Mobile satellite communications provider Inmarsat has awarded Telecom, New Zealand with a contract to establish and manage one of Inmarsat’s Pacific Ocean Region (POR) satellite access stations (SAS) for Global Xpress (GX).
The contract for this POR GX SAS marks an important milestone in the development and deployment of Inmarsat’s GX network, which will deliver the world’s first global Ka-band network, providing mobile users with true broadband speeds of up to 50Mbps.
Telecom will develop its Warkworth satellite earth station, located near Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island, to host Inmarsat and its GX satellite antenna. Warkworth will act as a co-primary GX SAS for the POR, alongside Inmarsat’s own land earth station and teleport based in Auckland. Both will act as gateways between the broadband traffic routed via the POR satellite and terrestrial fixed networks.
"We’re pleased to be a part of Inmarsat’s vision of better connectivity for New Zealand," said Nick Clarke, Telecom’s GM Wholesale and International. “The scale of this project reinforces that New Zealand can meet demand for security of international bandwidth supply at competitive prices. In choosing a location for a satellite earth station it needs to be cost-effective and have reliable connectivity to the rest of the world.
“Given the scale, we had to prove our capability at our satellite earth station as well as our national transport service, which will backhaul the satellite data when it hits earth and carry it internationally on the Southern Cross Cable," said Clarke.
“The GX development programme is on time and on budget,” said Leo Mondale, managing director, growth management & support (GMS), Inmarsat. “The sites for all six GX satellite access stations have now been selected and operational readiness is well advanced on the stations supporting our first Inmarsat-5 satellite serving the Indian Ocean Region, which we expect to launch around the turn of the year.”
The full Inmarsat-5 constellation is on course to deployed by the end of 2014, providing a single global broadband service which can be accessed by users on land, at sea and in the air. The satellites are currently under construction or testing at Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems’ (S&IS) El Segundo facility in California, USA.