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Overview of BGAN Satellite Terminals

The article considers all modern models of satellite terminals BGAN from Thrane & Thrane and Hughes.
Time does not stand still, the modern world is changing every second, what yesterday was a breakthrough in science, today is no longer perceived as something amazing. The development of the satellite industry was no exception. In a short time, the direction stepped forward, became more interactive and user-oriented.

Satellite terminals BGAN
Today, the global broadband network in the Inmarsat BGAN system is the first service in the world that simultaneously provides Internet access and the ability to use telephony using a portable terminal. The BGAN service operates on three fourth-generation geostationary satellites Inmarsat I-4. Using these satellites, in direct line of sight, almost the entire planet, with the exception of the polar regions, can be covered by a guaranteed Internet connection.

Despite the small size of the equipment, BGAN satellite terminals have a powerful antenna that allows you to deploy a mobile office anywhere in the world in seconds. In fact, BGAN terminals have become a replacement for the heavy and cumbersome satellite dishes, which are heavy and large in size, requiring effort and time to install. BGAN terminals are more compact and comparable in size and weight to a laptop computer, and are easy to carry and install.

Currently, BGAN broadband satellite Internet technologies are suitable for those who are located at remote sites where there is no access to the Internet and telephony. For those in areas prone to natural disasters that block any connection with the outside world. And just for those who want to always stay in the know.

It is obvious that the Inmarsat BGAN portable satellite terminal will be an excellent solution for those who are not satisfied with the signal quality of a regular GSM connection.

BGAN line of terminals
Now the global market for satellite terminals operating in the Inmarsat BGAN system is represented by several players – Addvalue, Hughes Network Systems, EMS Technologies, and Thrane & Thrane. In this article, we will look at the line of BGAN satellite terminals of two major manufacturers: Thrane & Thrane and Hughes Network Systems, compare their technical characteristics and main features.

The most prominent satellite equipment maker is Thrane & Thrane, currently absorbed by market giant Cobham. She has the following line of BGAN wearable satellite terminals: Explorer 300, Explorer 500, Explorer 710.

Hughes Network Systems has released the following wearable terminal models: HNS-BGAN 9201 and HNS-BGAN 9202.

Which terminal is better in terms of signal reception and data transmission?
More and more people are using the BGAN satellite terminals. The main criterion for the success of BGAN, of course, is the ability to quickly connect to the Internet, which is facilitated by the design feature of the terminal combined with the antenna. It is enough to install a satellite communications terminal in open space in the line of sight of a geostationary satellite and turn it on. The BGAN must find its position using GPS before it can communicate with the satellite, so a clear view of the sky is necessary from the very beginning. Getting the GPS starting position can take several minutes, after which the satellite terminal connects, and then data services and voice calls with high quality signal transmission will be available for use. This is due to the fact that Inmarsat BGAN operates in the L-band with a frequency grid of 1525 and 1646.5 MHz, unlike other satellite systems, the L-band allows you to avoid errors associated with the influence of weather factors on signal propagation.

However, the common problem of all geostationary satellites is the problem of signal delay. The total delay is 1–1.5 seconds round-trip for IP services. Streaming channels for 800 ms – 1 s work a little better. The delay is mainly due to the long distance the signal must travel to the satellite. BGAN users often use PEP software or other TCP packet accelerators to improve performance.

Explorer 300 BGAN satellite terminal For example, the Explorer 300 satellite terminal operates at a speed of 240 Kbit / s for transmission and 384 Kbit / s for reception, a guaranteed channel is available at a speed of 32, 64 Kbit / s. The low data transfer rate is a minus of Explorer 300, however, the undoubted advantage of this model is its lightness and mobility, with dimensions of 17 x 22 x 5 cm and a weight of 1.4 kg, the terminal is not difficult to take on a trip.

Explorer 500 BGAN satellite terminal The BGAN Explorer 500 transmits data at a speed of 448 Kbit / s for transmission and 464 Kbit / s for reception, a guaranteed channel is available at a speed of 32, 64, 128 Kbit / s, which makes it a little faster than its predecessor.

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