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ARTES Elements
Tenders and Workplans

Contract signed for BGAN Extension Phase 2

11 Jul 2007

The European Space Agency and the industrial consortium lead by Inmarsat have signed the contract for Phase 2 of the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) Extension project. The new contract proposes to expand and complement the scope of BGAN Extension activities.
BGAN makes global mobile broadband services a reality, whether at sea, in the air or on land virtually anywhere in the world. Two Inmarsat-4 satellites support the BGAN system, launched in 2005 into Geo-Stationary Orbit. A third satellite, planned for launch in 2007, will provide near total global coverage.

Current BGAN services can provide users with a wide range of functionality, including voice, ISDN, high speed data and IP services as well as messaging services (SMS). For end users these high-bandwidth services will mean faster email, Internet access, videoconferencing, general data transfer and other mobile office applications. Phase 2 of the BGAN Extension will bring several major improvements.

BGAN Phase 2
Some of these improvements will further develop the BGAN multicast service and include deployment of a trial system based upon a Micro-SAS (Satellite Access Station) and multicast enabled Satellite Land-Vehicular Mobile Terminals. This will involve the design and prototyping of interactive applications for groups of people such as push-to-talk. The project team will also design and deploy extensions to the system such as multicast sources and routers in the mobile domain.

A series of bench tests and initial trials on satellites of the BGAN multicast system will be carried out. This will be done via one or more of the Inmarsat-4 satellites to support application testing and trials. Additionally, the project supports the over the satellite testing of BGAN terminals installed on aircraft. Finally, enhancing of BGAN's omni-directional system capacity will include Multi-User Detection (MUD) techniques.

Phase 2 of the BGAN Extension is an international endeavour. From the United Kingdom, Inmarsat will act as prime contractor. EMS SatCom, Logica CMG, Livewire Digital, Chartco, The University of Bradford, all also from the United Kingdom, GateHouse A/S from Denmark, EMS SatCom, SquarePeg, Space-Time DSP and Stratos from Canada, Ammeon from Ireland, as well as Ansur and Telenor, both from Norway are all counted as sub-contractors. The BGAN Extension Project Phase 2 will be completed in mid-2009.

Eyal Trachtman, Director of R&D at Inmarsat said: "The development of a multicast service for the Inmarsat BGAN system is key to our ability to efficiently serve our mobile satellite customers, and in particular our customers in the Maritime and the Government Sectors. The Canadian and European industry support in this project, under the ESA ARTES 4 programme element, demonstrates the importance of BGAN multicast for the Inmarsat Partnership."

Juan Rivera Castro, ESA Mobile Communications System Engineer and Technical Officer for the BGAN project stated, "Mobile satellite communications remain a strategic objective for European and Canadian Industry and Operators. ESA supports the further development of Inmarsat's BGAN system with advanced capabilities, which will bring new services for citizens and business. This project will reinforce the high level of competitiveness of Inmarsat and the broad industrial consortium involved in it."

To read more on BGAN click under related links at the right of this page.

Images courtesy Inmarsat

Last Update: 11 Jul 2007
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