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Roadpost, France Telecom Mobile Bring BGAN Services to North America

Real World Networks Biz

Roadpost Inc., a Mississauga, ON-based global voice and data communications solutions provider for the remote worker, will partner with France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications to provide BGAN (broadband global area network) services to North American customers.

This represents one of the first agreements with a North American supplier to bring this revolutionary portable satellite technology to the business, government and consumer markets, the companies describe.

Inmarsat’s BGAN is the world’s first mobile communications service of any kind to provide both voice and broadband data simultaneously through a single, truly portable device on a global basis. It is also the first mobile communications service to offer guaranteed data rates on demand. BGAN will be initially accessible in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Coverage for North and South America is planned for mid-2006. BGAN’s flexibility and ease of use makes it an ideal choice for remote workers in a wide range of industries, from oil and gas exploration and the military to government, journalism and emergency aid workers.

Morris Shawn, president and CEO of Roadpost, says, “France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications has been a proven industry leader in regional BGAN (RBGAN) and has demonstrated considerable expertise and knowledge in this area. Together we can offer a full range of service packages designed for a broad range of user needs, as well as a number of unique value adds, including a customer portal to access advanced management features. France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications is also the only supplier to offer a true prepaid platform in real time. BGAN is a revolutionary technology that will expand the usage of portable satellite services beyond traditional markets, and we are delighted to be in on the ‘ground floor’ of this concept. In signing this partnership agreement with such a seasoned industry leader – combined with our own leadership and experience in mobile communications - we are well ahead of the game in bringing the best of BGAN services to North American customers.”

Eric Verheylewegen, Director Americas of France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications, notes, “The launch of BGAN is a major milestone in mobile satellite communications and we are pleased to work with leading service providers such as Roadpost in bringing this technology to a global market. Their market reach and considerable expertise in providing mobile satellite services to a diverse base of customers will be instrumental in building BGAN adoption in North America, which we consider to be a key market.”

BGAN terminal costs start at US $2495 ($3295 CDN) and are priced based on data transmission speeds and robustness. Terminals are available for single users or small teams, and can be configured to accommodate WiFi, BlueTooth, Ethernet and more. Price plans for subscription services also include a monthly fee, plus per minute and per megabyte charges for transmission of voice and data. In addition, Roadpost offers a selection of cost saving voice and data bundles for a broad spectrum of needs, from light, occasional users, to long-term heavy users.

France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications is a subsidiary of France Telecom which markets satellite mobile services (Inmarsat, Thuraya and Iridium). The professional customer base involves a wide range of marine sectors (navy, merchant navy, pleasure boats, cruisers and fishing boats), the media, NGOs, security, construction, the oil and transport industry. In 2004, France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications generated a turnover of € 161 million. It has a very active distribution network abroad (100 distributors) and sales offices in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Algeria, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States. France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications has a 20% market share of Inmarsat, Thuraya and Iridium.

Founded in 1991, Roadpost provides customized global communications to individuals and corporations. The company’s comprehensive portfolio includes International Cellular, Iridium satellite, International BlackBerry and Worldwide Internet services providing complete global coverage, no matter where the destination. Alliances with industry leaders such as O2, Transatel, Swisscom, Telecom Italia Mobile, Vodafone, China Mobile, TIM Hellas, Bell Mobility, Telus Mobility, Iridium, iPass, Research in Motion, Motorola and Nokia allow Roadpost to deliver reliable and secure communications with the largest network of worldwide coverage.