Inmarsat has expanded its 14-geostationary satellite fleet with the launch of the first of seven dual-band communications spacecraft planned for liftoff through 2024.
The Inmarsat-6 F1 satellite took off Wednesday aboard Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ H-IIA launch rocket from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, to form the company’s next-generation satellite broadband network, the U.K.-based satellite telecommunications provider said Thursday.
The Airbus-built I-6 F1 satellite carries hybrid Ka-band and L-band payloads supporting existing terminals for Inmarsat’s ELERA and Global Xpress networks to provide enhanced mobile satellite communications services to customers.
“This satellite extends our world leading mobile satellite communications services for our customers and partners, especially in the Indo Pacific region,” said Rajeev Suri, CEO of Inmarsat.
I-6 F1 will use its all-electric propulsion system to position itself in geostationary orbit and undergo tests before entering service in 2023.
According to Inmarsat, the launch of seven I-6 satellites is part of its fully-funded technology roadmap.