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Regional broadband global area network (RBGAN) is a now-defunct IP-based, shared carrier service that was offered on a regional basis. The service was provided by network mobile satellite company Inmarsat, but was withdrawn in 2008 and replaced by the broadband global area network (BGAN), a global satellite Internet network.
Inmarsat is a British company that provides telephony and data services to users worldwide. The company has developed a series of networks since it was founded in 1979. The withdrawal of RBGAN occurred because it was superseded by the newer BGAN technology.
BGAN signal acquisition requires line-of-site with the geostationary satellite and requires the user to have a compass and a general idea of the satellite’s location. Slowly turning the terminal will soon indicate signal capture, which can be done in less than a minute for an experienced user with a good signal.
Some limitations include prohibited use on the open ocean in a moving vessel, although Inmarsat does provide broadband service for maritime communications using all 14 satellites. Regular terminals also cannot be used on aircraft.