Inmarsat Unveils World`s Fastest Portable Wireless Data Service

Inmarsat, the Total Communications

Network, today announced the launch of a new mobile wireless service that

offers businesses, small and large, high-speed data services, via

satellite, at speeds of up to 144kbit/s, virtually anywhere in up to 99



The service, Inmarsat Regional BGAN, is based on GPRS technology and

extends the reach of the corporate office to allow business to operate

where there is no reliable high-speed data network available. It enables

remote access to corporate networks, to the Internet, to email, to set up a

Virtual Private Networks and manage file transfers.

“The launch of Inmarsat Regional BGAN is an important milestone in the

provision of high-speed mobile data services to the UK business community,”

said Michael Butler, managing director, Inmarsat Limited. “It is truly a

Quantum Leap in the delivery of cost-effective, reliable, high-speed

wireless data services via satellite which enables businesses to operate

without the constraints of terrestrial networks, if available.”

“With the launch of Inmarsat Regional BGAN the idea of the mobile office

has become a reality, providing freedom and flexibility for businesses

around the world,” Michael Butler added.

The launch of Regional BGAN is part of Inmarsat`s $1.6 billion investment

programme to develop next generation broadband data services, which

includes the launch of two new satellites, the Inmarsat I-4s.

“Regional BGAN represents the dramatic next stage in the evolution of

Inmarsat`s data services portfolio,” added Michael Butler. “Our services

are increasingly becoming part of an integrated communications strategy for

many multi-national blue chip enterprises or small businesses who need to

be assured that their communications networks remain secure and accessible

24 hours a day regardless of location.”

Regional BGAN has already been well received by the analyst community. Alan

Brunstrom, a satellite specialist consultant for Telecoms analysts Ovum

believes that Regional BGAN takes Inmarsat to the forefront on wireless

data communications, “Inmarsat`s new Regional BGAN service looks to be not

just the first practical implementation of 2G+ services over a satellite

platform - but among the best over any kind of platform. It provides

further evidence that Inmarsat`s success in the Mobile Satellite Services

market is due to its step-by-step approach, which enables it to

consistently keep just abreast of user requirements. The Inmarsat I-4

system, to which this is a precursor, seems poised to continue that

relationship relative to 3G services.”

Dr Alea Fairchild, director of industry analysts Greiner International,

supports this assumption, reckoning that Inmarsat will be taken into the

mainstream mobile arena as it makes the mobile Internet a reality, “The

Regional BGAN model, with its data-based user pricing, web-based

user-orientated interface, and Inmarsat-owned Satellite Access Station, is

designed to decrease risk towards user adoption. Along with its low-cost

and lightweight satellite modem, Inmarsat is offering mainstream users in

the satellite footprint what many network providers have providers have

promised all along ? anytime, anywhere connectivity on the extended


The technology operates via a lightweight, A4 sized portable satellite IP

modem, and uses standard interfaces for ease of use. Its key features


á    Continuous coverage within the satellite footprint

á    “Always on” access to IP-based networks, including the Internet and
corporate data networks

á    Value for money, with users being charged only for the amount of data
sent and received rather than time spent online

á    Secure 144kbit/s shared channel

á    Bluetooth, UBS and ethernet ports

“In the last few years we have seen a steady increase in data applications

and last year data represented approximately 40% of our revenues. With

predicted year-on-year growth of data, of a market estimated to be worth up

to US$6 billion by 2005 (ESYS 2001), we are excited about the future

opportunities available for both Inmarsat and our customers` businesses,”

said Michael Butler.

Inmarsat is continuing to invest and evolve its portfolio of services to

meet the high-speed data needs of business today and tomorrow. Regional

BGAN represents the first evolution with the 144kbit/s IP connection, and

paves the way to Inmarsat`s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN), utilising

the I-4 satellites to offer voice and data services at speeds up to

432kbit/s, and currently due for launch in 2004.

Inmarsat Regional BGAN will provide users with all the functionality of

GPRS networks, at faster speeds, and will be available across Western and

Eastern Europe, the Middle East, northern half of Africa, large parts of

the Commonweath of Independent States (CIS) and the Indian sub-continent,

at a time when most GPRS networks are still largely metropolitan based.

Regional BGAN is distributed via a network of distribution partners that

include many of the world`s largest Telcos. They include: France Telecom

Mobile Satellite Communications, Telenor Satellite Services, Stratos Global

Corporation, Xantic, Morsviazsputnik and The MVS Group, Net Africa,

Egyptian Space Company (ESC), OteSat, and Telecom Italia.