The final countdown for launch of the second Inmarsat-4 broadband satellite was under way Friday in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
Once in orbit following liftoff Saturday from the platform ship Sea Launch Odyssey, the I-4 will be in position to deliver broadband to the Americas starting next April. The first bird in the Inmarsat-4 series is already in place over the Indian Ocean and will begin serving Asia, Africa and Europe later this month.
The satellites will be used to support Broadband Global Area Network service that will allow portable battery-powered devices to support high-quality voice and other broadband services.
Saturday's launch from the waters off Christmas Island is slated for 14:48 GMT aboard a Sea Launch Zenit 3S rocket.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International
Explore further: Achieving universal broadband: What the FCC can and cannot do