Inmarsat provides improved broadband to border protection


Monday, 12 December, 2016


Inmarsat provides improved broadband to border protection

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has signed a five-year deal with Inmarsat, which will provide border protection vessels with high-speed mobile satellite broadband connectivity.

The $7 million contract will see Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) constellation deliver broadband connectivity at satellite communication (satcom) terminals and on a fleet of eight Cape Class vessels.

Inmarsat worked with Australian satellite specialists EM Solutions to develop a terminal that met DIBP’s unique needs.

DIBP Commander, Air and Marine Dave Luhrs said Inmarsat’s technology enhances border protection operations and equips staff and crew with better access to back-office applications and potential welfare communications while they are on patrol.

“At the operational level, the ability to switch between satellite systems enables our crew to prioritise their communications and ensures they are ‘always on’, which is of paramount importance when protecting our borders,” said Luhrs.

Each vessel has been fitted with the EM Solutions Cobra terminal, complemented by Inmarsat’s L-band FleetBroadband service. The larger support vessels have been fitted with commercial GX terminals.

Cape Class vessels are considerably larger than the platforms previously used by DIBP and carry approximately 22 crew, compared to just eight on the previous vessels. DIBP therefore required a satcom solution that was capable of handling significantly larger data capacities for crew and operational communications, and that offered high reliability.

Following the tender issued by DIBP, the Inmarsat solution was chosen as it delivered a single terminal to each vessel that provided the flexibility to choose between commercial and military satellite systems, while still maintaining the prerequisite reliability and communications coverage.

“This contract ensures the Department of Immigration and Border Protection remains at the forefront of communications technology while allowing it to continue to leverage its existing government-owned communications satellites,” Inmarsat Global Government President Andy Start said.

“Our broadband services and terminals augment and enhance what is possible for Australia’s border protection crews in order to keep them connected at all times.”

Image courtesy of Inmarsat.

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