Inmarsat, Cobham Enter Maritime Global Xpress Partnership

[Satellite TODAY Insider 03-03-11] Inmarsat has selected Cobham as its maritime satellite terminal launch partner to support Inmarsat’s upcoming Global Xpress service, the mobile operator announced March 2.
    Inmarsat issued $40 million in contracts to Cobham subsidiary Sea Tel to develop, manufacture, test and distribute Global Xpress maritime satellite terminals during the next five years. Sea Tel also will distribute the new terminals and provide training and support prior to the launch of the first satellite.
    Sea Tel General Manager Rick Pearson said his company would develop the new Ka-band terminal utilizing a core module developed by iDirect. “Sea Tel will build the next generation of the most rugged and reliable maritime terminals for Inmarsat’s next generation Ka-band satellites, which will be fully consistent with the Global Xpress objective of delivering up to 50 Mbps downlink speeds to a 60-centimeter aperture. These terminals will be ready for service introduction in 2013,” Pearson told Satellite TODAY Insider.
    The Cobham partnership deal follows Inmarsat’s similar agreements with both iDirect and Cobham, as well as the appointment of Frank Coles as Inmarsat’s Senior Director of Global Xpress Maritime Services for its Global Xpress.
    Maritime services are a major service revenue generator for Inmarsat. In the fourth quarter of 2010, Inmarsat generated $91.6 million in maritime revenues and increased its number of active maritime terminals by 5.8 percent.
    Inmarsat CEO Andy Sukawaty previously told Satellite TODAY Insider that the operator is positioning itself to capitalize on the Ka-band maritime market in 2011. “That market is not growing particularly rapidly, but it is growing. The high-end companies in the shipping industry are somewhat moving in this direction, but much more slowly. It is a market that will develop but much more slowly over time.”

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