The European Commission has chosen Inmarsat Ventures and Solaris Mobile to provide mobile satellite services across Europe on specific radio frequencies that have been set aside by all EU countries. The two companies should have services in place by May 2011.
Although satellite communication is often seen as having ‘global coverage’, satellite phones can only be used legally within a country if the radio transmissions are licensed. The EC organised a selection process to ensure member states all allocate the same radio spectrum for this type of mobile phone, which will let the Inmarsat and Solaris sat-phones work across the EU. [EU press release; FAQ; Inmarsat press; Solaris press (pdf)]