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Cobham Says It Can Reduce Installation Costs for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress

By Kendall Russell | November 29, 2017
Rendition of Cobham's GX antenna diversity solution. Photo: Cobham Satcom.

Rendition of Cobham’s GX antenna diversity solution. Photo: Cobham Satcom.

Cobham Satcom has revealed a new solution that it claims can significantly reduce the cost and simplify the installation and management of Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) networks using multiple Ka-band antennas. Multiple antennas are frequently used on board to overcome link losses caused by satellite blocking from the ship structure or other deck equipment.

According to the company, the solution has already received Inmarsat type approval for use with the Inmarsat GX satellite systems. Supported by the single cable solution used on Sailor antennas, Cobham Satcom stated it has overcome the need to add a 19-inch rack unit to operate a multiple antenna system, introducing potential installation savings in the region of $10,000.

The solution helps enable higher uptime and quality of service for end-users of Sailor GX antennas connected to Fleet Xpress. It can integrate two Sailor 100 GX antennas on a single Sailor GX modem unit, while ensuring seamless switching between them according to availability of a stable link based on orientation of the vessel, and to Sailor FleetBroadband for operational continuity also when out of Ka-band coverage.

In addition to the cost benefits, Cobham Satcom stated its new solution introduces a simplified way to configure and manage antennas for specific blocking zones on board and therefore ensure service availability should the current operational antenna be blocked by the vessel’s superstructure.

“Multiple antenna installations can be complex to plan, install, commission and manage. While we have worked closely with the industry to simplify the process for existing satellite networks and frequencies, the same blocking issues persist for Global Xpress. The Sailor GX Antenna Diversity Solution meets a specific demand in the market as it is a simple and highly cost-effective way for service providers to optimize Fleet Xpress and secure the most reliable service for the end-users,” said Jens Ewerling, director of maritime broadband for Cobham Satcom.