The satellite operator launched its Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) yesterday, IDG News Service reports: The company has two birds in the sky that use beamforming antennas to allow focusing bandwidth in more discrete areas and relocating bandwidth on demand. The 4G satellites will eventually provide OnAir's in-flight broadband service as well.
The BGAN service will offer 492 Kbps speeds and meld voice and data simultaneously, which the company claims is unique for wireless offerings. Calls will cost about US$1 per minute; data, €4 to €7 per megabyte. These are initial prices Inmarsat expects will fall as resellers roll out plans. A terminal will run $1,500 to $3,000 and be laptop-sized for portability.
North and South America officially lack coverage at the moment; they're waiting for the third launch in spring 2006.