Thursday, August 5, 2010

Inmarsat Plans Ka-band Global Mobile Broadband Service

Inmarsat unveiled plans for a global, mobile broadband service offering downloads speeds of up to 50 Mbps using Ka-band satellites. The company plans to invest US$1.2 billion to launch the network by 2014.

Inmarsat said its forthcoming Global Xpress will address the established growing markets for VSAT services in the maritime, energy and government sectors, with further growth potential in developing markets such as the aeronautical sector. Inmarsat will target US$500 million of annual Ka-band revenues five years after the global service is launched.

As a first step, Inmarsat has contracted for three state-of-the-art Boeing 702HP Ka-band satellites. Eac will carry a payload of 89 Ka-band beams - capable of flexing capacity across the globe and enabling Inmarsat to adapt to shifting subscriber usage patterns over their projected lifetime of 15 years. Upload speeds are estimated at 5 Mbps.

Under a separate arrangement, Boeing has agreed to become a distribution partner for Inmarsat's Ka-band and L-band services, and has committed to capacity purchases representing more than 10 per cent of Inmarsat's target Ka-band revenues in the first five years after launch.

"Global Xpress will be faster and less expensive than current Ku-band market offerings, it will be delivered to smaller and cheaper terminals and be the first offered on a seamless, global, end-to-end basis with high-quality of service. Picture 50Mpbs services to a ship or aircraft, and 10Mpbs to an antenna the size of an iPad (20cm).

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