Inmarsat unveiled plans for ORCHESTRA, an integrated solution bringing together geosynchronous (GEO) satellites with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G.
Inmarsat said the initial five-year (2021-2026) investment for ORCHESTRA is expected to be in the order of $100 million.
Rajeev Suri, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “By combining the qualities of GEO, LEO and 5G into a single network, we will deliver a service that is greater than the sum of its parts. Our customers will benefit from expanded high throughput services around the world.”
ORCHESTRA will open up new possibilities for industries. New services include close-shore navigation for autonomous vessels, emergency safety services for maritime crews, secure and tactical private networks for governments and direct-to-cloud connections for airlines. Energy rigs and drilling platforms, mid-market business aircraft, coastal vessels, smart passenger ships and urban air mobility, will benefit from Inmarsat’s ORCHESTRA.
Inmarsat’s existing GEO satellites – both GX and L-band – will continue to provide global coverage, high performance, security and resilience. Terrestrial 5G adds high capacity in busy hot spots, such as ports, airports, and sea canals. A small constellation of LEO satellites will layer additional high capacity over further high-demand areas such as oceanic flight corridors. As a result, the network will offer the highest capacity for mobility users worldwide, and at hot spots.
The network will benefit from dynamic mesh technology, which allows individual customer terminals to direct traffic to and from other customer terminals. This means that a ship within reach of a 5G ground station can receive ample capacity for its own needs as well as route capacity onwards to other vessels beyond terrestrial reach.
“We plan to focus on delivering the ORCHESTRA terrestrial network, while preparing for a future LEO constellation in the range of 150-175 satellites. This is a highly cost-effective approach that leverages Inmarsat’s leading GEO satellite networks as part of ORCHESTRA’s unique multi-layer architecture,” Rajeev Suri said.
The new approach means that Inmarsat can easily boost capacity in high-density areas such as ports and airports, ensuring customer needs continue to be met well into the future with capacity scaled directly to match their requirements.