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Growing demand for Inmarsat's high-speed wireless services has seen the firm report a 33.5 per cent rise in profits.

The satellite company took $50.2 million (£30.2 million) after tax during the third quarter of the year, while its SwiftBroadband arm – which provides broadband connections for aeroplanes – experienced a ten per cent rise in turnover.

Inmarsat said it had been boosted by British Airways' decision to launch a London to New York service equipped with satellite broadband capabilities in September.

According to a company report, sales of SwiftBroadband terminals were "strong" in the quarter and exceeded those of the firm's Swift 64 offering for the first time.

It added: "SwiftBroadband usage levels are steadily increasing and we are pleased with the early stage development of this service. [We continue] to see orders related to the introduction of in-flight [mobile] services on commercial airlines."

Back in 2003, the International Telecommunications Union paved the way for in-flight high-speed broadband by approving a new frequency band for aeronautical mobile-satellite services.

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