Newsroom

BGAN X-Stream from Stratos is Used for Live Broadcast of Helen Skeltons Amazing Amazon Adventure

--Blue Peter's kayak challenge is BBC News' first use of live 384 kbps video streaming from a remote location--

Bethesda, Maryland (March 1, 2010) - Stratos Global Corporation, the leading global provider of advanced mobile and fixed-site remote communications solutions, today announced it is providing the UK broadcaster with an Inmarsat BGAN X-Stream mobile broadband satellite service to broadcast live coverage of Helen Skelton's record-breaking Amazon River kayak journey in aid of Sport Relief.

The deployment of BGAN X-Stream to cover "Helen's Amazing Amazon Adventure" represents BBC News' first use of live 384 kbps video streaming from a remote location. This traffic is routed via the Stratos global IP network, known as StratosNexus, into Television Center in London.

Twenty-six-year-old Helen Skelton, one of the presenters of the broadcaster's popular Blue Peter children's program, began her six-week kayak challenge in aid of Sport Relief on January 20th in Peru and is expected to finish the trip in Brazil at the beginning of March.

By the midway point of her challenge on February 9th, she had traveled three times further than the previous Guinness World Record for the longest solo journey by kayak. She also set a world record for the longest distance in a kayak in 24 hours by a woman, paddling 75 miles (121 km).

Helen hopes her efforts will inspire families across the UK to support Sport Relief. As one of the UK's biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives.

Viewers can watch video postings and follow Helen's progress on Blue Peter's interactive Amazon map at http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/bluepeter/presenters-pets/helen/amazonmap.shtml.

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. The premium BGAN X-Stream service is commercially available worldwide. It allows a guaranteed minimum symmetrical video streaming rate of 384 kbps, with up to 450 kbps expected under optimal conditions.

This project 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. This project also achieves guaranteed, end-to-end bandwidth for its time-critical data with a Stratos GuaranteedAccess solution custom designed by Stratos engineers.

Stratos GuaranteedAccess extends guaranteed bandwidth from the BGAN terminal through to the terrestrial infrastructure to BBC News broadcast centers. Stratos GuaranteedAccess is enabled by StratosNexus, a Stratos managed Global Core network for traditional and IP-based services. StratosNexus is a redundant and highly resilient network, designed and optimized to carry time-sensitive satellite traffic.

Today's announcement is the latest example of how Stratos has helped some of the world's largest media organizations benefit from BGAN X-Stream since the service was launched last year.

"We are fortunate to have the opportunity to help broadcast Helen's Amazing Amazon Adventure," said Stratos President and CEO Jim Parm. "It is gratifying to provide another successful deployment of Inmarsat mobile satellite services to this important, globally recognized broadcaster - which we have served for more than a decade."

Parm concluded, "Multiple, successful deployments such as this remote Amazon trek have helped Stratos become the preferred source for media organizations who wish to use BGAN, BGAN X-Stream and The Stratos Advantage to achieve optimal performance and efficiency."

About BGAN from Stratos
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.

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 11,500 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 Sport Relief
As one of the UK's biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives. The Sport Relief Weekend takes place from Friday 19th March to Sunday 21st March 2010 including a night of Sport Relief telly on BBC One and the Sainsbury's Sport Relief Mile events across the UK on Sunday 21st March. All the cash raised by the public will help transform the lives of those living tough lives across the UK and the world's poorest countries.

Since its launch in 2002, millions of people have taken part in Sport Relief, helping to raise over �£80 million. Sport Relief has a unique history of dedicated people doing extraordinary things to rise to the challenge, from David Walliams' astonishing swim across the English Channel to Eddie Izzard's truly amazing marathon a day around the UK. Further information is available on www.sportrelief.com.

Sport Relief is an initiative of Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland).

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