Western Hemisphere RBGAN and BGAN coverage

Western Hemisphere and West Africa to be covered in April 2006

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Posted: 4/7/2006

As of April 17, Inmarsat's new 4F-2 satellite will provide RBGAN coverage for South America.  Users in West Africa are now able to connect to the new satellite, in stationary orbit over Brazil. 

The new BGAN terminals, with higher bandwidth and voice capability, will have access from North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

RBGAN users in Guinea and Mali have begun to switch to the new satellite, in stationary orbit over Brazil.  A user in Guinea, where the Indian Ocean satellite was barely above the horizon, was able to "pick it up without problems" and reported 85% signal strength.

Users in Western Africa within the footprint of the Inmarsat 4-F2 satellite now have the capability to select which satellite they wish to use. The Launch Pad software (version 3.15.0) provides heading and elevation information that can be used to locate both satellites.

It is important to note that RBGAN service will not currently be provided to users in Canada, USA, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, or the Caribbean. However, the new BGAN terminals will operate throughout the Western Hemisphere.

A map of the planned coverage area can be found on the Inmarsat Web site.

With the expanded coverage area, humanitarian groups and missions in remote areas of South America now have access to email service, as do teams now in Asia and Africa (as in the picture above).

The introduction of BGAN service , with bandwidths of up to 492 kbps, will enable remote users to have Internet access. The BGAN system utilizes the same I-4 satellites, but it is more robust than the 144 kbps RBGAN bandwidth and will utilize different (and costlier) terminals. These terminals, which will offer both voice and data, are now being tested. For more information on the upcoming Inmarsat BGAN service, click here.

For more on the new BGAN service and terminals, click here.

For information on the proven RBGAN system, click here.

For further information and assistance, contact your service provider, or you may email us at info@humaninet.org.

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