Comms On The Move
Organizations covering everything from urban centers to rural and even far-flung remote areas, maintaining reliable connectivity with their mobile workforce is essential in order to deliver high-quality service to its customers. Satellite communications plays an important role in providing 100% coverage for a large fleet of vehicles. Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network service (BGAN) provides both voice and IP data (up to 492 Kbit/s) simultaneously through a single, truly portable satellite transceiver with global coverage.
The connectivity challenge
Depending on the area, relying on 3G/4G cellular communications alone can mean hours of lost productivity and costly downtime due to congested, limited or no cell site coverage. Mobile crews attending to routine business in sparsely populated areas or trying to restore service in areas damaged by natural disasters, may have no 3G/4G access at all, or commonly have to drive miles to higher ground in search of adequate reception.
But measuring the quality of cellular coverage across diverse territories and with possibly multiple providers is challenging enough, let along figuring out how to end up with ubiquitous, high-quality connectivity. Recognizing it can’t manage what it can’t measure, while accepting cellular’s coverage and reliability limitations, companies with large fleets are increasingly looking for a comprehensive, IP mobile data satellite solution to keep its workforce in constant communication. The results are impressive—improved productivity and asset utilization, while elevating overall worker safety. Covering thousands of square miles with widely varied terrain and population densities, the utility’s service area has a challenging landscape. Cell data coverage varies outside heavily developed areas, and even in less developed areas, cellular networks experience overloading during peak times as consumers demand fast speeds and increased data consumption to the Blackberrys and iPhones for real-time access to email, sports, news, weather, Facebook, and more. In most areas, customers experience intermittent cellular service from mid-afternoon until early evening. Cellular data networks will not prioritize traffic, so even companies willing to pay for priority during heavy usage periods remain subject to unpredictable network availability.