BGAN satellite network comes to Americas

Inmarsat has begun offering its broadband global area network (BGAN) service across North and South America.

In the Americas, BGAN service relies on an Inmarsat satellite (I-4) launched last November and positioned in geostationary orbit over Brazil. The satellite joined another over the Indian Ocean to provide BGAN service availability to 85 percent of the world’s landmass and 98 percent of its population.

For newsgathering, BGAN offers networks and local stations an alternative to larger satellite uplinks, such as SNG and DSNG vehicles and flyaways. While it is not likely to replace these technologies, it offers field reporters, producers and news crews the highest level of portability they’ve ever had in a satellite uplink. There are BGAN terminals available that are no bigger than a laptop computer and weigh only a few pounds.

BGAN is a broadband Internet service offering voice, streaming video and the ability to file larger video stories using a store-and-forward approach. BGAN offers IP data speeds of up to 492Kb/s, with the option of guaranteed data rates up to 256Kb/s.

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