UK satellite communications firm Inmarsat has announced a $1.2bn (£752m) investment in next generation satellite network services.
The primary investment is a contract with aerospace company Boeing for the manufacture of three 702HP Ka-band satellites.
The constellation formed by the three Inmarsat-5 satellites will enable Inmarsat to offer global coverage, and unparalleled bandwidth to customers in remote locations, said Inmarsat chief eexecutive Andrew Sukawaty.
The Ka-band satellites will be used to deliver Inmarsat's Global Xpress service, which will address growing markets in maritime, energy and government sectors, along with the developing aeronautical market.
Such bandwidths have aroused interest because of the postponement of government plans to rollout a UK-wide broadband network of 2Mbit/s to 2015.
Global Xpress will use Ka-band microwave frequencies of between 18 and 31GHz, which although faster and less expensive than current Ku-band (12-18GHz) frequencies, can be more vulnerable to signal quality issues.
Each Inmarsat-5 satellite can transmit 89 Ka-band beams. "These are capable of flexing capacity and enabling Inmarsat to adapt to shifting subscriber usage patterns over their projected lifetime of 15 years," said the company.Services will start in 2014.
Inmarsat also plans to spend £313m replacing its existing, lower bandwidth, L-band satellites over the next 11 years.
Inmarsat estimates the total cost of Inmarsat-5 and Global Xpress will be £752m over four and half years.
Inmarsat's latest half year financial results announced last week, showed revenue up 12 per cent at £358m, with profit before tax up 56 per cent to £85m.