Watch I-6 F1 launch from JAXA Tanegashima Space Center on 22 December 2021 at 15:32 GMT.
The world’s largest and most sophisticated commercial communications satellite launched from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries onboard its H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 45 (HIIA F45).



What does cutting-edge space technology, next-generation innovation and a dual ELERA and Global Xpress payload mean for our global mobility, government and IoT customers?

I-6 F1 – the first of two Inmarsat-6 (I-6) satellites – launched from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on 22 December 2021 onboard its H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 45 (HIIA F45).

The I-6 satellites are not only the most technologically advanced and largest commercial communications satellites ever launched, they are also Inmarsat’s first hybrid satellites, featuring both L-band (ELERA) and Ka-band (Global Xpress) communications payloads.


The I-6 story

Enhanced customer capabilities

That means greater capacity and coverage, greater speeds and a greater portfolio of innovative connectivity solutions for our ELERA and Global Xpress (GX) networks. And because the I-6 satellites, like all Inmarsat ELERA and GX spacecraft, are backward-compatible with existing terminals, current and future customers can continue to benefit from new advances.

The launch of I-6 F1 also marks the start of our visionary and fully funded technology roadmap, which will see the launch of a further six satellites by 2024 and a ground network expansion like no other, to transform and enhance connectivity services and solutions for our mobility, government and IoT customers across the world.

Connectivity in harmony

The I-6 satellites will also provide a key role in the geostationary earth orbit (GEO) element of Inmarsat ORCHESTRA – the first-of-its-kind network that will combine GEO, low earth orbit (LEO), highly elliptical orbit (HEO) and 5G in one harmonious solution to redefine global, mobile connectivity as we know it.  

Inspiring new possibilities

Our L-band services have long been synonymous with 99.95% reliability, resilience and availability, providing the vital maritime and aviation safety services that protect millions of seafarers and airline passengers every day, as well as supporting Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Now, with our enhanced narrowband ELERA network, underpinned by the I-6 satellites, we are investing in the next wave of world-changing technologies to 2040 and beyond.

The result; the fastest L-band speeds available to customers, the smallest low-cost terminals and a more connected, sustainable and safer world.

Think commercial UAVs for disaster response and medical deliveries
Autonomous transport; monitoring of the oceans and supporting greener energy solutions
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)
Industrial and agricultural IoT connecting billions of machines and devices.

A springboard for innovation

And that’s not all. I-6 F1 will deliver double the capacity per beam and double the power of our previous Inmarsat-4 (I-4) generation of L-band satellites, which means that much more data can be carried over the same amount of bandwidth. Add unlimited beam routing flexibility to match demand on a second-by-second basis, even in congested hotpots, and the I-6s will be a catalyst for ELERA’s capabilities.

The meteoric rise of Global Xpress
The high-speed broadband service of choice for governments, shipping companies and airlines alike, Global Xpress has taken global, mobile satellite communications to the next level to power digitalisation and entirely transform whole industries.
  • Fleet Xpress is already delivering next-generation digital services to over 11,000 maritime vessels for operational efficiency, regulatory compliance and crew welfare
  • GX Aviation is keeping passengers flying with some of the world’s leading airlines connected at 30,000 feet – from Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines to Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic and AirAsia
  • Jet ConneX for business aviation is ensuring a best-in-class experience for Principals on any international flight path.
  • And for governments the world over, Global Xpress offers secure end-to-end wideband connectivity wherever the mission arises – on land, at sea or in the air – and is the first global commercial network that is interoperable with MILSATCOM Ka-band networks.
Meeting always-on demand
The launch of I-6 F1 (also known as GX6A) is set to deliver more capacity to key regions than an entire first-generation GX satellite and even more flexibility, with 20 Ka-band steerable spot beams precisely directing additional capacity where and when it is needed in real time.
That means busy aviation and shipping routes can expect always-on connectivity no matter how congested the traffic, and governments can continue to receive mission critical connectivity when it counts.  
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