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Inmarsat brings prepaid model to satellite phone calls

Inmarsat brings prepaid model to satellite phone calls
Terrence O'Brien
Terrence O'Brien|@TerrenceOBrien|August 22, 2012 8:37 AM

If you need a satellite phone, then you need a satellite phone. There's no getting around it. Researchers, government contractors and workers in remote locations around the globe rely on their near universal (and extremely expensive) coverage to keep in touch while out in the field. That has normally meant pricey, long-term contracts that lock users into service much like our nation's cellular providers. Satellite operator Inmarsat is finally providing an alternative for those that need truly global coverage (specifically, here in the US) by offering prepaid voice plans to owners of its IsatPhone Pro, BGAN, FleetBroadband and FleetPhone devices. The new plans, while no less expensive we're sure, should prove to be quite attractive to those that need satellite service for only short periods of time -- say, just a few months. The new plans will be available starting September 1st for those who want sat-phone service without the commitment. Check out the PR after the break.

[Photo courtesy of Tarquin Binary]

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Global Pre-paid Satellite Voice and Data Services Now Available from Inmarsat

21-08-2012 - Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, today announced that it now offers global pre-paid satellite services for both voice and data via the Inmarsat pre-pay platform with the introduction of support for voice calls originating in the US and its territories.
Pre-paid satellite voice available on the Inmarsat platform in the US for the first time
Inmarsat customers can now benefit from global pre-paid voice and data services
Pre-paid Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro™, BGAN™, FleetBroadband™ and FleetPhone™ customers can now use a single device for voice and data across the globe
Existing Inmarsat customers will automatically be able to access the pre-paid service from 1st September 2012
Through an agreement with Freedom Wireless Holdings Inc., Inmarsat is now the first mobile satellite provider in the world licensed to offer pre-paid voice services from the US. Pre-pay voice will be available from 1st September 2012 for all existing Inmarsat land and maritime services including IsatPhone Pro™, BGAN™, FleetBroadband™ and FleetPhone™.
Pre-paid services are popular with people who work on short term or seasonal projects and prefer not to commit to a contract. "Many customers use satellite services across multiple markets and have been frustrated by being unable to use pre-paid services while in the US and its territorial waters. We are proud to be the first company to deliver a global service. This announcement exemplifies our commitment to meeting our customers' needs," said Jim Parm, President of Inmarsat Solutions.
"With this breakthrough announcement we are simplifying communications for our users. IsatPhone Pro users can now be contacted using a single phone number wherever they are located and use just one device for their global communications, while FleetBroadband customers can now travel in and out of US territorial waters on pre-paid plans," added Parm.
About Inmarsat
Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organisations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,500 staff in more than 40 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. For the year ended 31st December 2011, Inmarsat plc had total revenue of US$1,409m and an EBITDA of US$854m. For the six months ended 30 June 2012, Inmarsat plc had total revenue of US$684m and an EBITDA of US$381m. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L). For more information, please visit www.inmarsat.com.