Inmarsat eyes up $35 million stake in satellite market


has teamed up with ACeS

, a leading Asian handheld satellite services operator, in a move that will bring cost-effective handheld and fixed voice services to a worldwide audience.

The move is aimed at grabbing at least a 10 per cent share in what will be a $350 million market by 2010, according to mobile and satellite communications giant Inmarsat.

The partnership will initially result in service availability in Asia but will be extended to other geographies from next year, with the objective of making services fully global by 2009.

As part of the deal, Inmarsat will look after network and satellite operations in addition to development and service provision, while its new colleague will focus on product distribution.

To support its global ambitions, Inmarsat will launch a third Inmarsat-4 satellite. Currently in storage, the already-finished dish will cost up to $150 million to launch.

This figure is in addition to the $40 to $45 million the company will have to shoulder over a two-year period to ready the ACeS R190 satellite phone for it worldwide fanbase.

"Today Inmarsat takes its first steps in launching its global hand-held satellite phone service," said Andrew Sukawaty, chairman and chief executive of Inmarsat.

"Our move into hand-held means that distributors and end-customers choosing the new Inmarsat voice service will benefit from our long standing reputation for service reliability and quality. Furthermore, through our Inmarsat-4 satellite fleet, we will be the only provider today offering continuity of service on a global basis through the end of the next decade."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.