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Border Protection hooks up to Inmarsat for boat broadband

Australia's Department of Immigration will spend AU$7 million over five years for satellite connectivity.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
(Image: ANAO)

Australian Border Force has signed a AU$7 million five-year deal with Inmarsat to provide its Cape class vessels with satellite broadband connectivity.

Inmarsat said it will provide connectivity over its Global Xpress (GX) constellation, and worked with Australian company EM Solution to develop a terminal for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) that allowed for switching between military and commercial satellite networks.

"At the operational level, the ability to switch between satellite systems enables our crew to prioritise their communications and ensures they are 'always on', which is of paramount importance when protecting our borders," said Dave Luhrs, Commander, Air and Marine at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The contract covers an initial five-year period with a possible four-year extension, and includes DIBP's eight Cape vessels and other support craft.

Last week, Inmarsat announced it had signed a contract with Air New Zealand to provide satellite connectivity for the carrier's in-flight Wi-Fi service due to begin rolling out at the end of next year.

Air New Zealand will be using the GX for Aviation product integrated with its Panasonic in-flight entertainment system.

GX for Aviation is the only in-flight broadband solution that is fast, reliable, and truly consistent, with seamless coverage across the world provided by a single operator," Inmarsat Aviation president Leo Mondale said at the time.

In October, Inmarsat signed a deal with Vodafone to provide satellite connectivity to Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

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