The satellite was launched from the Sea Launch platform at an equatorial location in the Pacific Ocean at 2.07pm today. It is the second in a planned two-satellite constellation, representing an eight-year development and $1.5 billion investment from Inmarsat, which will support the company’s existing and next-generation broadband services.
The satellite has now been acquired by Inmarsat’s ground station at Lake Cowichan in Canada. The successful launch demonstrates Inmarsat’s commitment to defining the communication networks of tomorrow and strengthens the company’s position as a true technological pioneer.
The Zenit-3SL rocket used in the launch is one of the few systems capable of lifting the I-4 satellite – the size of a London double-decker bus and weighing six tons – into geostationary transfer orbit. The I-4, along with its sister craft launched earlier in the year, enables Inmarsat’s vision of delivering broadband connectivity almost anywhere in the world, providing coverage for over 85% of the world’s landmass – including the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent, most of Asia Pacific, and Western Australia – covering 98% of the world’s population.
Andrew Sukawaty, CEO and chairman of Inmarsat, said: “The successful launch of the second I-4 satellite means that Inmarsat now has the world’s most sophisticated commercial network for mobile voice and data services. It will support an unprecedented evolution of our services – more than doubling the bandwidth available to our mobile users. It marks the beginning of a new era for Inmarsat, in which we expect to roll out a new range of global mobile services to government, aid, and enterprise users.”
Samer Halawi, Regional Director, Inmarsat, Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, added,
“The launch of the second I-4 is a high point for our customers in the Middle East and Africa.” Halawi explained, “With the service available to them today in this region, they can also use it in the Americas by mid 2006, empowering them with virtually global coverage.”
Inmarsat satellites are currently relied on by the world’s shipping, oil exploration, defence and aviation industries to service their communications needs. Inmarsat is also the communications channel of choice for the media when reporting from the world’s danger zones and for NGOs, government agencies and the United Nations when coordinating rescue efforts, such as for the recent earthquake in south Asia and Hurricane Katrina in southern USA.
Thursday, November 10- 2005 @ 16:54 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.