Inmarsat Ltd., the British satellite communications firm, announced Tuesday it would begin selling satellite bandwidth to fliers who wish to surf the Web, send e-mail and eventually, watch television.

To use the service, carriers need to upgrade an aircraft’s avionics — a $200,000 investment — as well as wire the plane with a computer network to provide an Internet jack at each seat. In most cases, passengers would connect their own laptop computers to the network.

Bandwidth will be provided to the aircraft at about $11-$15 per minute, which could be resold to passengers at the carrier’s discretion.