updated 10:40 am EDT, Tue October 9, 2007
Satellite internet, voice
Satellite company Tarium has rolled out Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) -- a combined broadband and voice-call service that works with Mac OS X that delivers both voice and broadband internet connectivity at the same time through one portable device. The system would allow Mac users to access the internet at broadband speeds from remote locations where DSL, high-speed cable, and other services are unavailable. Tarium's BGAN is already accessible in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and North as well as South America, according to Macworld UK. The service is already available across 85 percent of the planet's land mass, reaching 98 percent of the global population.
The company plans to extend coverage to the entire globe around mid-2008 offering data speeds of up to half a megabit (synchronous) while making a voice call with guaranteed data rates on demand with a variety of rate options.
BGAN offers custom data connection options for both personal and corporate use as well as the ability to restrict applications. It provides on-line access to account and billing information as well as access to text messaging and telephony features -- supporting both circuit-switched and packet-switched voice and data services: standard IP service with up to 492kpbs, streaming IP service wth QoS of up to 256kbps, and 4kbps circuit-switched voice service. Features such as voicemail, call waiting, call block, call hold, and call forward are also available.
The system takes only a few minutes to set up, and provides ISDN as well as the ability to send and receive SMS text messages. Customers receive one of a variety of portable satellite terminals as well as software for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X 10.2 or later, with pricing starting from $2,050.