Our partners
Our people
40th DYK facts


Inmarsat was established as a non-profit intergovernmental organisation on 16 July 1979 to deliver maritime safety satellite communications. Today safety services remain an essential part of what we do, but we are also proud to provide governments, commercial enterprises and humanitarian organisations with global, mobile connectivity that turns their biggest challenges into opportunities.

We started out as satellite pioneers, and 40 years on we are still disruptive innovators, leading the next evolution of global mobile connectivity that will anticipate and meet future customer demand and enable a truly connected world.

Making a difference globally

  • 99.9%+ availability on our satellite and ground network systems
  • 2m seafarers and sailors rely on us to keep them safe
  • 110,000 aircraft position reports transmitted every day – that’s 35 million a year
  • 90% of oceanic aircraft have Inmarsat satcoms on board

Our partners

Forty years of Inmarsat also means 40 years of partnership. Our global network of channel partners sell our services, manufacture our terminals, and develop tailored applications that bring valuable business benefits for customers.

Our people

Without a great team of people behind us, we would not be able to do the great work we do at Inmarsat, enabling the connected world. As we near our 40th anniversary we caught up with some of our colleagues to find out more about their Inmarsat story.


40th DYK facts

Ever wondered where a HEO orbit is in space or how many seafarers we help protect every day through our GMDSS maritime safety services? Check out our 40-fact countdown to discover some incredible innovation firsts, historic moments in time and some fantastic satellite facts!

Follow us on social media and take part in our competition to win a limited edition Inmarsat 40th polo shirt everyday this week. All questions will be based on our Did You Know facts – find out more by following #Inmarsat40Quiz.


The Inmarsat 40 Quiz terms and conditions can be found here.


Inmarsat is the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications and offers a comprehensive portfolio of broadband services for use on land, at sea and in the air. We provide voice, video and data connectivity to customers through the most versatile and reliable commercial network in the world, giving us the capability to deliver innovative services and solutions on an unprecedented scale.


Inmarsat announces plans for GX7, 8 & 9, disruptive technology satellites representing a step change in the evolution of Global Xpress’ capabilities, capacity and agility.

Inmarsat announces world-first Global Xpress network expansion in the Arctic region in partnership with Space Norway to meet rapidly growing customer demand for seamless, continuous high-speed mobile broadband above 65°N.

16 July: Inmarsat celebrates its 40th anniversary.

SB-S – the first and only global, secure, broadband platform for aviation operations and safety communications – enters commercial service.

Inmarsat signs a new United Nations Crisis Connectivity Charter, guaranteeing access to vital communications support as part of humanitarian responses to disaster.

The IMO formally approves Fleet Safety as a new service to support GMDSS.



Inmarsat-5 F4 is launched to add further capacity and in-orbit redundancy to the GX network.

Inmarsat’s S-band satellite is launched for the European Aviation Network – the world’s first integrated satellite and air to ground connectivity network.

The 25th anniversary of Inmarsat C, the maritime safety service that has made an unparalleled contribution to GMDSS.



Inmarsat-5 F2 and Inmarsat-5 F3 are launched and by the end of the year global GX coverage is introduced – a milestone in connectivity.
The launch of IsatHub means anyone with a smartphone or tablet can talk, text, access the internet and all their apps via the global 3G I-4 network, no matter where in the world they are.



Inmarsat launches Europe’s largest and most sophisticated telecommunications satellite. Alphasat is a joint project with the European Space Agency and supplements the Inmarsat-4 network.

The first fifth generation satellite, Inmarsat-5 F1, lifts off marking the start of Inmarsat’s revolutionary Global Xpress (GX) Ka-band service.

BGAN wins the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Prize for innovation.

IsatPhone Pro becomes Inmarsat’s first handheld satellite phone. IsatPhone 2 follows in 2014.



Inmarsat celebrates its 30th anniversary and announces the activation of the 5,000th FleetBroadband terminal, the fastest-adopted maritime service in the company’s history at that time.
Inmarsat-4 F3 blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.



SwiftBroadband, Inmarsat’s first fully IP-based, high speed voice and data service offering broadband inflight connectivity in the cockpit and the cabin, is launched.

FleetBroadband follows – the first maritime communications service to provide cost-effective broadband data and voice, simultaneously, through a compact antenna on a global basis.

Inmarsat becomes the Official Satellite Communications provider for the Volvo Ocean Race.

Inmarsat-4 F1 and F2 satellites are launched – the first to deliver Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN).

Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L).



Aviation service Swift 64 launches, providing a global high-speed data and ISDN service that allows voice and data connectivity for in-flight communications for both passengers and crew.
Inmarsat starts sponsorship of the humanitarian charity Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), which sends emergency teams to restore communications in the wake of man-made or natural disasters.



Inmarsat becomes the first ever intergovernmental organisation to restructure into a private company.
Inmarsat-3 F1 is launched – the first of five third-generation higher power satellites using the latest spot-beam technology. Inmarsat now provides seamless mobile voice and data communications around the world.



The IMO begins phase-in of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) of which Inmarsat is the satellite backbone.

Inmarsat introduces Aero H services, providing in-flight connectivity for cockpit and cabin as well as global aviation safety services.



Inmarsat launches the first Inmarsat-2 satellite into geostationary orbit. Three more second generation satellites go on to complete Inmarsat’s first wholly-owned fleet.
Launch of the world’s first global mobile satellite system, Inmarsat A, providing two-way telephony, facsimile, data and telex communications to vessels at sea.



The International Maritime Satellite Organization (InMarSat) is set up on 16 July as a not-for-profit organisation by the IMCO (now the IMO).