The Inmarsat Satellite Network is the world's first global mobile satellite communications operator and is still the only constellation to offer a mature range of modern sat com services for maritime, land mobile and aeronautical applications.
Like the AT&T's and Verizons of the cellular world, the portable satellite internet and voice industry includes companies like Inmarsat, Iridium, Thuraya, Globalstar and Lightsquared. All of these constellations, operate in what's called the L Band Satellite Frequency. Unlike Satellite television that suffers from rain fade, L Band is an ideal frequency for providing reliable satellite internet and voice solutions in any environment and the footprint covers 99% of the globe.
Formed as a maritime-focused intergovernmental organization over 20 years ago, Inmarsat Services have been a limited company since 1999, serving a broad range of markets. Starting with a user base of 900 ships in the early 1980s, it now supports satellite technology for handheld phones, fax and portable broadband data communications at up to 492kbps to more than 210,000 ship, vehicle, aircraft and portable terminals. That number is growing at several thousands a month.