BGAN Access Point Name Change

BGANs, like other satellite terminals, rely on a SIM card to provide service. Recently, Outfitter Satellite’s partner Marlink changed the access point name (APN) to access the Inmarsat network through their SIM cards. This will affect all BGAN users, postpaid and prepaid, with Marlink (formerly Vizada or Astrium) SIM cards.

Does This Affect You?

To check and see if this change affects you, check your APN settings. Depending on which BGAN device you have, this is done differently. Some of our most popular BGAN units are the Explorer 510/710 and the Hughes 9201.

Explorer 510/710

  • Power the device on and silence the pointing tone (if enabled) by pressing the power button again
  • Connect to the device’s Wi-Fi network (by default, Explorer510 or Explorer710)
  • Open a web browser and type in the search bar
  • In the bottom right corner, click the compass icon to bring up the connections page.
  • Next to the Standard IP Data connection, select the gear
  • Click the Parameters Box
  • If it says “Sim Default” under APN, this change does not affect you
  • If it says “User Defined” and the User Defined name is “”, this change does not affect you
  • If it says “User Defined” and the User Defined name is “” then this change DOES affect you
  • Change the User Defined Name to “”
  • Click “Save”

Hughes 9201

  • Power the device on and silence the pointing tone (if enabled) by pressing the power button again.
  • Connect the 9201 to your computer with an ethernet cable.
  • Open Launchpad then select BGAN Services then LaunchPad APN Options.
  • Under current Default APN, if it says “”, this change does not affect you.
  • Under current default APN, if it says “” then this change DOES affect you.
  • Change the User Defined Name to “”
  • Click “OK.”

Other Units

If you have a BGAN that is not listed here, we would be happy to assist you in checking or updating your APN. Contact us at 615-889-8833 and choose option 7 for tech support.


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Great Places to Sail in the Caribbean

Great Places to Sail in the Caribbean


Who doesn't love sailing? Fresh, tangy air, pure sapphire waves, soaking up the sun on deck with a cold one; these are all images brought to mind that send devoted sailors out on the water again and again. Add a means of keeping in touch with land, and you have absolute perfection. Check out our marine satellite phone equipment for a means of staying in contact, and then it's time to plan your trip!

The Caribbean is a favorite destination for sailors. North and South Americans are lucky to have it so close by, and travelers from the world over mark it on their maps as their dream vacation. Here are some of the best Caribbean islands for sailing.


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BGANs and Streaming IP Data

BGAN terminals offer a portable way to stay connected to the internet even in the most remote locations; however, you may have a need for a more powerful class of BGAN for distant communication—enter the new class 1 BGANs and streaming IP data. Depending on your use case, there are several different options to explore.

What It Means

Standard IP data connections over a BGAN device are considered “shared” connections, meaning that the connection is shared with other users which can affect the speed at which data can be transmitted. In normal web traffic, this is not normally a concern, but for video applications, a dedicated connection is more desirable. The Streaming IP connections are dedicated, and you decide what speed you wish to transmit and receive data.

Define the Usage

The expense involved with the hardware and service for a class 1 BGAN, specifically the Hughes 9211 or the Explorer 710, and HDR streaming IP data generally carve out a very specific use case. Generally, streaming IP data is reserved for broadcasting television signal, or is used for direct, real-time video communication, both from remote locations. Broadcast journalists can easily setup these portable units on location just about anywhere to stream broadcast-quality video anywhere on the globe. Technicians can stream detailed video for medical procedures or aircraft engine repair, where high definition is of utmost importance.

Pick Your Speed

The Explorer 710 and the Hughes 9211 are capable of utilizing BGAN HDR connection speeds. Full-Channel HDR service is capable of speeds up to 800 Kbps. But there are options beyond just the premium level. Half-channel HDR is capable of speeds up to 400 Kbps with a cost savings associated at that service level for those applications where higher transmission rate is unnecessary.

Pick Your Symmetry

HDR connections can also be divided into symmetric connections and asymmetric connections. Symmetric connections offer the same download and upload speed at the chose rate, meaning the BGAN transmits data at the same speed it receives it. For a cost savings, an asymmetric connection gives a higher transmission speed then receiving speed for applications where a high data transmission rate is more necessary than a fast receiving speed.

Things To Consider

  • Streaming IP connections are charged by the minute versus Standard IP connections which are charged by the megabyte
  • Transmission data rates, called “quality of service,” are guaranteed only on the “space-leg” of the transmission, meaning from the terminal to the satellite and back to the Inmarsat receiving station. Other transmission legs can degrade connection speed
  • Physical codecs (like Librestream or Stream Box) and software codecs are used to break the transmission into data sections and reassemble them on the receiving end
  • Latency, or the time it physically takes for the signal to complete circuit of 22,000 miles out to the satellite and back to the ground and across the internet to the end user, is minimized in HDR streaming data and can be handled easily by physical and software codecs.
  • Streaming is available for monthly and prepaid service plans, but must be specifically requested at activation; streaming service is not activated by default to protect end users from unwanted accidental usage.
  • Two terminals can be linked together (called muxing) to double transmission speeds for ultra high definition video applications
  • Only the Explorer 710 and Hughes 9211 are capable of HDR service.  Other Class 1 BGANs are capable of Streaming IP data, but are not able to support HDR.

Outfitter Satellite offers both the Explorer 710 and Hughes 9211 for purchase. Service rates for HDR and Streaming IP data are located on the prepaid and monthly service pages at our website.


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BGAN Charging Options While on the Go

Internet access while in the most remote of locations is possible these days with a BGAN unit, but BGAN charging options while on the go must also be considered. Designed to bring internet to wherever you are on the planet, a BGAN unit like the Explorer 510 is convenient and easy to setup as well as light weight and portable for transport.

The Explorer 510 has an on-board lithium-ion battery rated at 36 hours of standby time and 3 hours of connection time. While this provides a substantial amount of use time, it will eventually need to be recharged. There are several options for charging up the 510, even in off-grid situations.

Standard 110/220 AC power

The fastest and most common way of charging, through a standard AC outlet at either 110 or 220 volts.

DC Car Charger

If there is no standard AC power available, but access to an automobile is available, charging through the DC barrel plug makes a great option.

Solar Charger

Solar charging systems that include a solar panel and backup battery provide clean DC power to the 510 and, when sunlight is available, provide a virtually unlimited amount of power for the BGAN as well as other devices

Outfitter Satellite provides options for rental and for purchase of the Cobham Explorer 510. The rental 510 kits include the AC charger with Euro and US plugs, as well as the DC car charger. New and used 510 kits for purchase include the AC charger with Euro and US plugs with the DC car charger available for purchase separately. The 10 watt solar panel with 72wHr battery, available new and used, is a great way to keep the BGAN charged when in off-grid locations.


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Satellite Phone Brand and Network Comparison

When purchasing a satellite phone, you have some very important details to consider. The process is more complex than buying a regular cellular phone, because not only do you have handset features to compare to one another, you must also be mindful of the differences between each carrier’s satellite network. Coverage area, call quality, and reliability is all dependent on the satellite network utilized by a given provider. You cannot make an informed decision about purchasing or renting a satellite phone without this knowledge.

Our buyer’s guide goes into more detail, but here is a quick summary of satellite phone providers and their coverage areas, plus a few strengths and weaknesses of each one.

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