Live Video Streaming of Chilean Miners rescue via BGAN

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Live news of miners’ rescue relies on BGAN connectivity

The whole world has been focused on the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for more than two months. Many of us who watched these events unfold via the internet and our televisions were able to do so from the pit-head via BGAN….broadband global area network – mobile satellite communications.

The BGAN Satellite System provided news teams the ability to send both live and store-and-forward video reports of the rescue operation from the mine in Chile’s remote Atacama desert – a remote location that made BGAN the perfect portable satellite internet solution.

Inmarsat was able to re-allocate spot beam capacity because of the high demand of usage amongst the various news crews on the scene.

Network Reliability

According to John Stoltz, director of media sales at GMPCS, they were confident about deployment in Chile because of how successful BGAN was in Haiti earlier in the year.

“Using our BGAN terminals and the BGAN X-Stream service, our news network clients were able to broadcast from a very remote area where satellite trucks and the internet are not readily available,” he said.

Main equipment

“It was fantastic to witness the Chilean miners’ rescue live via Inmarsat.”

Some of the networks used as many as three terminals – often with BGAN as their main equipment, John reported.

The BGAN X Stream service which was used by most of the news channels not transmitting 24 hours a day experienced 384kbps up to 450kbps data speeds while streaming the events live.

FTP site

“Typically journalists sent recorded video footage to an FTP site before doing a live report to the camera,” explained John.

“Power wasn’t much of an issue as generators and in some cases AC mains were available. If not, the BGAN’s internal battery could give at least an hour of power, which was enough to send a clip or do a live shot.”

HumaniNet, a non-profit humanitarian service provider supported RedeTV, the first 3D network in Brazil using the Inmarsat satellites.

HumaniNet’s executive director Greg Swanson said: “News and media organizations need the same level of equipment used by relief workers in emergencies to provide essential information to the outside world.

“This helps raise awareness of the disaster worldwide, leading to a better understanding of what’s needed to help victims, increased donations, and a keener interest in preparedness for future events.

“Enabling networks to broadcast quickly and completely, with on-premise audio and video services, is a win for everyone – and most of all in this case, the trapped miners.”