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I-4 BGAN satellite tests commence

Inmarsat-4, the satellite that will be used to deliver Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service to the Americas, is undergoing tests at a temporary location above the Gulf of Guinea before being repositioned to a geosynchronous orbit above northern Brazil, according to Inmarsat.

The final critical phase of I-4’s initial deployment was completed in mid-November with the unfolding of the satellite’s 9m reflector that will be used to convey traffic from the satellite to receivers.

After testing is complete, the satellite will be positioned at 53 degrees west. BGAN will offer broadcasters an alternative for backhaul of digital video and audio files from remote locations when used in combination with store-and-forward technology. Streaming video over the broadband service is also possible. Some BGAN satellite transmitters are no bigger than a laptop computer, so they may provide broadcasters with backhaul where ENG and SNG trucks can’t go. Service to the Americas is expected to commence in February.

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