Inmarsat Accelerates into Hand-held Satphone Market

Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Inmarsat and ACeS International Limited (ACeS) announced a collaboration to offer low-cost hand-held and fixed voice services, initially in the Asian market with extended coverage expected in early 2007 by combining satellite resources.

Under the agreement, Inmarsat will assume responsibility for satellite and network operations, wholesale service provision, as well as product and service development. ACeS will focus on distribution of MSS products in the Asian land and maritime markets and will become a distributor of Inmarsat’s BGAN services.

Inmarsat plans to expand geographic coverage for the hand-held service in early 2007 using the existing Inmarsat-4 satellite covering Asia and further intends to deploy a fullyglobal service within two years. To enable expanded coverage using the existing Inmarsat-4 satellites, Inmarsat will undertake a process of network upgrades and an accelerated modernisation of the ACeS R190 hand-held satellite phone. To support a seamless global hand-held service and to achieve global coverage for BGAN and new broadband maritime and aeronautical services, Inmarsat plans to launch the third Inmarsat-4 satellite and will target a launch date in late 2007.

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