New services from Inmarsat

Inmarsat, the first to introduce ISDN (integrated service digital network) satellite phones world wide, offers two new applications of its satellite services that are especially useful in developing countries: A data transfer system that charges users for the volume of transferred data only, and not for time logged on to the service; and an intern {mosimage}Inmarsat, the first to introduce ISDN (integrated service digital network) satellite phones world wide, offers two new applications of its satellite services that are especially useful in developing countries: A data transfer system that charges users for the volume of transferred data only, and not for time logged on to the service; and an internet-based tracking system with global coverage.
The Mobile Packet Data (MPD) Service provides cost effective corporate data application for small and medium sized businesses in areas where conventional telecommunication systems are absent or unreliable.Packed data communication implies the technology of packing data into small packages before transmitting them (as opposed to traditional circuit switched services). MPD Service exploits this method.
Normally, when using an already existing ISDN service to download a website, users are charged for the time connected to the channel. Data is transferred in bursts with dead time in between. Users are charged as long as the channel is open, even if no data is transferred. When using MPD Service, users are charged for the amount of transferred data only, at around US5c per kilobyte. This service is thus ideal for applications that require to be logged on continuously.
The original ISDN service is still recommended for large companies with needs for video conferencing, data streaming, transmitting seismic survey records, high quality audio and image and large file transfer, amongst others. Transmission costs for this service is around $7/minute for full 64 KBPS usage. A terminal (for either service) costs about $7,000.
GlobalTrack has been developed by African Satellite Company (ASC), Inmarsat’s African agent, since 1999 and is now being introduced globally. It uses the global coverage of Inmarsat combined with a powerful internet application for mapping, reporting and added value services.
It pinpoints a truck, vessel or other asset via satellite on a detailed map on the internet. The user and his customers have access to the ASC website www.globalwebtrack.com via username and password. Information such as location, load, position, estimated time of arrival, etc., is thus available to every person who needs it. Messages can be sent to and from a GlobalTrack unit.
The system is not limited to application in the transport industry. It can be used, for example, in the military to monitor movement of logistics and maneuvers, or by utility providers to monitor distribution of electricity and water, or dam levels.
It consists of a satellite antenna/transceiver with built-in GPS, which can be installed in less than two hours. Users and their customers require only a standard personal computer with connection to the internet to access the website.
Modems cost between $1,091 and $1,400 (depending on size of order and applications), the activation fee is $50 per modem and a monthly subscription of between $30 and $40 per modem is charged, including positions and messages.

  • ASC also offers a rural payphone system that can be set up in minutes. It consists of an Inmarsat phone with pre-paid cards. The cost of both local and international calls ranges from $1.25/minute. This offers an opportunity for entrepreneurs who want to set up payphone businesses in areas not covered by fixed line or other networks.
    AFRICAN SATELLITE CORP: ernst@connectingafrica.com www.globalwebtrack.com Tel +27 11 8039809; Fax +27 11 8039573TO
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