX satellite, providing more capacity than the existing four GX satellites already in service combined, is 25 per cent smaller and was delivered much more quickly, in just two and a half years from order to launch.”

Further elaborating on the significance of the launch, it said that the occasion, “…represents a significant further advance in the capabilities of Inmarsat’s global broadband service and will cover the Europe and Middle East regions, meeting in particular demand for aviation passenger Wi-Fi, commercial maritime and government user connectivity.”

According to the company, the estimated mission time of the satellite is 34 minutes and seven seconds. This latest launch by Inmarsat will enable the company to “double” its Wi-Fi offerings to passengers.

A Glimpse of Things to Come

Speaking of the imminent launch last week, Peter Hadinger, Inmarsat’s chief technology officer, said, “All of us at Inmarsat are excited at the prospect of the launch of GX5 next week, an important step in the continued expansion of the Global Xpress network as the first of eight advanced GX payloads to launch over the next four years.”

He added, “GX5 represents a further leap forward technologically and will deliver significantly more capacity to customers in Europe and the Middle East. Together with our partners at Thales Alenia Space and Arianespace, we look forward to the launch from Kourou, marking the completion of an exemplary technology partnership between our companies as well as the beginning of a new era for the world’s only globally-available, true mobile broadband service.”

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