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Inmarsat Ventures Limited and Solaris Mobile Limited have been selected by the European Commission (EC) to provide mobile satellite services across Europe.

The two operators were selected by the EC after demonstrating that they had both the technical skills and the 'commercial ability' to deliver the wireless communication services.

Following the announcement, made last week, the companies are now on course to supply high-speed broadband access, mobile television and emergency communications, among other services.

The broadband services will be delivered via the 2GHz spectrum band, which does not have to be accessed with large satellite dish hardware.

It is hoped that these will be of particular benefit to people who live in rural areas, the EC said.

Viviane Reding, EU Telecoms Commissioner, commented: "Mobile satellite services have huge potential; they can enable Europeans to access new communication services, particularly in rural and less populated regions."

She explained that Inmarsat and Solaris Mobile were chosen as a result of the first pan-European selection procedure.

"A Europe-wide market for mobile satellite services is now becoming a reality," Ms Reding added.

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