The procedures have begun for Britain's single biggest commercial space project.
The London based Inmarsat company has launched the first spacecraft in what will be a new global telecommunications network for their on-the-move customers.
Inmarsat plans to launch up to three further spacecraft in its Ka-bound Global Xpress CGX system.
The initial I-5 F1 satellite was launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on Sunday, for a flight that lasted over 15 hours.
Inmarsat has become the dominant force in the so-called Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) market.
Ruy Pinto, Inmarsat's chief technical officer said: "When we started thinking about this project five years ago, we'd come to the conclusion that you could not grow much further the L-band franchise - not in terms of revenue, but in terms of capacity.
"We have hit the limits of all-you-can-eat high-data-rate packages in L-band; there simply isn't enough spectrum. Ka is the natural next step to deliver the types of packages our customers want."
Return to internet news headlines
View Internet News Archive