The European Space Agency (ESA) awarded a contract (ESTEC Contract Number 17549/03/NL/US) to develop commercial IP multicast services over satellite to a consortium that included Inmarsat, EMS, Logical CMG, GateHouse and Livewire Digital Ltd. Livewire Digital Ltd. were responsible for the implementation of the “Radio Access Network’ (RAN), the kernel component that models the IAI2 protocols and resource allocation algorithms at the Satellite Access Station (SAS).

As part of a phased development, extending the Inmarsat BGAN protocols, the project lead to a Micro-SAS offering unicast and multicast services to a population of multicast enabled BGAN terminals operating over leased capacity. IP-Multicast over satellite has many key markets including the government, defence and maritime sectors.

Key applications for the multicast enabled Micro-SAS include:

  • Netted voice (push to talk net radio)
  • Situational awareness provision
  • Netted data services, supporting data-intensive collaborative tools, cash server updates, and software and database updates to remote devices.
  • Weather & Chart updates

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