Inmarsat's APIs allow developers to tap into satellites

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/iLexx)

London-based satellite company, Inmarsat, wants to make it easier for developers to tap into its global network to create more powerful applications. The firm debuted their APIs at its first ever developer conference on Tuesday to help developers understand how apps which make use of satellite communications must be specially-customised.

Global Xpress satellites offer a big jump-up with download speeds of more than 50Mbps

Inmarsat was founded in 1979 and has created a trusted network which provides mobile and fixed communications services for maritime, enterprise, government, and aviation uses. As we enter the Internet of Things-era, Inmarsat wants to help developers to use its systems for Machine-to-Machine communications.

Chief Technology Officer, Michele Franci, said at Tuesday's event: "We have been providing global mobile connectivity for decades and want to leverage this position to facilitate the development of new applications, enhancing the way in which people interact with our technologies,"

She continued, "Our new open technology approach, based on building blocks made easily available, will allow both new and existing partners to take advantage of our cutting edge technology, particularly Global Xpress, as a platform on which to build bespoke applications in new areas."

Global Xpress is the world’s first worldwide Ka-band mobile satellite system which delivers consistent high-speed throughput broadband connectivity on land, at sea and in the air. The first satellite which made use of Ka-band frequencies was deployed by Inmarsat on the 1st of July 2014, with two more satellites planned to launch early this year.

Inmarsat is continuing work on production APIs for Global Xpress, but for the time being two REST web interfaces are available in the company's testing environment; the Location and Network Access Devices APIs.

An Android app which makes use of these APIs was published on Github to show how they simulate location results through plotting a path across the North Atlantic.

The company's current fleet offers download speeds of just 500kbps, the Global Xpress satellites offer a big jump-up with download speeds of more than 50Mbps. Airline manufacturer, Boeing, has taken an interest in the company's satellites and has ordered one for delivery in late 2016.

Will you be exploring the opportunities of Inmarsat's API? Let us know in the comments.

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