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Ocean race video-call marks launch of global broadband


Andrew Cape

The arrival of global coverage for Inmarsat's pioneering FleetBroadband maritime communication service was celebrated over a live video-call link from the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Inmarsat president Michael Butler in Sydney, Australia, spoke face to face with Andrew Cape, navigator for the Volvo Ocean Race yacht Il Mostro, as it sped for Cape Horn on the fifth leg of the Inmarsat-sponsored round-the-world race.

The video-call, made via FleetBroadband, marked the inauguration of Inmarsat's new I-4 Asia-Pacific coverage region, which became operational at 20:00 UTC on 24 February.

Media event
Michael spoke with Andrew Cape during a special media event staged by TC Communications, an Inmarsat service provider based in New South Wales.

Michael said: “This is an important milestone for Inmarsat, not just in its provision of mobile broadband services in Australia and across the whole of Asia Pacific, but in the services it delivers globally.

“We were established as a global operator, and seamless global coverage has always been at the core of our service provision.

“It reflects the requirements of the many different government and commercial sectors that we support, and underpins our commitment to those users,” he said.

Global coverage for FleetBroadband follows the successful conclusion of Inmarsat's I-4 satellite repositioning program, which has resulted in the creation of three new I-4 coverage regions:

Global coverage map

I-4 Americas – from 98 degrees West, covering the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
I-4 EMEA – from 25 degrees East, covering the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
I-4 Asia-Pacific – from 143.5 degrees East, covering the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

FleetBroadband users in Asia-Pacific will find their terminal automatically locks on to the new satellite, and they need take no additional action. However, some terminals may require software or upgrades or other user action. End-users should contact their equipment supplier if unsure.

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"Reliability to the Rescue" Offer Again Provides Credits Up to $700 For Customers Switching to Iridium


BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Iridium Satellite LLC announces that it is re-launching its popular "Trade-Up to Iridium" program, which provides pricing incentives for customers trading up from Globalstar to Iridium handsets and service. Iridium is re-initiating the program due to the much-publicized degradation of Globalstar's voice service. This follows the success of the initial Trade-Up to Iridium offer, which ran from January to September 2008, and responds to continued demand from Service Providers and customers.

"Iridium's goal is to ensure that satellite phone users have access to consistently reliable global satellite communications services," said Don Thoma, executive vice president, Marketing, Iridium. "Our network is now recognized to be the only satellite communications service that dependably provides a critical communications lifeline everywhere."

Effective February 20 to September 30, 2009, any Globalstar satellite phone user is eligible to trade in his or her handset for an Iridium satellite phone. The original program, which Iridium offered to government users, first responders, educational institutions and relief organizations, is now open to any end user from any market sector due to wide interest from non-public sector customers.

Through the Trade-Up to Iridium program, participating Iridium Service Providers based in North America will offer a credit of up to $400 on a new Iridium 9505A satellite phone to customers turning in an existing Globalstar handset. Participating Service Providers will also offer up to $300 in airtime credits when signing a customer for a qualified Iridium calling plan.
Participating Service Providers outside of North America will be able to offer similar incentives available through regional Trade-Up to Iridium programs.

"Iridium users have satellite phones because they often live, work and play in areas that lack adequate ground communications infrastructure," said Thoma. "Many are public safety and service organizations that rely on satellite links for mission-critical communications when disasters strike, and many large organizations have integrated Iridium into their business operations and emergency response plans. This is an excellent opportunity to trade-up to Iridium if your satellite phone must serve as a reliable, critical lifeline."

I-4 EMEA Satellite (25E) Is Now Successfully In Commercial Service


The Repositioning Summary

ISS is pleased to announce that the I-4 EMEA satellite (25E) is now successfully in commercial service covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Service has been restored for BGAN, FleetBroadband and SwiftBroadband users that were affected by the Atlantic region outage. Inmarsat Satellite Phone Services (ISPS) have been transferred to the new I-4 EMEA satellite.

Important notes:

  • BGAN users affected by the Atlantic region outage need to re-point their antennas. To help guide the process, use the latest version of BGAN LaunchPad.
  • IsatPhone and LandPhone users need to re-point their antennas to the new I-4 EMEA satellite location at 25E. Channel numbers 38, 48, 49 and 88 remain the same. To see which applies to you, download the Updated Channel Map.
  • When re-pointing your antenna, please ensure that there are no objects blocking line of sight.
  • No action is required for FleetBroadband and SwiftBroadband users who were affected by the Atlantic region outage, as well as FleetPhone users since the antennas will track the satellite automatically.

Software Upgrades

The most recent terminal software updates are listed below:

Commercial availability of the I-4 EMEA satellite also marks the beginning of the second and final outage related to repositioning. It will run from February 6 - 24 and affect BGAN, FleetBroadband and SwiftBroadband users in certain parts of Asia Pacific.

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