For the first time ever, an operational satellite phone call was made from the African continent using the Inmarsat network. Zambian Colonel Wilson Tembo, African Union delegation chief, made an international call from the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College during Africa Endeavor (AE) 2010 in Accra on August 10, 2010. This call showcased the technology and ease of use of this new product.
"This was a significant moment for Imarsat. AE 2010 allowed us to demonstrate to more than 30 African nations the outstanding voice quality in a call to a cellular phone over our satellite network," said Steff Taylor, Inmarsat business development manager. "It proved the capability and applicability of the product that can now be used by African nations anywhere on the continent."
Inmarsat launched the IsatPhone Pro, which was used to make the call, in June 2010, and it was built for the Inmarsat network.
This is the first time Inmarsat has participated in Africa Endeavor and the company is providing equipment to the exercise and training to country delegates pro bono.
According to Taylor, the participation is part of the outreach that the company does and the exercise was an excellent opportunity to reach the African audience. This is one of many outreach projects the company does, providing free equipment and financial support to restore communications in disaster zones.
Throughout the exercise, Inmarsat representatives will be providing training to participants on satellite phones, as well as voice and data capability. There will be an opportunity to do real-time demonstrations of satellite communications during the second week of AE 2010.
One of the purposes of AE 2010 is to promote interoperability among the African nations, and this training and equipment at the exercise enables ease of communication.
Inmarsat has a current fleet of 11 satellites that provides seamless mobile voice and data communications around the world. Inmarsat enables users to make phone calls or connect to the internet whenever and wherever they need - on land, at sea or in the air.