BGAN, beginning on boats?
Well, Inmarsat’s 2004 projections on the size and timing of marine BGAN may have been a bit optimistic, but the fourth generation birds are in place and the service appears to getting more and more mobile, like this ruggedized Hughes 9201 (thanks, Russ!). “The unit supports speeds of up to 464/464 Kbps transmit/receive, has a built-in WiFi access point/router, and supports dedicated IP QoS at up to 128 Kbps. It is also software upgradeable to the high-performance Class 11 land vehicular rating, which will operate with Inmarsat’s BGAN-X network expected to be commercially launched later in 2007.” I don’t yet know what BGAN-X is, but I’ve heard that this nearly global broadband service will eventually come to boats in Fleet 33 size antenna domes. Meanwhile Steve Dashew has sniffed out BGAN pricing, which seems pretty good, and is apparently experimenting with his own funky marine version using a FollowMeTV tracker (a neat product I’ve been meaning to Panbo about for some time). As I’ve said before, the Dashew family’s SetSail.com is a great resource.