Ground Control's BGAN coverage from Inmarsat is global. Any BGAN terminal will operate in any country within any of the three coverage areas above with any of Ground Control's BGAN service plans. Also, any BGAN terminal may move to any location and connect with any of the satellites without need to reconfigure the system or need to purchase any different service plan (ideal for world travelers).
BGAN Coverage Map PDF
Inmarsat-4 F1 I-4 Asia-Pacific 143.5° east longitude
Inmarsat-4 F2 I-4 Europe, Middle-East, Africa 25° east longitude
Inmarsat-4 F3 I-4 Americas 98° west longitude
Since a BGAN terminal uses the L-band for reception and transmission (the L-band has a very long wavelength), it is able penetrate through clouds and other atmospheric condition far better than large satellite dishes.
Inmarsat may once have had a policy to suspend BGAN service for those on the open ocean, but we have not seen them turn off service to anyone for over 5 years. Rumor is today they will not turn you off.
As for waterways and lakes, there are no vessel restrictions. We recommend the In-Motion Wideye Safari, our or cased MCD-4800 that has its own power. For fixed terminals, we recommend the Explorer 300, the Explorer 500 and the Hughes 9202 BGAN terminals if motion is limited. These BGAN terminals have wide angle signal locks, where a terminal may be off by more than 10 degrees, and still maintain connectivity.
Please note that Inmarsat has created FleetBroadband which uses the same BGAN network, but
deploys sea worthy antennas & terminals for connectivity.
Today there are three BGAN Satellites that give contiguous worldwide coverage. Each I-4 can generate 19 wide beams and more than 200 narrow spot beams. These can quickly be reconfigured and focused anywhere on Earth to provide extra capacity where needed.
Some of the spacecraft's impressive features include:
- The I-4 body - approaching the size of a double-decker bus at 7m x 2.9m x 2.3m
- Solar arrays - approaching the width of a football pitch, with an immense wing span of 45 meters
- Solar panels - combining conventional silicon with advanced gallium arsenide (GaAs) cells for optimum efficiency
- Digital signal processor - controlling the antennas, beam forming and channel allocation
- Reflector - 9 meters wide and designed to unfurl in orbit like a giant flower
- Antennas - 120 helix elements combined in a single flexible array
- Thrusters - both chemical and plasma ion for orbital station keeping
Prior to January 7, 2009, there were only two BGAN satellites that serviced the Americas and Europe/Africa regions (click here see old coverage map). With the successful activation of the third (and newest) satellite on January 7th (which was activated over the Americas) the two existing BGAN satellites were repositioned to better global locations for full world-wide coverage. The first phase of repositioning completed on February 6th with new coverage region for Europe/Africa. The second and final phase happened on February 24, 2009 for the Asia Pacific regions.
For More interesting facts on BGAN, please visit this page.
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