Mobile Satellite Communications Industry Updates
Intentions for new and enhanced products and services
BGAN M2M service
Inmarsat is planning to launch a new BGAN machine to machine (M2M) platform and service consisting of new user terminals that can access the BGAN M2M services and new pricing.
The intent is to address more fully the market opportunity for users that require a low cost terminal specifically designed for data reporting / SCADA applications with unmanned functionality and reliability. BGAN M2M terminals will be based on either Class1 or 2 functionality and will be packet switched only. Service introduction for BGAN M2M with the HNS9502 is intended for February 2012.
IsatPhone Pro - personal alerting feature
Inmarsat is designing a personal alerting feature for IsatPhone Pro. For the consumer market, this functionality is for peace of mind; for the corporate market, demand is driven by duty of care by employers, and in some instances, it is a legal requirement that lone workers in remote areas have a means of contact. The personal alert feature is incorporated into the IsatPhone Pro man machine interface menu structure. As with most alerting features, it is a two step procedure, i.e. on activating the alert, the handset would query and then the user would confirm the action.
This new feature is intended for release by December 2011.
Multi-voice on FleetBroadband
The multi-voice service will be offered by Inmarsat to fulfill the strong market demand for additional voice lines on FleetBroadband, especially for segregation of bridge communication from other operational or crew calling facilities. This enhanced voice service now allows up to 9 voice calls supporting the standard range of supplementary services offered for existing telephony voice service. In particular, each additional call will be allocated a unique number and be fully interoperable with short code dialling and pre-paid platforms.
The Inmarsat multi-voice service will be enabled across existing and new FleetBroadband terminals subject to implementation by the manufacturer (Thrane confirmed that they will do it). Existing terminals will require either a firmware upgrade or an external multi-voice PBX to support the service. On the network ground infrastructure, the BGAN platform is being upgraded with packetized voice infrastructure and new billing subsystem capabilities to offer this service enhancement.
This capability will be offered as two options during SIM activation, a standard multi-voice option providing four voice lines and an enhanced multi-voice option providing 9 voice lines. The enhanced multi-voice option is available for FleetBroadband users with a FleetBroadband 250 or a FleetBroadband 500 terminal.
The multi-voice service is intended to become available from April 2012.
Dynamic telemetry service (DTS) for FleetBroadband
Inmarsat is developing a new dynamic telemetry service (DTS) data reporting service for FleetBroadband in response to maritime requirements. The FleetBroadband DTS service will enable a range of services from position reporting to engine monitoring as well as many other applications. The FleetBroadband DTS service represents a step change in data polling capabilities from Inmarsat C or Isat Data Pro services. The roll-out of FleetBroadband DTS services will require a firmware upgrade for existing FleetBroadband terminals that will be made available by FleetBroadband manufacturers.
Inmarsat intends service availability in early 2012 with selected hardware manufacturers. We are currently evaluating this service and when/if we will be supporting it.