Global mobile satellite communications services provider Inmarsat launched the fourth high-speed broadband communications satellite in its Global Xpress program, Inmarsat-5 F4 (I-5 F4).

According to Inmarsat, the Boeing-built I-5 F4 satellite was launched May 16 by SpaceX on a Falcon 9 rocket at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

I-5 F4 joins the three GX satellites already in orbit, which have, since December 2015, been “delivering unprecedented service speeds, global coverage, reliability and security to users on land, at sea and in the air,” Inmarsat said in a statement.  “The fourth satellite adds further capacity to the GX network, as well as in-orbit redundancy that further upgrades the reliability and resilience of Inmarsat’s service offerings.”

Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce said, “Delivering global commercial services over the GX network, which we achieved at the end of 2015, was only the start of our Global Xpress project. I-5 F4 augments the capabilities of GX and, alongside our existing L-band constellations, enables Inmarsat to provide guaranteed global connectivity to industries and governments worldwide.”

Inmarsat GX is the first globally available, broadband connectivity service and was created to enable communities across the world to benefit from the emerging digital society.

The first Global Xpress satellite—Inmarsat-5 F1—was launched in December 2013 and entered commercial service in July 2014, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. This was followed by the launch of Inmarsat-5 F2 on Feb. 1, 2015, which covers the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean and entered commercial service in August. Inmarsat-5 F3 was launched Aug. 28, 2015, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on an International Launch Services Proton Breeze M launch vehicle.

Linda Blachly