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Inmarsat plans 50Mbps satellite broadband network

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CIOL Bureau
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LONDON, UK: UK-based satellite broadband provider Inmarsat has signed a contract with Boeing for the delivery of three 702HP Ka-band satellites which, through a new network, will deliver speeds of up to 50 megabits per second (Mbps) to customers.

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The satellites will make up the new Inmarsat-5 (I-5) constellation. With operations expected to start in 2014, the Inmarsat-5s will support a global service, called Global Xpress, which will target a $1.4 billion incremental market for VSAT services.

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Inmarsat estimates that the total cost of the I-5s and Global Xpress will be $1.2 billion over four and a half years. Imarsat targets $500 million of annual Ka-band revenues five years after the global service is launched.

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.

Chairman and chief executive of Inmarsat Andrew Sukawaty said: "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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