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Inmarsat: In the Forefront of Mobile Satellite Communications

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Chapter Summary

This chapter outlines the background and special features of International Mobile Satellite Organisation (INMARSAT), the particular forces which led inexorably to its transformation, the key elements of the new structure, the differing interests of the membership and main political, commercial and legal issues encountered. INMARSAT was created as an intergovernmental organisation, operating on a commercial basis and having public and private participation. The INMARSAT system, which comprises the space segment, earth stations on land, and mobile earth stations, has grown extensively over the years. The INMARSAT system of today offers a range of communications services comprising direct-dial telephone, telex, facsimile, electronic mail, and broadband data services for commercial use and public correspondence. The chapter concludes that the INMARSAT, and its successor, has kept pace with, and responded well to worldwide political, economic and technological evolution throughout the decades, in particular the liberalisation and privatisation of the global telecommunication industry.

Keywords: communication services; International Mobile Satellite Organisation (INMARSAT); mobile satellite communications



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