Al Jazeera English Selects BGAN X-Stream

Stratos Global Corp. announced that Al Jazeera English is the first media organization to deploy the new Inmarsat BGAN X-Stream mobile broadband satellite service, which enables streaming of broadcast-quality video from the field. Live television news coverage of military developments from Pakistan began on May 6. It has since used BGAN X-Stream daily for live broadcasts throughout the Middle East region. ‘

"While transmitting video from major cities worldwide is facilitated by the availability of terrestrial fiber and satellite newsgathering connections, reporting the news from remote areas can be a major challenge, due to the lack of available infrastructure," said Nick Taylor, head of news operations for Al Jazeera English. "BGAN from Stratos has proven to be a valuable solution for remote reporting. It is now clear that BGAN X-Stream from Stratos provides that same reliability, with faster guaranteed streaming speeds giving a major enhancement to picture quality."

Stratos worked closely with its UK-based channel partner Applied Satellite Technology Ltd. (AST) to deploy this pioneering solution for Al Jazeera English.

Stratos President and CEO Jim Parm said, "Our ability to partner with AST to support Al Jazeera English’s demanding video-streaming requirements and enable its reporting of critical breaking news events is truly gratifying."

The premium BGAN X-Stream service, introduced last month, allows a guaranteed minimum symmetrical video streaming rate of 384 kbps, with up to 450 kbps expected under optimal conditions. The service is commercially available in Europe, Africa and the Middle East and is scheduled to become available for the rest of the world next month. BGAN X-Stream is supported only by Class 1 BGAN terminals. Access to BGAN X-Stream does not require an additional external antenna or any other supplementary hardware.

To date, Stratos has provided Al Jazeera English with 45 BGAN terminals to successfully broadcast live news coverage. Sixteen of those terminals utilize the new BGAN X-Stream service. This week Al Jazeera Arabic, its sister television news network, deployed an additional 30 BGAN units from Stratos, for use at news bureaus worldwide.