Monday, November 19, 2012

Inmarsat helps out Race2Recovery team with SATCOM gear, services for 2013 Dakar Rally

The Race2Recovery team will be participating in the 2013 Dakar Rally in South America with the help of satellite communications equipment and services provided by Inmarsat.

Inmarsat will provide the team with its portable and vehicular BGAN satellite communications terminals, eight IsatPhone Pro handheld satellite phones, and an unlimited voice and data service. These SATCOM systems can ensure voice and real-time broadband data connectivity for customers in some of the remotest places of the world like the Atacama Desert and the Andes mountain range.

Thanks to the SATCOM equipment provided by Inmarsat, the Race2Recovery team can maintain contact during their preparations in Morocco and during the 8,000 kilometer rally itself. They can open a video link with their support crews back in the UK, and call for help during any emergencies they encounter. Other, more mundane uses include posting updates on Facebook, Twitter, and the charity’s website.

Injured ex-British and American service personnel, veterans, and expert volunteers comprise the Race2Recovery team. They are joining the off-road endurance race with the goal of collecting money for Help For Heroes and associated US charities.

According to Mr. Tony Harris, co-director of the Race2Recovery team, he and his teammates can rely on the Inmarsat BGAN terminals to supply them with superb voice and broadband connectivity in some of the most remote places on Earth. He describes the Inmarsat satellite communications kit to be incredibly simple, lightweight, and compact. It was also great for sending emails and posting texts and images on social media sites.

Mr. Harris recalled that one of the team's vehicles suffered two punctures during the first training session in Morocco back in October. Each vehicle only carried one spare tire, so the Race2Recovery was forced to send a vehicle to locate new tires. The search team found a tire supplier through BGAN, and the different crews used the IsatPhone Pro handheld satphones to stay in touch with each other.

In addition to serving as a co-director for Race2Recovery, Tony Harris will also participate in the 2013 Dakar Rally as a driver. He is a former Captain of the Royal Regiment of Fuseliers and a veteran of the Afghan Conflict. He is also a below-the-knee amputee.

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