Drew Brandy, Inmarsat's Vice President, Enterprise Industry at the CommunicAsia show in Singapore last week ( Photo: Anand Parthasarathy/ IndiaTechOnline)
Inmarsat to launch high data rate services in Asia this year

From Anand Parthasarathy
Singapore, June 25 2013: Satellite–based communications leader Inmarsat, is poised to launch high data rate services in the Asia Pacific region, later this year –  something that  might find interest in governments like India, which have disallowed the use of satphones by their citizens.
The use of satellite phones is limited to use by government agencies in security and disaster management scenarios, where enhanced data rates -- around 650 KBPS-- coupled with Inmarsat’s new Cobham SATCOM Explorer 710, may enable good quality video communication.

Speaking to me at the recently concluded CommunicAsia trade fair here, Drew Brandy, Vice President, Enterprise Industry at Inmarsat, said the company was hopeful of doing business in India in the long run – which prompted the appointment of an India Managing Director in January this year (See  our story)
Cobham’s plug and play EXPLORER 710 also features a built-in bonding capability, enabling connection speeds over 1 Mbps, which was previously only possible on a VSAT uplink.
“Asian broadcasters are always on the cutting-edge of innovation. We are very excited to introduce BGAN HDR to this market and expect this will be very well-received by broadcasters looking to deliver high-quality video anytime, anywhere,” added Drew Brandy,

“In addition to HDR, we are about to launch Slingshot L-TAC: our UHF TACSAT L-band alternative, enhancing Inmarsat’s reputation for delivering innovative and customer focused products to meet the requirements of the Global Government market.” Clarified Lizzie Greenwood, Inmarsat Global Government’s Business Development Director for AsiaPac.

The recent disaster situation in Uttarakhand state highlights the need for swift and reliable communications in situations where all conventional channels fail. Satellite based communications have generally been seen as the best solution in such scenarios, but they cannot be whistled up at short notice. Meanwhile, I did notice that when I landed back in Bangalore after my visit to CommunicAsia, the entry form I had to fill to clear immigration, now has an additional declaration: I am carrying a satellite phone Yes/No.