Inmarsat unveiled plans for its next generation of satellites in partnership with Airbus to pave the way for the future of business aircraft in-flight connectivity and reinforce its Jet ConneX service for the long-term. Airbus Defence & Space will provide the new satellite fleet, GX7, 8, and 9, which will be optimized for real-time mobility with dynamically-formed beams that enable capacity “with laser-like precision” over high-demand areas, Inmarsat said.
Scheduled to launch beginning in 2023, the new satellites will build upon the existing GX network comprising four satellites in operation and three more set to launch over the next three years. Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX inflight broadband service is provided through the GX network.
During EBACE this month, the global organization celebrated the installation of Jet ConneX systems aboard more than 500 business aircraft worldwide and rolled out a new program, JX-Pro, that will provide unlimited usage and up to a 33 percent boost in speeds.
Calling the next generation an “important step-change” in broadband capabilities, Inmarsat said the new constellation will provide focused, ultra-high-power capacity over high-demand flight routes during peak hours and have the ability to immediately relocate capacity with real-time demand flight patterns and seasonal demand surges. The satellites will be configured for remote upgrades as new technologies are developed over time.
The satellites further will have “backward compatibility,” meaning existing business aviation customers will be able to take advantage of the additional capabilities they will bring.
The GX7, 8, and 9 satellites “will introduce an unprecedented wealth of new capabilities to our market and for our partners to build on,” said Kai Tang, Inmarsat Aviation senior v-p of business and general aviation. “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.”