Inmarsat strengthens its broadcast offering

Satellite communication specialist woos broadcasters with faster mobile video streaming rates

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By  Roger Field Published  April 22, 2009

Inmarsat has launched a new broadcast service that allows reporters in remote locations to transmit mobile video and voice data at record speeds.

The service, known as Bgan X-Stream, is capable of mobile video streaming speeds of 384 kbps to 450kbps per second and is accessible using existing Bgan terminals, which operate without the need for external antenna or additional hardware.

The service was officially launched on Tuesday for use in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will be available for use globally by the end of June.

Drew Brandy, Inmarsat’s head of land mobile services, said the company developed Bgan X-Stream in response to demands from broadcasters.

“This enhancement represents an increase in Bgan’s streaming rate of at least 50%,” he said. “It means that we can meet the demand for higher guaranteed data rates, and offer a service that moves closer to broadcast quality. No matter where the story breaks, the global reach of Bgan X-Stream will deliver higher quality video to the studio from the remote broadcast.”

“We have a strong on-going relationship with broadcasters and we are the only mobile satellite service that can offer higher guaranteed data rates, across a reliable and proven network, with a global reach,” Brandy added.

Bgan X-Stream, which has been under development for almost a year, builds on existing technology from Inmarsat, allowing the company to leverage existing investments, according to James Collett, senior director for market management, Inmarsat.

“It has been part of leveraging our huge $1.6 billion investment that went into the Inmarsat 4 generation of services,” Collett told CommsMEA. “Having invested such an enormous amount of money into that particular project, it gave us a very flexible platform. It would be a six figure sum rather than a seven figure sum to get to something like Bgan X-Stream.”

Inmarsat is currently demonstrating Bgan X-Stream at the National Broadcasters Association trade show in Las Vegas.

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