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Inmarsat Completes First Orchestra Technical Trials in Singapore

By | May 19, 2022
Inmarsat's London Headquarters. Photo: Inmarsat

Inmarsat’s London Headquarters. Photo: Inmarsat

Inmarsat completed the first phase of testing for its new Orchestra network, which aims to bring together existing GEO satellites with LEO satellites and terrestrial 5G into an integrated solution.

In an announcement posted May 19, the operator confirmed that the tests took place in Singapore between land-based signal towers and ships offshore using Inmarsat proprietary technologies across various combinations of frequency bands and terminal equipment onboard vessels. The company said it chose Singapore because it is one of the world’s busiest container ports, as well as being one of the most demanding environments because of equatorial weather conditions such as heavy rain and high humidity.

Inmarsat first announced its network plans for Orchestra back in July 2021. The system is designed to include close to 200 satellites built and launched between 2025 and 2030. At the time, the company said it planned to invest $100 million into Orchestra in the initial five years until 2026.

In November, Viasat reached an agreement with Inmarsat to acquire the company for $7.3 billion, including $850 million in cash, 46.36 million Viasat shares valued at $3.1 billion, assuming $3.4 billion of net debt. Neither Viasat nor Inmarsat have signaled that the acquisition would change plans for Orchestra.

“The demand for connectivity is growing constantly and Inmarsat continues to anticipate the needs of our customers, meeting future demand from them through the multi-network power of Orchestra. Today’s news is real world proof of how Inmarsat Orchestra will tackle emerging hotspots in busy maritime areas such as congested ports and shipping lanes via terrestrial connectivity to supplement our global satellite networks,” Peter Hadinger, Chief Technology Officer at Inmarsat, said in a statement.