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Inmarsat in Talks with 3 US Mobile Operators

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Satellite operator, Inmarsat is reported to be in talks with three US terrestrial mobile operators about launching a combined terrestrial and satellite service.

Inmarsat's Chairman and CEO, Andy Sukawaty told Reuters he had held discussions with Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile about developing the new licence, which he expects to net the firm around $115 million a year in revenue. He said the talks were at an early stage, and that an agreement was not due imminently.

"We are talking to potential strategic partners to launch a hybrid of terrestrial and satellite mobile services," he told Reuters in an interview.

Such a service would enable customers to use a conventional cellular network - then switch to the satellite when out of coverage in rural or maritime areas.

Inmarsat is also working with rival operator, MSV - which is also operating a hybrid network of this type, aimed primarily at emergency services, law enforcement, and companies that specialize in transportation. MSV's satellite will use an antenna, which at over 20 meters in diameter, it will be the largest reflector dish ever used in space, allowing it to communicate with phones no larger than modern cell phones.

On the web: Reuters

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Tags: verizon wireless  verizon  inmarsat  satellite  emergency