Report on Bgan Modem

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 21:02
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Having just had in my kit over my last trip a Bgan Satellite Internet Modem I can offer a brief report on it.

Please note from the outset that I only ever considered this a bit of a luxury item, as I already considered I had enough comms equipment being UHF, Sat Phone, Old style EPIRB and a Spot. Call me a techno fruitcake who had to try one out.

The low end BGAN unit also had it's own phone however calls from this phone were $10 per minute. I never used this feature.

It was easy to set-up. You could power it from a 12V adapter and it had internal batteries which could last for hours. You turned it on and pointed it to the north where the satellite was. It would emit a sound which would increase in pitch the greater the signal. This is how I set it up - Move it left to right until the pitch was high, then up and down also.

It came with a CD with software on it which you could do diagnostic checks etc, and also tune the signal in even more accurately - I never used the software.

After it is tuned in you just push an "OK" button and it locks onto the signal. Plug the cable into the laptop via the ethernet port and you are online.

The speed was noticeably slower than my connection at home however that didn't really bother me. The megabytes used are displayed. I payed $10 per megabyte and rented the unit at $25 per day. (megabytes displayed x 10 =$$$$)

It was good to be able to access some sites eg. weather sites and I also had a look here on exploroz. To put a thread up like this would cost me $60-$70. I did put a blog up too with reduced sized images however the price is still very high.

It was good to access email though I did have a scare with a mate sending me a 2MB email (that's a quick $20).

In short - It was nice to be able to have internet, forget it though, the price is too high. It may be viable and affordable in a few years with better technology and I am prepared to wait.


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In whatever comes our way.

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Reply By: Member - lyndon NT - Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 07:47

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 07:47
Hi Allan

We to have used Bgan, we actually bought our unit at a cost of $2500, with a one year’s data subscription at another $2500 (aprox) this was for either 200 or 250Mb. We found it useful when travelling as we were trading shares and needed access each day we were out of range of nextG, during these days we only had to use 1 or 2 Mb.
We limited the size of incoming mail so that gets rid of that issue real easy. I’m surprised that loading one page would be 6 or 7Mb unless you are attaching pictures? We also set our defaults so no updates would happen unless manually launched.
Yes it is VERY VERY expensive but for what you get................

Cheers Lyndon
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