Inmarsat Rolls Out an Integrated Multi-Network Satcom Service

Inmarsat's new service will integrate the new ViaSat-3 satellite service when ready in 2025 (Viasat)

Published May 20, 2024 4:36 PM by The Maritime Executive

Leveraging its recent combination with American satcom giant Viasat, longtime maritime connectivity leader Inmarsat is launching a managed plan that integrates GEO, LEO and LTE in one product - with one unified cybersecurity service. 

Low-earth orbit (LEO) satcom services have shaken up the sector over the past two years, particularly SpaceX's Starlink, which offers high bandwidth and low latency at a lower cost point than many competitors. But for commercial maritime, reliability and universal coverage are at a premium. Inmarsat believes that by providing a unified commercial-grade package with multiple satellite constellations - including Viasat's next-gen ViaSat-3, coming to market next year - it can offer maritime operators a service with higher uptime and an "unparalleled experience." 

"At a time when reliable communications are a competitive advantage, maritime operators are seeking a value proposition tailored to their needs and rooted in high performance, certainty, and targeted outcomes," said Inmarsat Maritime President Ben Palmer OBE. "This is where NexusWave fulfils all of those demands, and more. Truly a game-changer in maritime communications, the new solution gives our customers the confidence to operate on their own terms, anywhere in the world, with complete peace of mind."

NexusWave integrates multiple networks, including Inmarsat's GlobalXpress Ka-band geosynchronous broadband service, an as-available coastal LTE service, an L-band backup service, and low-earth orbit (LEO) services. It adds high-end firewall security as part of the unified package. 

The new service takes advantage of the strengths of Viasat, which acquired Inmarsat for $7.3 billion last year. Viasat provides residential internet services in North America, as well as coverage for aviation and defense communications. At the time of the acquisition, Viasat said that the combination of the two companies would allow it to deliver more bandwidth and lower latency for maritime customers. It also integrated Inmarsat's radio frequency spectrum licenses and its satellite fleet into the Viasat network, creating further synergies. 

"Our combination with Viasat last year brought together the extraordinary people, innovation capabilities, and network assets of both businesses, creating a synergy that has been integral to the development of NexusWave," said Palmer.