Comsat launches first of five satellites

Maryland Watch

April 06, 1996

Comsat Corp. said yesterday that the first of five Inmarsat-3 satellites has been successfully launched as part of a program that will enhance coverage for Comsat's maritime, aeronautical and land mobile customers.

The Bethesda-based communications company said the satellite was launched Thursday from Cape Canaveral by a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA launch vehicle. The planned ring of five satellites will be the third generation of mobile communications technology for Inmarsat, an international organization that is represented by Comsat in the United States.

Christopher J. Leber, vice president and general manager of Comsat Mobile Communications, said the launch is especially significant for Comsat because the satellite uses spot beam technology that will enable the company to deliver the first global telephone service, Planet One.

That technology uses spot beams to concentrate power on land masses within the satellite's coverage area, letting it concentrate capacity in key regions. The Planet One service, slated to begin in mid-year, will provide voice, data and fax communications for mobile users.

Pub Date: 4/06/96

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