We agree that the cost of BGAN satellite internet service is comparatively expensive compared to cellular services or other satellite dish services.
The primary reason is because you’re transmitting to a satellite over 22,000 miles away using the L-band frequency. L-band is the only frequency that allows portable satellite antennas to deliver high-speed data over satellite. The good news is, using a few simple tricks while using a BGAN terminal can drastically reduce the cost of service.
Why L-Band Frequency Costs More
The L-band frequency is the same frequency used by satellite telephones that have very high $1 per minute calling costs. The L-band has a very long wavelength and as such it has low effective bandwidth. In other words, the amount of data that can be pushed through one L-band satellite is much less than the Ku-band or Ka-band frequencies used by larger satellite dishes, such as iDirect, Hughesnet, Exede, and Ground Control.
Since the L-band effective bandwidth is smaller, the price for transmitting high-speed data through it is much higher. However, with standard BGAN internet service, you only pay for the data transferred, no matter how long you’re online, unlike satellite telephones, where you’re charged by the minute.
The greatest advantage of L-band is that it requires only a very small antenna to connect, so BGAN terminals are portable enough to carry. Satellite dishes, however, are very heavy, and only certified installers are allowed to point a fixed satellite dish. Obviously, cellular services don’t have 100% coverage, especially during disasters such as a hurricanes and floods.
Why should you choose BGAN?
When high-speed internet connectivity is a requirement, no matter the location, BGAN service is one of the few viable ‘carry portable’ solutions we know of (Certus 700 from Iridium being the closest comparison).
Please visit BGAN Frequently Asked Questions for an overview of the BGAN service.