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FleetBroadband satellite launch date announced

  • Friday, 08 February 2008 | News

Inmarsat has announced that the final Inmarsat-4 satellite, the last of the three-part network that will carry the FleetBroadband service worldwide, will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on April 28, 2008.

The launch will add full network coverage in the Pacific Ocean Region, to supplement the two current I-4 satellites over the Atlantic and Indian Ocean Regions and complete global coverage for the FleetBroadband service.

Speaking at the Digital Ship Cyprus conference on Tuesday, Inmarsat maritime market manager Piers Cunningham explained that the April launch would be followed by in-orbit testing of approximately 70 to 80 days before global FleetBroadband would be made commercially available.

"As soon as we're sure it's fit for purpose we?ll deploy it in the Pacific Ocean Region," he said.

FleetBroadband, launched in November 2007, represents the latest evolution of Inmarsat's satellite communications service to the maritime sector, offering speeds of up to 432 kbps over antennas of up to 55cm.

Mr Cunningham said that the company has been extremely pleased with uptake of the service to date, and noted that Inmarsat has seen approximately 2 commercial terminal SIM card activations per day for FleetBroadband since the launch.

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