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March 25, 2015

Inmarsat completes move to Alphasat telecoms satellite

Overnight transition went smoothly.

By Alexander Sword

Inmarsat has completed the transition of key voice and broadband data services for the EMEA region to telecoms satellite Alphasat.

The services moved include the FleetBroadband and SwiftBroadband services for maritime and aviation respectively, the Broadband Global Area Network for land-based communications and Classic Aero. Inmarsat’s Global Satellite Phone Service has operated on Alphasat since 2013.

The transition took place overnight between 24 and 25 March from Inmarsat-4 F2 during a regular maintenance window for the EMEA region.

The two satellites will continue to provide services jointly until the L-TAC and IsatData Pro services are transferred later this year. After this, I-4 F2 will be flown to a new orbital position to provide services in the Middle East and Asia.

Inmarsat will now be able to use the full capacity of Alphasat, the result of a public-private partnership with the European Space Agency. This aimed to build a spacecraft platform capable of carrying the largest advanced communications payload.

"Transitioning our EMEA L-band services to Alphasat enhances Inmarsat‘s capabilities in this key region: adding additional capacity and providing us with a platform for new and enhanced services for our maritime, aviation and land customers," said Ruy Pinto, Group Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Inmarsat.

Pinto continued: "Of equal importance, Alphasat allows us to create a fourth satellite region, addressing the increasing need for our highly reliable and secure voice and data connectivity in a region where we are seeing the greatest growth in demand for Inmarsat’s services."

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Stephane Lascar, Head of ESA’s Telecommunication Satellite Programmes Department, said: "Alphasat was and is a hugely ambitious project for ESA. Every element, from its advanced Integrated Processor to hosted payloads demonstrating cutting-edge technology, is marked by innovation and made possible through successful cooperation.

"With Alphasat working perfectly in orbit as planned, ESA is looking forward to deployment of new Inmarsat safety services that have been developed in partnership with ESA."

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