Inmarsat is giving Asia a preview of its upcoming IsatHub service at CommunicAsia2014 with an exclusive live demo showcasing its ability to connect smartphones and tablets to its satellite via a Wi-Fi access point.
The service - due for commercial launch this year - comprises a voice app and a Wideye iSavi terminal from AddValue Innovation. The iSavi connects to Inmarsat’s I-4 satellites, which provide a data link of up to 240/384kbps (send/receive) and a dedicated voice line. Users can then connect up to five or six smartphones and tablets to the iSavi at distances up to 30 meters away.
The IsatHub voice app enables users to make and receive voice calls on their device (as well as text messages) via the IsatHub voice line. A separate control app offers features such as set-up assistance, full control over additional device access, as well as visibility of data usage from each device sharing the IsatHub connection.
The IsatHub control app and voice app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
The IsatHub solution is part of Inmarsat’s strategy to provide a BYOD option for customers, said Drew Brandy, Inmarsat’s VP of enterprise strategy and development.
“This will be targeted at our traditional customers, particularly in media,” Brandy told the Show Daily. “Broadcasters in the field can use BGAN to connect to the studios and IsatHub for their smart devices.”
While the IsatHub device is cheaper than BGAN terminals, it still comes with an RRP of $1499. Inmarsat’s channel partners are responsible for creating service packages and prices.
In related news, Inmarsat said on Wednesday it has endorsed a training and certification program from the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) designed specifically for the company’s Global Xpress (GX) high-speed mobile broadband satellite service.