Inmarsat, a provider of global mobile satellite communications services, is exhibiting for the first time at CABSAT this year.
Supporting its strategy of bringing the “Internet of Everywhere” to the world - the company will be demonstrating innovations designed to deliver powerful, portable and flexible connectivity services on a global scale.
Global Xpress (GX) will deliver the world’s first high-speed, Ka-band broadband global communications network from a single operator. Designed for mobility, the first GX satellite (I-5 F1) entered commercial service in July 2014 and is already in service with customers. I-5 F1 covers Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. The second satellite in the GX fleet (I-5 F2), which covers the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean was successfully launch from Kazakhstan on 1 February, while the third spacecraft, which will cover the Pacific Ocean region, is scheduled for launch during Q2. GX is on course to enter global commercial service early in the second half of 2015.
Commercially launched on a global basis in September 2014, IsatHub represents one of the most significant developments in Inmarsat’s portfolio; bringing the benefits of reliable and robust L-band network to a far wider audience for the first time.
IsatHub delivers global 3G connectivity for smart devices and features the highest data rate of any equivalent mobile satellite service with standard IP data of up to 240/384kbps (send/receive). The revolutionary service means that anyone can surf the internet, access their apps, text or talk using their own iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android smart device, even when they’re thousands of kilometers from a terrestrial fixed or mobile network.
Accessing the IsatHub service is quick and simple using the Wideye iSavi terminal from AddValue Technologies, which is approximately the size of a paperback book, and the IsatHub control app, downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. The user’s smart device connects via Wi-Fi to the terminal and a choice of easy-to-use audio cues, LED guides or ‘pointing assistance’ in the control app enables them to line up rapidly with the satellite.
Once connected to Inmarsat’s powerful 3G satellite network, the Wideye iSavi creates a secure, personal network with a range of up to 30m (100ft). The terminal will allow multiple authorised users to wirelessly use Isathub’s voice and data services at the same time. Downloading the IsatHub voice app provides access to its dedicated, high quality voice line and text messaging – even on devices that are ‘Wi-Fi-only’ – such as an iPod Touch.
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Launched in 2014, IsatPhone 2 is an advanced handheld satellite phone, which offers dependable, high quality voice calls and text messaging outside of cellular and fixed network coverage. With a rugged handset design and an industry-leading eight hours of talk time (160 hours on standby), IsatPhone 2 joins Inmarsat’s top-selling IsatPhone Pro, offering customers a choice of phone depending on their requirements and budget.
Extensive testing has shown that IsatPhone 2 has the longest battery life on the market for a handheld satellite phone, ensuring that it is ready and available when needed. The new phone operates over the ultra-reliable, globally available Inmarsat-4 constellation, ensuring that a user can stay in contact across the world.
Among its wide range of features, IsatPhone 2 provides an assistance button, which in an emergency sends GPS location data, together with a user-defined text message, to a pre-programmed number or email address. Additionally, the new satphone includes a tracking capability, which can be used to show a user’s location on an interactive map. Both the emergency and tracking features offer peace of mind to those whose jobs take them into volatile locations, providing the reassurance that the alarm can be raised at any time and that their location may be easily identified.
The BGAN HDR service delivers a significantly enhanced streaming rate, providing a step-change in video quality for journalists reporting from remote regions or areas where the existing communications infrastructure is unreliable or damaged.
Building on the heritage of the BGAN platform, launched in 2005, and BGAN X-Stream, launched in 2009, BGAN HDR supports a portfolio of four new streaming rates, including asymmetric services to ensure broadcasters only pay for the throughput they need.
Its full channel option will provide broadcasters with an expected streaming rate of around 650kbps. Cobham SATCOM’s EXPLORER 710, the first terminal to access the HDR service, has a built-in bonding capability, enabling connection speeds above 1Mbps to be achieved – previously only possible on a VSAT uplink.
BGAN HDR can also be used as a dependable back-up solution to cellular bonding, offering a simple to use but powerful support service to journalists should cellular services fail or become busy.
L-TAC: Emergency Services Communications
Launched in 2014, the L-TAC service for civilian users will significantly extend the range and capabilities of VHF radios used by the emergency services and enable full interoperability between civilian and defence forces radios – crucial during major incidents or civil emergencies.
Originally introduced for military users in 2013, Inmarsat’s L-TAC service is already in use by defence forces around the world. It provides a low cost Tactical UHF Satellite (TACSAT) capability, which greatly extends the range of UHF tactical radios by linking them via Inmarsat’s global satellite constellation into a seamless, secure network.
Utilising the unique Spectra Slingshot adapter kit, created exclusively for use over the Inmarsat satellite network, defence departments and now civil government customers can rapidly convert existing radios to access the L-TAC network through the simple addition of a small converter and antenna.
Previously, the benefits of military grade communications technology, such as L-TAC, have not been available to civilian customers. To support the crucial work of the emergency services and other civilian government departments, Inmarsat has introduced a VHF Simplex versions of the Slingshot adapter kit. This extends the L-TAC service into a new frequency band, one that is utilised by an extensive number of end-user radios worldwide.