Inmarsat, the mobile satellite communications business that was originally created by the International Maritime Organization to help ships stay in touch, has launched the first of its Global Xpress satellites today.
The company is spending $1.6 billion (£1 billion) on four satellites. The first three are expected to provide full global coverage by the end of next year. When these satellites are in place, Inmarsat will use Ka-band radio frequencies to deliver download speeds of up to 50Mbps and uploads of up to 5Mbps to mobile or fixed devices.
Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said “Global Xpress is the result of three years of planning and, together with a fourth GX satellite we ordered recently from Boeing, represents an investment of US$1.6 billion in our next generation of high bandwidth, high capacity, mobile broadband communications satellites. Global Xpress will ensure our satellite services fully support the current and future needs of end-users across the world – whether on land, at sea or in the air.”