Monday, December 5, 2005

Inmarsat Launches Broadband Global Area Network

Inmarsat launched its Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN), a satellite-based mobile IP service that delivers Internet and intranet content and solutions, video-on-demand, videoconferencing, fax, e-mail, phone and LAN access at speeds of up to 492 kbps. There is an option for guaranteed data rates up to 256 kbps.

The service is delivered using a pair of new Inmarsat-4 satellites -- which are among the largest and most advanced commercial communications spacecraft ever launched. BGAN is initially available across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Service to the Americas is expected to be available in Q2 2006. The two satellites will deliver seamless broadband coverage across 85% of the world's landmass and be available to 98% of the world's population.

BGAN satellite terminals are about half the size of a laptop and can be connected using wired or wireless connections, including Bluetooth and 802.11b.

BGAN terminals and airtime are being sold through selected Inmarsat Distribution Partners (DPs). These include BT, France Telecom, KDDI (Japan), MCN (China), MVS (USA), SingTel, Stratos (USA), Telenor Satellite Services (Norway and USA), and Xantic (Australia and the Netherlands).

  • In November 2005, the Inmarsat-4 communications satellite was successfully launched in geosynchronous transfer orbit by a Zenit-3SL rocket from the Sea Launch Odyssey platform in the Pacific. Inmarsat-4 is among the largest communications satellites ever launched -- 5,958 kg (13,108 lb). It is designed to provide high-speed mobile service to people throughout the Americas during its 13-year service life. It is one in a series of satellites designed to support the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN). One of a family of three similar spacecraft, this Inmarsat-4 F2 satellite carries a single global beam that covers up to a third of the Earth's surface, 19 wide spot beams and 228 narrow spot beams. It has a total end-of-life power of 13kW.

  • The first Inmarsat-4 was launched in March 2005 and is already in commercial service above the Indian Ocean. Together, the two I-4 satellites will be able to deliver Inmarsat's new Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service to 85% of the world's landmass.

  • Inmarsat's I-4 satellites are built by EADS Astrium and are part of an eight-year, US$1.5 billion development of Inmarsat's next-generation satellite network.


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