UK-based Inmarsat will spend $1.2 billion (€904 million) on a satellite network that allows it to offer mobile broadband services throughout the world.
The company has contracted Boeing to deliver three Ka-band satellites capable of delivering end-user speeds of up to 50Mbps, which will form the new Inmarsat-5 constellation that will deliver global VSAT services under the Global Xpress brand.
“We will be the first operator to offer global broadband coverage,” Inmarsat CEO Andrew Sukawaty said.
Services up to 50Mbps will be offered to ships and aircraft, with a 10Mbps version due to be launched for consumer devices like the iPad, Sukawaty added.
The network is due to be operational by 2014, and will complement Inmarsat’s existing L-band network.
Inmarsat is targeting $500 million in annual Ka-band revenue within five years after launch.
As part of the agreement, Boeing has committed to purchasing more than 10% of the Ka-band capacity during these five years.
Inmarsat has money to burn after growing pre-tax profits 56% to $151.8 million during 1H10, with revenue increasing 12.2% to $570.7 million.