Inmarsat awards $55 million contract

Inmarsat has awarded Ericsson the contract to provide third generation UMTS core network equipment for its Broadband Global Area Network.

  • E-Mail
By  Matthew Southwell Published  December 5, 2001

Inmarsat has awarded Ericsson the contract to provide third generation UMTS core network equipment for its Broadband Global Area Network (B-GAN). The B-GAN will, once it launches sometime in 2004, deliver Internet & intranet content and solutions, video-on-demand, video conferencing, e-mail and LAN access at speeds of up to 432k/bit/s.

The US$1.7 billion network includes two new Inmarsat satellites, I-4, and will be compatible with third generation (3G) mobile systems. Ericsson’s slice of the pie is valued at around $55 million as its kit provides the call routing and mobility management functionality for Inmarsat’s B-GAN ground stations.

Michael Butler, managing director of Inmarsat, explains that by using 3G or UMTS equipment from Ericsson, the B-GAN service will ‘look’ like a terrestrial mobile network. In addition, there will be connectivity between the fixed and mobile terrestrial phone and data networks for the voice and data services.

“Inmarsat’s new broadband services will follow an open telecoms standards to enable enhanced synergy with the technology developments already under way for terrestrial mobile systems,” he says.

“The benefits to the end user will be the tremendous interoperability between 3G and B-GAN – potentially users will be able to use their standard 3G UMTS SIM cards in a B-GAN terminal and achieve enhanced terrestrial coverage for 3G services. Also B-GAN users will be able to benefit from the applications being developed for 3G networks,” adds Butler.

Inmarsat is already working with Ericsson on similar GPRS equipment for the precursor to the B-GAN service, a 144 kbit/s regional Mobile Packet Data service due for launch at the end of 2002. Installation of the Ericsson equipment for the B-GAN initiative is due to start in 2003.

“Inmarsat have selected Ericsson as a partner based on our market leadership, our technology expertise, and our comprehensive knowledge and experience in the satellite market. We are extremely pleased to build on our existing relationship with such a key and successful player in the market,” commented Roy Buckley, president, Ericsson.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code