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Inmarsat launches third I4 satellite

Third satellite will complete Inmarsat’s global coverage for mobile broadband services.

UK-based satellite operator Inmarsat launched its third I-4 satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Monday, in a move that will allow the company to complete its global coverage for mobile broadband services.

The satellite is the third in Inmarsat’s I-4 group, which together represent an investment of some US$1.5 billion. The two existing I-4 satellites deliver mobile broadband services to 85% of the world, covering 98% of the world’s population.

The I-4 satellite, which is the size of a London double-decker bus and weighs six tons – will undergo several weeks of tests and manoeuvres before being positioned in geostationary orbit at 98º West.

Andrew Sukawaty, CEO and chairman, Inmarsat, said: “The Inmarsat-4s are the world’s most sophisticated commercial network for mobile voice and data services, and the successful launch of the third I-4 allows us to complete the global coverage for our broadband services. Once the third I-4 is operational, Inmarsat will have the only fully-funded next-generation network for mobile satellite services.”

Inmarsat satellites provide mobile voice and data services to organisations and industries including oil exploration, defence, aviation, media, government organisations and NGOs.