British firm Inmarsat has announced a new prepaid voice service for satellite phones in the US, allowing users in remote locations to make and receive calls without signing up for lengthy and expensive contracts. The result of a license recently awarded to the company, the service is the first of its kind, and is likely to be welcomed by users of existing prepaid products on systems such as the IsatPhone Pro handset, the BGAN voice and data terminal, and the FleetPhone voice setup for ships.

As Inmarsat points out in a press release, prepaid services are particularly useful for customers working on short-term contracts, who may need the extensive coverage offered by a satellite phone but who can't afford to commit to a long-term contract. Existing customers will be able to access prepaid US voice services from September 1st.