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Expected effects of Inmarsat satellite repositioning for BGAN, FleetBroadband and SwiftBroadband

Inmarsat plans to optimize its satellite constellation with the launch of the third Inmarsat-4 satellite (I4F3). The exact date is currently being defined but the launch is expected to take place during the 3rd week of August 2008.

This will provide global coverage for BGAN, FleetBroadband (FBB) and SwiftBroadband (SBB) enhancing service and accessibility quality through improved inclination angles over the land masses.

In late February 2009, the BGAN service is scheduled to become available throughout Asia-Pacific including China, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Inmarsat will also be able to concentrate more spot beams over the EMEA regions, which is expected to improve the quality of the BGAN service.

To realize the benefits of the satellite repositioning, 2 short term outages affecting BGAN, FBB and SBB are necessary:

  1. The 1st will affect users in the mid-east Atlantic region, far western Africa, Ireland, and certain parts of the UK. If the launch of the I4F3 occurs as scheduled end August, this outage is expected to extend from mid-January 2009 through mid-February 2009.
  2. The second will affect users in eastern Asia, Western Australia, and the far western regions of the Pacific Ocean. This outage is expected to begin mid-February 2009 and last for just under 3 weeks.

In addition, users of Existing & Evolved spot beam services (i.e. GAN, Swift, Fleet 33, Fleet 55 and Mini-M) in the Atlantic Ocean Region-West region will see a change in the spot beam coverage areas in mid January 2009.

Land portable BGAN users will need to repoint their antennas to access the I4 satellites at their new positions. Existing & Evolved, SBB, FBB and vehicular BGAN antennas should adjust automatically to the appropriate satellites in their new locations.

LaunchPad Update

The latest release (v3.9.0) of Inmarsat LaunchPad releases contain a tool to help end users understand the impact and benefits of I-4 satellite repositioning. The latest version of LaunchPad can be downloaded here.

Please note that users can still connect and use the I-4 satellites after repositioning with older versions of LaunchPad as the embedded tool is a useful visual guide rather than a connection enabler.

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