In a first for the Southern African market, Satellite Communications (SatComms) is offering a free Inmarsat BGanmobile satellite terminal on signature of an airtime contract.

SatComms spokesperson Anthony Glass said the BGan (Broadband Global Area Network) terminal is the size of a notebook computer and provides remote Internet connectivity for PCs and laptops.
“It gives the flexibility of being able to set up a mobile office in minutes from almost anywhere – including locations where traditional technologies cannot reach or where they are temporarily unavailable.
“BGan is designed for simplicity and ease of use. No specialist technical expertise is required to set it up or use it. Costs can be managed via real-time tracking of service usage and the same device can be used worldwide,” he says.
Glass explains that the user interface is standard across all terminals and can be customised to specific requirements. There are no compatibility issues with local telecomms networks, as BGan connects directly to the satellite and provides internet access via a hub in Europe.
The transfer rate is at 492 kbps, and streaming can be done at 256bps.  The unit, with the battery is lightweight at 2,5kg, and is the size of a laptop, 27,5cm x 34,5cm x 5cm.  Inmarsat has more that 10 000 BGAN subscribers.
“The BGan terminals are used by a variety of users to beam TV News live, connect to corporate VPN’s, transmit text messages, make phone calls or simply provide access to the Internet for a remote notebook and PC user,” says Glass.
He adds that BGan terminals are also ideal for companies involved in the mining, construction, marine, aviation, security and industries located away from the main centres. Farms, game lodges, business travelers and users requiring greater call security and redundancy like governments, police, embassies, asset managers, stock-brokers and the like will also find the service invaluable.
SatComms is an Inmarsat service provider and distributor of the new Isatphone, BGanmobile, Vsat, Iridium and Thuraya satellite terminals and phones.
Glass says that SatComms, with its years of experience in the industry and extensive range of products and services, will be able meet the specific requirements of even the most discerning buyer. SatComms offers all products on a cash or rental basis with full service backup and support.
Users of the Inmarsat terminals include:
* Aid agencies/NGO’s  like Télécoms Sans Frontières – The UN-appointed specialist in emergency telecoms has deployed BGAN to support crisis communications in Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Mozambique and Uruguay;
* Broadcasters like the BBC, CNN – have used BGAN to send live and recorded 'videophone' reports from the world's hotspots, including Afghanistan, Darfur and Ethiopia;
* Mining and exploration companies like Petro-Canada – The Canadian oil and gas company has equipped its engineers and small teams working in the field with BGAN, for communication with headquarters;
* Enviromental Agencies – An environmental monitoring expedition to Greenland used BGAN to send scientific data and research to analysts and the world's media; and
* Emergency services like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – The US first responder agency has procured over 500 BGAN terminals for its 'first-in' disaster response preparation.