- Satellite Evolution
BSNL receives license to operate Inmarsat's world-leading global Xpress satcom services in India
Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, today confirmed that its strategic partner BSNL has received the necessary licenses to deliver Inmarsat’s world-leading Global Xpress (GX) mobile broadband services in India.
Under BSNL’s Inflight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC) licence from the Department of Telecommunications, GX will be available to Indian customers across government, aviation and maritime.
The announcement means that India’s airlines will be able to deploy GX for in-flight connectivity within India and throughout the world, while India’s commercial maritime companies will be able to enhance significantly the digitalisation of their vessels for more effective ship operations and crew welfare services. BSNL’s license will also see the award-winning GX service offered to government and other users. There will be a phased introduction of services for customers and partners.
Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat CEO, said: “Today is a significant day for Inmarsat and our valued, long-term partnership with India, which was a signatory to the founding treaty establishing Inmarsat in 1979. Inmarsat is delighted to make the world’s only global high-speed mobile broadband Ka-band network available to the Government and businesses in India through our partner BSNL. We are committed to India and the company has been a trusted partner for the Indian government for four decades. Today’s announcement, which we share proudly with our friends at BSNL, will help to underpin the further economic growth that we all wish to see in India.”
GX, operating in the Ka-band, is the first and only high-speed broadband network designed for mobility and government customers to seamlessly span the world. This market-leading service delivers the high bandwidth, reliability and security that commercial and government-grade mobility customers demand. GX is continually evolving to offer even more capacity, capabilities and operational agility for Inmarsat customers now and well into the future. The company is launching a further seven GX satellites, including its next generation GX satellites, over the coming three years, each of which will add more capacity into a single region than the first four satellites combined. The GX gateway for India is located in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Chairman and Managing Director of BSNL, Mr P.K. Purwar said: “BSNL and Inmarsat are delighted to share this key milestone with our partners and customers in India. Global Xpress is recognised as the world’s best high-speed satellite communications service for government and mobility business customers and we are very pleased to make these capabilities available to users in India. All of us at BSNL appreciate the commitment to excellence shown by the Indian Government as we have worked on approvals to deliver this service to the country. Equally, we thank our partner Inmarsat for their spirit of collaboration in reaching today’s milestone to help power forward economic development in India through higher quality connectivity for our customers.”
Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet Ltd, said: “We are delighted that Global Xpress, the world-leading passenger inflight connectivity service, is now coming to India. We are looking forward to offering this ground-breaking connectivity service to our passengers later this year, when we introduce our new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. It will enable our customers to remain connected in the air as they do on the ground.”
Gautam Sharma, Inmarsat India Managing Director, said: “Inmarsat is well-positioned to partner with the Indian government to address the ever-growing demand for reliable, mobile satellite communication services across a broad range of commercial and public sectors. Following the successful introduction of Inmarsat’s voice and broadband data communication services across India in the past, today we are announcing that Inmarsat’s award-winning Global Xpress services has now secured the necessary licenses through our valued partner BSNL. Global Xpress is the gold standard of high-speed satellite mobile broadband communications. It will enable Indian domestic airlines and international airlines flying over India to provide the world’s fastest inflight connectivity. It will also speed up the digitalisation of Indian-flagged maritime vessels and give an edge to the Indian Government, including its defence forces. We are proud to be led by Rajeev Suri, an Indian-born global leader as we unlock the next phase of commitment to the Indian government and Indian market.”
Inmarsat recently unveiled plans for ORCHESTRA, the communications network of the future, which will bring the company’s existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellite networks [GX and Inmarsat ELERA operating in the L-band] together with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G to form an integrated, high-performance solution, unmatched by any existing or planned competitor offering. ORCHESTRA allows capacity to be boosted in high-density areas such as at airports and maritime ports, eliminating network ‘hot spot’ congestion forever and ensuring that the connectivity needs of mobility and government customers continue to be met for decades to come, with capacity scaled directly to match their requirements.