Inmarsat and Space Norway to improve Arctic connectivity

Inmarsat and Space Norway to improve Arctic connectivity
Ronald Spithout believes the satellites will improve connectivity for cruise ships sailing in the Arctic (Image: Inmarsat)

Mobile satellite communications firm Inmarsat and Space Norway, part of the Norwegian Space Centre, have partnered to improve mobile broadband connectivity for cruise ships in the Arctic. Inmarsat will launch two new satellite payloads in 2022 to do so. 

The new Global Xpress (GX) payloads support the growing demand for reliable and high-speed broadband services in the region, particularly from the cruise, merchant shipping and fishing sectors, where connectivity is crucial for improving operational efficiency. The GX payloads will transform Inmarsat’s current maritime communications technology, Fleet Xpress.  

“I would like to thank Space Norway for providing this opportunity to deliver dedicated GX capacity in the Arctic region,” said Ronald Spithout, president of Inmarsat Maritime. “Connectivity in the Arctic region for the maritime industry is growing in importance as merchant, fishing and cruise ships transit new high-value waterways. With close to 7,000 vessels already using Fleet Xpress, we will always seek to be ahead of where our customers are going and what they demand from us. 

“This enhancement is fully backward compatible with our existing Fleet Xpress service and will strengthen coverage over the Arctic to provide the connectivity needed by our customers now and into the future.”

The satellites, which are scheduled to launch in 2022, will be operated by Space Norway’s Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission team. Their compatibility with Fleet Xpress aims to ensure that current cruise, maritime, offshore and fishing customers can benefit from the further extension of the network.

“In close collaboration with Inmarsat and government partners we are about to get in place a strategically important capacity for all those currently operating in the Arctic without access to broadband capabilities,” said Jostein Rønnerberg, CEO of Space Norway. “We are proud to join forces with Inmarsat and we are confident that this collaboration will be welcomed by those operating in the High North.”

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Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts
10 July 2019

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