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Bledisloe Cup Or The FTSE Live At 38,000 Ft.

Catching The Bledisloe Cup Or The FTSE Live At 38,000 Ft. May Soon Be Possible


Imagine watching the Bledisloe Cup live or having the latest financial news delivered direct to your seat as you cruise through the sky at 38,000 feet.

Imagining may soon be reality on flights into and out of New Zealand, and around the world, as airlines begin to evaluate the introduction of live satellite-fed sports and news services on long haul flights.

Inmarsat Ventures Ltd, a leading global mobile satellite communications company, has formed a joint venture with Live Inflight Video Entertainment Limited to bring live television news and sports broadcasts to long haul airline passengers.
The services will be provided by a new company, Airia Limited. The global service is due for launch in the second half of 2001.

Initially the Airia service will consist of two channels, one carrying news provided by the BBC, and the second sports from Trans World International who have the broadcast rights to many international sporting events.

The new joint venture will enable airlines to receive live television feeds direct to the cabin utilising Inmarsat’s existing network of satellites. As of April 2000, Inmarsat already served over 76 per cent of modern long haul wide-bodied aircraft with safety and passenger voice communications, and the new service will utilise existing hardware already fitted to those planes.

Michael Storey, president and CEO of Inmarsat Ventures Ltd said: “The beauty of this system is that it makes use of the Inmarsat antennas already fitted to over three quarters of modern long-haul airliners and many corporate jets, therefore minimising the additional on-board equipment needed to provide a global news and sport feed live to the passengers.

“Also, once our next generation Broadband Global Area Network comes available we will be able to increase the bandwidth available and offer a wider range of channels as demand builds from passengers,” he added.

Programmes will be tailored to meet the requirements of individual airlines. This allows the possibility of specially tailored programming or focused advertising on particular routes and journeys.

Mike Stevens chairman and CEO of Airia Limited confirmed: “This is an extremely exciting opportunity which marries reality and practicality with innovation and choice. According to a report from Frost & Sullivan, the total world wide Air Transport In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) Market revenues are forecast to be about US$2.2 billion in 2000 and are forecast to grow to over US$4 billion by 2005.”


Forward-looking Statements
Certain statements in this announcement constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, to be materially different from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These factors include [general economic and business conditions; changes in technology; structural change in the satellite industry; relationships with customers; competition; and ability to attract personnel]. You are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this announcement. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances.

-ENDS-

About Inmarsat Ventures Ltd
Inmarsat Ventures Ltd owns and operates a global satellite network and distributes its solutions through a world-wide group of service providers to end customers in the maritime, aeronautical and multinational corporate sectors.

The Group operates in three core areas: Global mobile satellite communications, fixed broadband communications solutions, and provision of content and applications to its key markets.

In April 1999 Inmarsat changed from being an intergovernmental organisations to become a private limited company registered in the UK.

The Inmarsat Ventures Group consists of:
 Inmarsat Ltd: the primary subsidiary which owns and operates a global mobile satellite network. At the end of July 2000 it had over 198,000 terminals in use in over 150 countries, serviced by around 200 Inmarsat Service Providers. Inmarsat has over 21 years of experience of designing, launching and operating satellites.
 Invsat Ltd: provides integrated telecommunications systems and services including satellite systems, radio systems and very small aperture terminal satellite (VSAT) solutions to the oil and gas, maritime, government and emergency services markets.
 Merasis Ltd: which consists of setfair.com Ltd, which provides a maritime e-commerce initiative in the business-to-business market and Rydex Corporation Ltd, an applications developer providing wireless e-mail and data communications software for the maritime industry.
 Airia Limited: which provide will provide live television broadcasts to the airline industry.

Visit http://www.inmarsat.com for more information.

About AIRIA

AIRIA Limited will be a London UK and Annapolis, Maryland-based global provider of live airline inflight entertainment. The company will offer two television channels, the BBC for live international news, and a sports channel designed by Trans World International (TWI), one of the world’s leading sports television production company.

Visit http://www.airiaglobal.com for more information

For more information about Inmarsat Ventures and this investment, please contact:


John Tilton or Georgia Taylor at Pacific Strategies on +61 3 9662 1953
Fax +61 3 9663 7310
Email: johnt@pacstrat.com.au or georgiat@pacstrat.com.au

Dominic Cook or Stephen Rogers at Inmarsat on +44 20 7728 1256/1504,
Fax +44 20 7728 1179
Email: dominic_cook@inmarsat.com or stephen_rogers@inmarsat.com

Or

For more information about Airia Limited and live television broadcast to airlines, please contact:

Vardhan Rajkumar at Airia Limited on +44 20 7728 1030
Email: vrajkumar@airiaglobal.com
Or
Will Spiers at MS&L
Tel: + 44 (0)207 878 3000
Email: will.spiers@mslpr.co.uk


Issued on behalf of Pacific Strategies by Beyond Public Relations.
For further information, please contact: Claudia Macdonald on Tel: 09 306 1804
Mob: 025 932 418
email: claudiam@beyondpr.co.nz

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