INternational MARitime SATellite
was created by the International Maritim Organization (dependent of the United
Nations) on 16 Jul 1979. It is based in London and started working on 1 Feb
1982. Inmarsat must provide links between maritime mobiles and ground networks
using geostationary satellites. The services are telephone, telex, fax and an
access to the emergency system
structure is close to
one. It isn't dominated by the United States which enabled USSR to join in.
The organization gathered 48 members in 1986 and 64 in 1991. The first
operational system opened in 1985. Transponders were leased on 6 satellites:
With the success encountered Inmarsat decided in 1983 to operate its own
Over 20 ground stations have been installed and in 1992 over 15000 terminals
had been sold. The states that mostly participate in the funding are the United
States, Norway, the UK and Japan.
Inmarsat is also working on aeronautical links and a project of personnal
communication medium. Inmarsat might develop low orbit satellites on polar
orbits to cover Northern and Southern regions.
Inmarsat was privatized in March 1999. An intergovernmental body called
International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) was created to manage the
public service obligations (mainly the Global Maritime Distress and Safety
System (GMDSS)). The rest of the activities are held by a private entity (IPO
in June 2005).
The fourth generation satellites introduced in 2005 provides internet links
(BGAN) at upto 432 kbps .
Inmarsat is planning MSS services by 2010 in the 2 GHz band. It should serve
the US from 113°W
Inmarsat 5 generation: 3 Ka-band satellites were ordered from Boeing in
mid-2010 (1 additional in Oct 2013 for a cost between $220 and $250 million).
702 HP-based. 89 beams. Options include 2 other satellites. To be delivered in
36-months. Cost is estimated at $1.2 billion over 4.5 years, including launch
services and ground segment. First launch in 2013 on