Inmarsat to Launch Broadband Satellite Service

1 Dec ’05

The Globe reports on the imminent launch of Inmarsat’s broadband satellite wireless service:

The London-based company says BGAN will provide fast, wireless coverage over 85 per cent of the Earth’s landmass by the middle of next year. Initial coverage includes regions in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa; North American coverage is expected to be activated in the second quarter of 2006 — the satellite that will provide it was launched on Nov. 8.

The hardware ranges from $3,300 (Canadian) to $5,000 plus the cost of usage. Service fees are expected to be comparable with existing satellite systems, although, with BGAN, customers can pay on a per-megabyte basis. But the service is fast, which may work out cheaper than slower air-time-based satellite systems when large files are being transferred.

One wonders what one could do with one of these, a robust MIMO router with range extender antennae, and firmware that allowed easy configuration of a community network.

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