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Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) is a new satellite network from Inmarsat. BGAN will offer transmission speeds of theoretically up to 492 kbps. Actual data rates will be lower, depending on the satellite terminal used. BGAN will offer both voice and data services. BGAN supports both packet switched services based on IP as well as traditional circuit switched services. The users needs a satellite modem. The satellite modem has the size of a small laptop computer. The build in antenna has to be pointed to the satellite.

BGAN uses the new series of Inmarsat-4 satellites. The first satellite was launched in March 2005. This satellite offers coverage over Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The second satellite will extend the coverage to the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean. The second satellite is scheduled for launch in the first half of 2006.

Eventually, BGAN will offer coverage around the whole globe with the exception of the polar regions and parts of the Pacific Ocean. Services will be offered to both land-based, airborne and maritime users.

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