LONDON Dec 9 Britain's Inmarsat, which
provides communications to ships, aircraft and remote locations
worldwide, has successfully launched the first satellite to
create its new superfast broadband global network.
The satellite was carried on board a Proton Breeze M rocket
launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sunday,
before it separated from the rocket in the early hours of Monday
Chief Executive Rupert Pearce said the launch was a major
landmark on the company's journey to deliver the world's first
globally available, high-speed mobile broadband service.
The company is investing $1.6 billion in building Global
Xpress, which could eventually include four Boeing-made
satellites. Operating in the Ka-Band, they will provide
connections of up to 50 Mbps, 100 times faster than its existing
Pearce said in an interview that there was a 15 percent risk
of a launch failure, although Inmarsat had never lost a
"A very big part of the risk has been retired," he said on
Monday, about the completion of the launch and initial stages of
The company should be ready to trial the service towards the
end of the second quarter.
"We have a number of customers looking to jump on board and
start trialling products and services, most notably our
government customers who are anxious to be early adopters of
Global Xpress," he said. "We are within touching distance of
Shares in Inmarsat were trading up 5.4 percent at 728.5
pence at 1628 GMT on Monday after the successful launch.
Analyst at Jefferies marked the occasion with an upgrade to
their revenue expectations for Global Xpress, and they now
expect Inmarsat to produce compounded growth of 8.3 percent over
the 2014-2016 financial year period, up from 6 percent.