Telstra adds second antenna to Merredin ground station in Western Australia for Inmarsat’s revolutionary I-6 F1 satellite

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As part of Telstra’s rapidly growing satellite telecommunications portfolio and services, it has expanded ground stations in Perth and Merredin, Western Australia with additional antennas to support the revolutionary I-6 F1 satellite from Inmarsat. This builds on a partnership between the two companies in Australia dating back more than thirty years.

Launched from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan in December 2021, I-6 F1 is the first of two Inmarsat-6 (I-6) satellites designed to enhance significantly both the narrowband ELERA network, and Global Xpress broadband service for Inmarsat  customers around the world.

The I-6 satellites are the most technologically advanced and largest commercial communications satellites ever launched, allowing for greater capacity, coverage, and speeds to customers in agriculture, aviation, and maritime sectors amongst others.

The new satellite access station (SAS) forms a crucial link between the satellite and terrestrial networks allowing connectivity to be transported immediately to its destinations across the globe.

Telstra’s turnkey approach for Inmarsat included the two companies working together in designing, building and activating the facility with specific capabilities to meet Inmarsat’s requirements. From purchasing the land to laying the foundation and completing buildout, not to mention navigating the challenges of Covid-19 restrictions worldwide, the project was completed to agreed delivery timelines.

Matt Williams, Managing Director, Telstra EMEA said, “Inmarsat’s I-6 F1 and the new ground station have really moved the global ‘space race’ along and entrenched Australia’s position as a front runner in satellite communications. We delight in putting our skills, experience and access to global sites to use for ambitious global operators like Inmarsat, as they continue to revolutionise communications. This is just the tip of the iceberg of Telstra’s global projects underway.”

Jason Smith, Chief Operations Officer at Inmarsat said, “The launch of I-6 F1 marks a further significant step in 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. This all forms part of our revolutionary new ORCHESTRA network of networks, anticipating and meeting global customer demand for the long term. The ground stations in Western Australia are a crucial part of our ambition to transform and enhance connectivity services and solutions for our mobility, government and Internet of Things customers worldwide.”