The satellite's job will be to provide greater coverage for mobile telephones in Europe (as far as the Urals) and the Mediterranean Basin, particularly for areas that are not covered by the GSM system as there are far too few inhabitants. It will also provide a means for high-speed data transmissions between satellites on the basis of a SILEX laser beam system developed by Matra Marconi Space (France), which is the first non-military system of this type in the world. It will also lend support to the European precision navigation system, EGNOS, which is mainly intended for the aviation industry. It is supposed to mark an improvement upon the US GPS and Russian GLONASS systems.Artemis has been developed by a European consortium led by Alenia Aerospazio of Italy. The ECU 530 million contract is guaranteed by Italy (40%), France (21.25%), Germany (12%), Spain (7.5%) the United Kingdom...

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