AST Long Range GSM
Applied Satellite Technology Ltd (AST) has announced AST Long Range GSM, a new cost saving solution developed to extend the useable data range of GSM services whilst offshore. With the evolution of 2G/3G/4G GSM services and the future of 5G, the ability to receive and use these fast data services on a day-to-day basis, from anywhere, has presented a problem for the maritime industry, with limitations on offshore reach.
Satellite communications can be used when GSM signals become unstable or lost completely, but what if you could extend the useable data range of your mobile device by around 20 kilometers further offshore?
AST carried out extensive on-board testing in order to increase the offshore range of GSM services using two specialist blue-tipped antennas and an on-board device. On one trial, test data confirmed that the useable data services of GSM failed at 3-4km offshore. However, by using AST Long Range useable GSM data facilities were seen to increase to an amazing distance of 25.94km.
The fully integrated system also allows the user to switch to a satellite connection should it be required. Switching can be enabled simply using a control application which can be accessed via a mobile device, tablet or computer.
AST Long Range GSM offers both substantial cost savings by using a cheaper, higher speed data pipe (GSM service) for a longer period of time, and a resilient satellite communication fail over option.