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15th December 2014

Inmarsat updates maritime market on GlobalXpress developments: Fleet Xpress and FleetBroadband Xpress

Inmarsat has revealed the latest news on its Global Xpress (GX) project, and announced the launch of FleetBroadband Xpress, an interim product for maritime that will take advantage of GX Ka-band functionality as it becomes available.

Fleet Xpress

The full global Ka-band service for the maritime market delivered over the GX network, will now be known as Fleet Xpress, following the launch of the second and third satellites in the constellation. The hybrid solution uses the Global Xpress network as a priority, and with backup from the FleetBroadband service offering a truly global service providing data connectivity to maritime customers anywhere in the world.

FleetBroadband Xpress

Inmarsat has also announced the launch of FleetBroadband Xpress, a product that will deliver a combination of Ka and L-band functionality similar to that planned for Fleet Xpress, but with the Ka-band connectivity initially limited to the Indian Ocean region covered by the F-1 satellite’s footprint.


Inmarsat will automatically add capacity from their Atlantic Ocean region and Pacific Ocean region when the satellites are available for commercial traffic, and once FleetBroadband Xpress reaches end of life, and there will be a transitional period to allow customers then to move to Fleet Xpress.

No data limits will apply when operating under Ka-band coverage, but fair use restrictions will be in place once vessels travel outside the footprint of the F-1 satellite and switch over to L-band.


XpressLink, Inmarsat’s global Ku-band offering, will continue to exist in the short-term, providing VSAT services globally. However, once the F-2 and F-3 satellites are launched, and Fleet Xpress becomes fully global, Inmarsat hopes to migrate customers to Fleet Xpress in order to use the capacity on the Global Xpress network as soon as possible.

Global Xpress

The completion of the Global Xpress network has been delayed due to issues with the Russian Proton launch vehicle that Inmarsat has contracted to transport its first three GX satellites into geostationary orbit.  

The F-2 satellite is scheduled to launch in early 2015, and full global service is expected early in the second half of 2015 with the launch of the F-3. A back-up fourth satellite in the GX constellation, due to be delivered in 2016, will be launched by US company SpaceX as and when Inmarsat decides to deploy it.

The capabilities of GX as with the current single Ka-band satellite in orbit, were recently demonstrated with the first live video streaming tests transmitting both SD and HD video, attaining speeds up to 4Mbps using a Cobham Explorer 5075 GX flyaway terminal (an antenna designed for land-based usage). 

To learn more about FleetXpress and FleetBroadband Xpress, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly experts in your region.

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