Inmarsat, a UK broadband ISP and communications operator, has announced the signing of a major new contract with Boeing for the delivery of three state-of-the-art Ka-Band (702HP) satellites. The new additions are capable of offering live television and "super-fast" internet download speeds of up to 50Mbps (Megabits per second) to both ships at sea and airliners.
The satellites will make up a new Inmarsat-5 (I-5) constellation and should enter operation sometime in 2014, forming part of the groups new Global Xpress™ network. The service will cost £750m ($1.2bn) to develop and target an £880m (US$1.4bn) incremental market for VSAT services.
Boeing itself will become a key distribution partner for Inmarsat's Ka-band and L-band satellite services, committing itself to a capacity purchase for over 10% of the target Ka-band revenues. Inmarsat has set its target at £314m (US$500m) for five years after the new service is launched.
The move represents a significant upgrade for Inmarsat, which currently offers the only simultaneous global voice and 0.5Mbps data service available anywhere on the planet, using satellite terminals the size of laptops.