Inmarsat to co-ordinate with Global VSAT forum on quality assurance

November 12, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Inmarsat's latest US$1.2 billion Global Xpress satellite service will be enhanced through the implementation of mandatory earth station testing requirements. This will be done in co-ordination with the Global VSAT Forum (GVF), the international association of the satellite communications industry.

Through Inmarsat's testing programme, earth station products to be used with the 2013 launch of Global Xpress broadband services will be required to demonstrate high levels of performance to ensure customer satisfaction. Inmarsat's programme will be aligned with the GVF Product Quality Assurance Framework, and meet the GVF Quality Products Industry Initiative.

"Inmarsat is committed to ensuring that our customers receive high-performance broadband satellite products," said Leo Mondale, MD of Global Xpress. "Our decision to require product testing in alignment with the GVF Product Quality Assurance Framework is a clear demonstration of that commitment."

"The global satellite industry is taking next-generation broadband solutions to a higher level of performance," said David Hartshorn, Secretary General, GVF. "Inmarsat's requirement for type-approved earth station products — and Global Xpress' co-ordination with the GVF Quality Products Initiative -- will give customers the standard of quality that is essential in today's demanding marketplace."

GVF provides earth station testing through a mutually-recognized type approvals framework and an industry-authorised network of testing entities. Major satellite operators rely upon or conduct their own testing in co-ordination with the service, which is provided by GVF through its Mutual Recognition Arrangement Working Group (MRA-WG).

The MRA-WG maintains procedure GVF-101, which defines a set of standard tests that an antenna or earth station manufacturer must perform in order to apply for type approval from any satellite operator who is a member of GVF. Use of this procedure assures the quality of the ground communication equipment and provides the earth station operator with a complete set of measured and verified test data. This helps reduce the time and cost required to bring new ground-segment technology to the market, provides credible measured performance data for use in developing link budgets, thereby advancing the competitiveness of satellite communications services.