NAB: Inmarsat Demos IsatHub

The mobile satellite services provider Inmarsat will be demoing a number of new services and products targeted to news organizations at this year's NAB show, including a new satellite phone and services that offer faster satellite connections.

During the show, broadcasters will get their first look at IsatHub, a service that will enable journalists and broadcasters in the field to use their Android or iOS phones and tablets when they are unable to access cellular or fixed networks.

The system uses an app in the smartphone, which connects the phone via Wi-Fi to a small satellite terminal developed by AddValue that is 17 by 17 centimeters. That connects the phone to Inmarsat's global 3G network and offers IP broadband data at speeds up to 384kbps as well as all of the phone's other voice and text capabilities.

"IsatHub will empower journalists to take their audiences with them, wherever the news is breaking," said Martin Turner, head of Inmarsat's media business.

IsatHub is scheduled to go live by mid-2014.

The company will also be showing its next generation satellite phone, IsatPhone 2.

More than 150,000 units of the first generation of the phone have already been sold.

Also on display will be the BGAN HDR service, which was launched in December of 2013 and offers much faster connection speeds.

The full channel option of the service has average speeds of 600-700kbps, with users in the field reporting speeds over 800kbps, the company reports.

"BGAN HDR…is proving to be a game-changing service for broadcasters," Turner added. "In the months since launch, we have seen enthusiastic uptake by international broadcasters who have already used BGAN HDR in places like the Philippines, South Africa and Antarctica to change how their audiences experience breaking news."