Newsroom

Al Jazeera English Deploys New BGAN X Stream from Stratos for Live to Air TV News

--Al Jazeera English is the first media organization to use BGAN X-Stream mobile broadband satellite service, which enables streaming of broadcast-quality video from the field--

Bethesda, Maryland (May 14, 2009) - Stratos Global Corporation, the leading global provider of advanced mobile and fixed-site remote communications solutions, today announced that Al Jazeera English is the first media organization to deploy the new Inmarsat BGAN X-Stream mobile broadband satellite service.

Al Jazeera English began using BGAN X-Stream from Stratos to broadcast live television news coverage of military developments from Pakistan on May 6. Al Jazeera English has since used BGAN X-Stream daily for live broadcasts throughout the Middle East region. Al Jazeera English is the sister television news network of the Arabic-language Al Jazeera Satellite Channel. Stratos worked closely with its UK-based channel partner Applied Satellite Technology Ltd. (AST) to deploy this pioneering solution for Al Jazeera English.

Al Jazeera English's successful deployment of BGAN over the past year, including the use of BGAN X-Stream, led to Al Jazeera Arabic's decision this week to deploy an additional 30 BGAN units for use at news bureaus worldwide. BGAN X-Stream from Stratos enables media organizations to perform at optimal levels at any remote location imaginable. Journalists can effectively use BGAN services with minimal training.

With the help of its channel partners worldwide, Stratos is again the first Inmarsat Distribution Partner to achieve an important BGAN milestone. In October, Stratos was the first to achieve 10,000 BGAN activations. Stratos is one of the world's largest distributors of Inmarsat's BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) service, a mobile satellite offering that uses portable, lightweight terminals to provide video (guaranteed up to 384 kbps streaming), high-speed data (up to 492 kbps) and voice connectivity anywhere in the world.

The premium BGAN X-Stream service, introduced last month, allows a guaranteed minimum symmetrical video streaming rate of 384 kbps, with up to 450 kbps expected under optimal conditions. The service is commercially available in Europe, Africa and the Middle East and is scheduled to become available for the rest of the world next month. BGAN X-Stream is supported only by Class 1 BGAN terminals. Access to BGAN X-Stream does not require an additional external antenna or any other supplementary hardware.

For two years, Al Jazeera English videographers have depended upon BGAN from Stratos to transmit video from field locations worldwide to their various broadcast centers. BGAN from Stratos has helped Al Jazeera English broaden the scope of its field reporting while avoiding transmission costs normally associated with satellite trucks.

Stratos and AST have to date provided Al Jazeera English with 45 Hughes 9201 BGAN terminals to successfully broadcast live news coverage. Sixteen of those terminals utilized the BGAN X-Stream service. Al Jazeera English is using QuickLink software for live and file-based video transport and acquisition over IP.

"While transmitting video from major cities worldwide is facilitated by the availability of terrestrial fiber and satellite newsgathering connections, reporting the news from remote areas can be a major challenge, due to the lack of available infrastructure," said Nick Taylor, head of news operations for Al Jazeera English. "BGAN from Stratos has proven to be a valuable solution for remote reporting. It is now clear that BGAN X-Stream from Stratos provides that same reliability, with faster guaranteed streaming speeds giving a major enhancement to picture quality."

Al Jazeera English makes full use of Stratos' value-added services known as The Stratos Advantage, which enable customers to monitor airtime, restrict unauthorized usage, and manage costs. Al Jazeera English also achieves guaranteed, end-to-end bandwidth for its time-critical data with a solution hosted by Stratos. That solution extends guaranteed bandwidth from the BGAN terminal through to the terrestrial infrastructure to Al Jazeera English broadcast centers.

Stratos President and CEO Jim Parm said, "Our ability to partner with AST to support Al Jazeera English's demanding video-streaming requirements and enable its reporting of critical breaking news events is truly gratifying. We look forward to helping Al Jazeera English and other media organizations use BGAN, BGAN X-Stream and The Stratos Advantage to achieve optimal performance and efficiency."

Since its introduction in late 2005, BGAN from Stratos has been widely adopted by media organizations, military agencies, first responders and professionals in many other industries worldwide. Stratos now boasts more than 10,000 BGAN activations in 185 countries.

About The Stratos Advantage
Stratos customers fully utilize The Stratos Advantage, a suite of value-added services that help elevate BGAN from Stratos far above baseline offerings. These value-added services, including Stratos Dashboard, provide users with cost control, firewall management, full traffic information, pre-paid facilities, high security options, easy VPN access, messaging services and full IP range. More information on BGAN from Stratos is available at www.thepowerofbgan.com.

About Al Jazeera English
Al Jazeera English is the first English language world news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East. Launched in November 2006, Al Jazeera English is setting the global news agenda and acts as a bridge between cultures. With unique access as the channel of reference for Middle East events, and broadcast centers strategically placed around the world in Doha, Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington DC, Al Jazeera English is balancing the information flow from South to North, providing independent and impartial news for a global audience from a grass roots level, giving voice to different perspectives from under-reported regions around the world. Al Jazeera English is available in over 100 countries to over 140 million households worldwide, and was recently awarded "Best 24 Hour News Program" at the 48th Annual Monte Carlo Television Festival. The channel also recently received its first three International Emmy nominations in both news and current affairs, for its groundbreaking coverage of the military crackdown in Myanmar and for its Red Mosque coverage. Visit www.aljazeera.net/english for more details.

For information on BGAN X-Stream, please call us anytime at +1 709 748 4226 (toll-free in North America 1 800 563 2255) or e-mail support@stratosglobal.com.

About Stratos
Stratos is the world's trusted leader for vital communications. Stratos offers the most powerful and extensive portfolio of remote communications solutions including mobile and fixed satellite and microwave services. More than 20,000 customers use Stratos products and industry-leading value-added services to optimize communications performance. Stratos serves U.S. and international government, military, first responder, NGO, oil and gas, industrial, maritime, aeronautical, enterprise, and media users on seven continents and across the world's oceans. Stratos is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inmarsat plc. For more information, visit www.stratosglobal.com.

For additional information :
Carla Riggs
Director, Corporate Communications
+1 709 748 4857
carla.riggs@stratosglobal.com