The AST Group (AST) has provided one of the most innovative satellite communications networks of its kind; incorporating VHF radio networks, IP access, 3G mobile voice data and SMS in one complete, seamless package utilising a satellite LandXpress (LX) terminal to enable global, remote connectivity....on the move.
Due to the nature of our customers' location and their requirement for both fixed and mobile communications to assist their operational needs, a custom solution was essential. The project specifications initially required the installation of a VHF radio network for a falconry hunting team in the Middle East, some of whom were vehicle-based, and some on foot (out in the desert).
The project commenced with the creation of a powerful, mobile, VHF repeater network. Installing the latest Motorola digital repeater technology into a vehicle, AST was able to deliver an on the move secure VHF network spanning some 40 km. This network supported radio communications for personnel in vehicles, on foot and at a base camp. The customer also required reliable internet capabilities at the remote base-camp and after consulting and considering the capabilities of various terminals and networks, AST recommended and installed a static Inmarsat LX terminal to provide a robust satellite internet connection and wi-fi connectivity.
The project was such a success that the customer requested a second radio network to be established at the base-camp so that they could communicate with the ‘on the move’ radio network when it was more than 40 km away (beyond line of sight). AST used a BGAN EXPLORER 325 on the vehicle to connect to the LX terminal which then connected to the new VHF network.AST took the project one final step further and worked with an inbound roaming partner to integrate 3G to the newly provided radio networks to form a complete, secure, reliable service.
The deployed networks were all connected back over the Inmarsat BGAN network using Cobham Satcom EXPLORER 325 terminals – to enable vehicular, mobile access to the LX service.
An android application was then installed to enable users with smart devices to connect into the VHF radio network no matter where they were in the world, providing they had access to an internet wi-fi connection or a cellular data service. So, any member of the team could be anywhere in the world and communicate with teams out in the field on their VHF radios with just a normal mobile phone.