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Inmarsat launches civil court proceedings in the Netherlands over spectrum allocation

(29 March 2021 - Inmarsat) Inmarsat will initiate proceedings with the civil court in the Netherlands seeking an injunction to review the change in spectrum allocation set out by the Dutch Government, given a contravention of national and international law in the proposed update to the National Frequency Plan (NFP).

The change aims to reallocate spectrum currently used by essential satellite-based maritime safety services to 5G telecoms, which is unnecessary given both can operate together within the spectrum band in question.

Inmarsat is committed to the Netherlands, its Dutch team and to providing the company's free of charge, life-saving safety and distress satellite services for seafarers worldwide that land at the ground station in Burum in the Northern part of the Netherlands. Inmarsat wishes to find an amicable solution to this issue with the Dutch Government and to continue providing its safety operations in Burum.

The company has sought such a solution for more than eighteen months. However, to date one has not been possible due to the intransigence of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Should the Ministry wish to resume conversations towards a mutually-agreed solution, Inmarsat would continue its approach of constructive engagement in the interests of the users of the company’s vital safety services.

Given the demand of the Dutch Government for Inmarsat to undertake the enormous task of moving significant and globally essential services to another country to continue its operations, which is unnecessary following technical studies that prove that coexistence is possible between satellite services and 5G telecoms, the company has been left with no choice but to initiate these injunction proceedings. Inmarsat wishes to continue safety services from Burum, on which millions of seafarers and aviation passengers and crew depend daily, alongside its commercial operations there.

However, should a move be forced on Inmarsat, then the proposed timing of the changeover in frequency use in the NFP is unrealistic and will require a long transitional term to carry out the wholly avoidable move.

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat is the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications. It owns and operates the world’s most diverse global portfolio of mobile telecommunications satellite networks, and holds a multi-layered, global spectrum portfolio, covering L-band, Ka-band and S-band, enabling unparalleled breadth and diversity in the solutions it provides. Inmarsat’s long-established global distribution network includes not only the world’s leading channel partners but also its own strong direct retail capabilities, enabling end to end customer service assurance.

The company has an unrivalled track record of operating the world’s most reliable global mobile satellite telecommunications networks, sustaining business and mission critical safety & operational applications for more than 40 years. It is also a major driving force behind technological innovation in mobile satellite communications, sustaining its leadership through a substantial investment and a powerful network of technology and manufacturing partners.

Inmarsat operates across a diversified portfolio of sectors with the financial resources to fund its business strategy and holds leading positions in the Maritime, Government, Aviation and Enterprise satcoms markets, operating consistently as a trusted, responsive and high-quality partner to its customers across the globe.