High-Throughput Satellite Market Still Expanding

By Graham Warwick , William N. Ostrove
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
December 30, 2013
Credit: Inmarsat

Growth in high-throughput communications satellite capacity continues with the Dec. 9 launch of the first of Inmarsat's four Global Xpress Ka-band spacecraft. By the end of 2014, when three of the new Inmarsat-5s are planned to be in orbit, Inmarsat will be the first operator to provide global Ka-band services to fixed and mobile terminals with speeds up to 50 Mbps.

The Global Xpress constellation of Boeing 702HP satellites, which includes a fourth spacecraft on order to provide redundancy and additional capacity, represents a $1.6 billion investment by Inmarsat in the mobile broadband market. Satellites are a popular solution for mobile communications, such as to aircraft in flight and ships at sea. Carriers such as United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and JetBlue plan to add Wi-Fi across their entire fleets of aircraft.

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