Inmarsat demonstrates seamless Global Xpress connectivity in VIP aircraft worldwide test flight
Inmarsat has announced the successful completion of its Global Xpress
‘Around the World’ test flight. The exercise, conducted on a Gulfstream IV aircraft between
June 5 and June 11, 2017, covered more than 25,000 miles and demonstrated Global
Xpress’ ability to deliver seamless, worldwide coverage across multiple spot beams and
While government and business users have historically had to manipulate flight plans to
avoid gaps in coverage and performance, the test flight enjoyed complete flexibility in route selection. The flight route spanned the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, beginning in the United States with stops in the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Australia and Fiji.
A Global Xpress subscription-based data plan was configured for the Honeywell aero Tail
Mount Antenna (TMA), with a committed information rate of 4Mbps forward and 1Mbps
return but capable of 15Mbps or more. Uniform coverage and service was delivered to the
aircraft as it moved across 28 beams with handovers that went unnoticed by users; and 3
satellite-to-satellite handovers that were accomplished seamlessly.
The terminal’s global plan enabled access to the Global Xpress network worldwide without
the need to pre-coordinate and receive satellite-specific option files. During the flight, Global Xpress supported mission-critical voice, data and streaming applications to include video teleconferencing, high-speed Internet access and file transfer, VPN as well as phone calls, and fully delivered or exceeded the committed information rate.
Inmarsat’s always-on worldwide capability for VIP aircraft customers is part of the
company’s global mobility-centric strategy, unique in the market. Inmarsat has been
supporting the demanding ‘go anywhere, anytime’ nature of aviation operations for decades, and is the market leader in providing a consistent, reliable L-band connectivity experience for users around the world. Global Xpress continues Inmarsat’s commitment in this arena.
Global Xpress is the first and only end-to-end commercial Ka-band solution that delivers
worldwide service. Inmarsat builds its commercial satellite systems from the ground up with mobile users in mind, thereby, augmenting military satellite resources cost effectively, for optimal redundancy, diversity, protection, scalability and global portability – the ultimate resilience approach. With four Inmarsat-5 geostationary high-capacity satellites linked as one network, Global Xpress provides seamless, high-throughput coverage. Global Xpress’ spot beam architecture ensures uniform distribution of capacity, allowing for consistent, uninterrupted connectivity no matter where the user is operating. Steerable antennas on each Global Xpress satellite enable flexible augmentation of network capacity, as driven by user demand.
Inmarsat offers Global Xpress as an end-to-end managed subscription service – SATCOM as a Service – that enables access to an always-on, worldwide network with 24/7 management, monitoring and support. With no infrastructure charges or R&D investment on their part, customers travel from one location to another, and simply ‘plug in’ to Global Xpress to get what they need, where they need it, and when they need it.
“This Gulfstream IV ‘Around the World’ test flight demonstrates Inmarsat’s ability to deliver
reliable, seamless next-generation wideband connectivity for aeronautical users,” said Steve Gizinski, Vice President of Special Programs, Inmarsat U.S. Government Business Unit. “Highly mobile, bandwidth-hungry government and commercial users can now travel the world and enjoy connectivity that allows them to conduct business as if they were in the office … even while 40,000 feet in the air.”