Mobile satellite communications services provider, Inmarsat, has awarded Telecom NZ the contract to build and manage one of its Pacific Ocean Region (POR) satellite access stations (SAS) for Global Xpress (GX).
According to Inmarsat, the contract is a significant milestone in the development and deployment of its GX network which promises to deliver the world’s first global Ka-band network to provide users with broadband speeds of up to 50Mbps.
The GX satellite antenna will be housed at Telecom’s Warkworth Satellite Earth station near Auckland. The telecommunications provider is currently developing the site to cater for the hardware.
“In choosing a location for a satellite earth station it needs to be cost-effective and have reliable connectivity for the rest of the world,” Telecom wholesale and international general manager, Nick Clarke, said. “Given the scale, we had to prove our capability at our Satellite Earth Station as well as our National Transport Service, which will backhaul the satellite data when it hits earth and carry it internationally on the Southern Cross Cable.”
Warkworth will act as a co-primary GX SAS for the POR, alongside Inmarsat’s own Land Earth Station and Teleport, based in Auckland. Both will act as gateways between the broadband traffic routed via the POR satellite and terrestrial fixed networks.
“The sites for all six GX satellite access stations have now been selected and operational readiness is well advanced on the stations supporting our first Inmarsat-5 satellite serving the Indian Ocean Region, which we expect to launch around the turn of the year,” Inmarsat growth management and support managing director, Leo Mondale, said.
The full Inmarsat-5 constellation is scheduled to be deployed by the end of 2014. The satellites are currently under construction or testing at Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems’ El Segundo facility in California.
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