Inmarsat, a provider of global mobile satellite communications services, announced recently that the first call has been made using its global handheld service, IsatPhone Pro, which is on track for launch in June 2010. In preparation for launch, Inmarsat said it has passed a number of key milestones in the development of the service and finalized some essential contracts and distribution arrangements. A contract to upgrade the Inmarsat ground network was completed by Lockheed Martin, and further testing on the integration between the handset and the ground network is under way. Inmarsat’s partner for the handset development is Sasken Communications Technologies. Elcoteq, the world’s third largest manufacturer of mobile phones, will  produce IsatPhone Pro at its facility in Tallinn, Estonia. IsatPhone Pro is targeted primarily at professional users in the government, media, aid, oil and gas, mining and construction sectors. It will offer satellite telephony, with Bluetooth for hands-free use, voicemail, text and e-mail messaging. Location data will also be available to the user to look up or send in a text message. According to Inmarsat, IsatPhone Pro is the first Inmarsat handheld to be purpose-built for its network. It will be available on a global basis over the three Inmarsat-4 satellites, which have an operational lifetime into the 2020s.

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