(Reuters) - The first of Inmarsat's high-capacity GlobalXpress satellites is being used in Nepal after the country was hit by an earthquake and ahead of a global launch for the technology set for later this year, the company said on Wednesday.
"We were able to rush terminals into Nepal, and the feedback from that has been great," Chief Executive Rupert Pearce said following release of the British satellite maker's first-quarter earnings.
The terminals provide voice and broadband data capability to help emergency relief workers communicate and media broadcast to send pictures.
It launched the second satellite for its new GlobalXpress high-capacity service in February which is not yet in service and a third is scheduled to go into orbit at the end of May or early June, Pearce said.
He said worldwide commercial service would start in August or September, slightly later than planned due to launch timings.
But he said he remained confident GlobalXpress would generate revenue of $500 million five years after it starts global commercial service.
Inmarsat on Wednesday reported first-quarter revenue of $304.8 million, down from $344.7 million a year earlier as continued cuts in government defense budgets offset higher demand from shipping and aircraft.
"It was a very slightly soft start but it picked up well during the quarter," Pearce said. "We are going at a decent lick into the second."
Shares in the company, which had risen 28 percent since the start of the year to reach an all-time high of 1,022.6 pence on Friday, were down 3 percent to 957 pence by 0756 GMT on Wednesday.
Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Jason Neely