Beta Testing the First Mobile Internet Satellite Broadband, Part II

We were the first beta testers of a mobile command center with full internet access in 1999. Our mobile command center was also the first device with WiFi and mobile internet access.

The next generation of this system of broadband satellites was introduced in 2004. And the next wave of technology almost exists for 10 times the speed. It looks like Moore’s Law may only apply to satellites, but with Motorola’s past attempts and the FCC’s incompetence we’ve seen before, we may find there’s still a significant hurdle to overcome.

The biggest gripe back then was Iridium’s $134.50 per month pricing and ridiculous $1.34 per minute. Of course, GlobalStar proves that they are worse with 150 per month and 1.39 per minute and international calls at $1.79. The cool thing about Inmarsat is that it’s 20 years old and still has a data rate of 9.6 kbps, and sometimes you can get 64 kbps. Inmarsat A is ancient and 18,000 ships have a marine global distress system on board. GMDSS. If you look at almost all commercial ships, you will see antennas on top that can drive fax machines, telephones and various data interfaces. Previously they operated below deck Telex systems. This system is, as you might guess, purely analog, which has many advantages in marine weather conditions. Inmarsat B is a completely different story with its digital technology, you can definitely get 64 KBPS all day for streaming audio, video (a few hops) and voice and fax transmission.

Data transmission pricing due to speeds can save users up to 40% simply because it takes less time per minute to download and upload data. Granted, the hardware costs about $10K, but for what it is, it’s not bad considering the initial cost of data transmission. Now here is the new Inmarsat C deal, two way data communication, the terminals are portable and small, briefcase style. Terminal costs are approximately only $4K. and everyone in the TV business has one or more. Inmarsat also has a voice system that only needs a small antenna of 9.3 inches or more and comes in a small dome. They were recently featured in Popular Mechanics in November 01. The Trac Phone antennas for boats, RVs, etc. are expensive at $6500 but work well. This is also known as a mobile SatCom system. It’s a briefcase laptop system and weighs just 5 lbs. It costs only $3000. People call it briefcase phone. It uses a multi-user SIM card. The system, if you recall, never took off in the US like smart card phones did in Europe. Remember that PCS phones had that little slide in the cards, but they were too expensive to mass produce in cellular technology. The Inmarsat F77 is another innovation from 2001. ISDN and mobile packet data service capabilities. Fax, telephone, voice and data delivery. 64kbs, Absolutely and no problem. Almost seamless, it’s almost fully functional. We’re almost there. This technology takes advantage of the B-GAN services that will be provided by Inmarsat 4, launched in 2004.

That will be great. US-based ComSat Mobile, a division of Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications, announced its cooperation with Fleet F77 in the first half of 2002. Ah, are we getting there? They say the Stratos people who are arrogant Canadians. Why is this so cool? This means that users can send and receive data, but only be charged for the data sent and received. Serve up the web in broadband from anywhere or even a remote log cabin on vacation, email and surf the web for about $89.95 a month, all in real time with about 2-3 seconds of distance delays or on another system that we have now, it will be a half-second delay at even higher speeds (I’ll talk more about this in a minute). Internet-based systems like this mean we can track every ship, truck, terrorist school bus in the country in real time, just as they now track all airplanes, as we saw on television during 9/11. We watched the US charts with every plane flying.

Imagine the system’s capabilities for efficiency, safety, storm and weather monitoring, and the safety of our people. I really like that and everybody in America will be safe and the president can have his missile defense program because we’ll be able to track anything that moves that isn’t covert and right now that’s all we know about. We can even track stealth bombers through cell phone frequency interference patterns. We win. Find out which systems have a built-in safety switch so that important transmissions go first, such as a ship on the high seas in distress, a DEA transmission while profiling a smuggler, or distress calls. So if you are surfing or emailing online it will be delayed until they take care of safety priorities and at these speeds and number of users and the upcoming Craig McCaw Law I predict it will replace Moore’s Law for satellites that won’t be more than a nano second to 2005. In other words, you’ll accept a solar flare or even a thundercloud.

Orbicomm is another data source without voice capability and handles two-way and alphanumeric operations using a small network of LEO satellites. Another website we found may be of interest to you if you use any of these technologies.

End of Part II

Source by Lance Winslow