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Historic Mt. Everest Expedition Enjoys Reliable Internet Access with Stratos ChatCard Data and BGAN

September 2, 2010

- Stratos ChatCard Data enables prepaid, individual Internet access for each member of the expedition team -

BETHESDA, Maryland, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ – Stratos Global, the leading global provider of advanced mobile and fixed-site remote communications solutions, today announced that the Eddie Bauer First Ascent expedition team successfully deployed Inmarsat’s BGAN mobile broadband satellite communications service on its historic Mount Everest expedition in May. With an elevation of more than 29,000 feet, Everest is the world’s tallest mountain.

First Ascent is a joint venture of Eddie Bauer and Whittaker Mountaineering. All mountain guides for the First Ascent team are provided by Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI).

On May 24th, the Eddie Bauer First Ascent team completed the expedition, which featured Leif Whittaker and RMI guide Dave Hahn. Leif Whittaker retraced American and family history when he reached the Everest summit 47 years after his father Jim became the first American to do so on May 1, 1963. Expedition leader Hahn reached the Everest summit for the 12th time, more than any non-Sherpa in history.

Stratos and its Channel Partner Remote Satellite Systems International joined forces to provide the BGAN system that enabled the nine expedition members to maintain contact with their project team and upload photos, video and dispatches to the First Ascent Blog (http://blog.firstascent.com).

BGAN uses portable, lightweight terminals to provide video (guaranteed up to 384 kbps streaming), high-speed data (up to 492 kbps) and voice connectivity anywhere in the world. Stratos Dashboard, the foundation of The Stratos Advantage value-added services, was used to monitor BGAN airtime usage during the expedition.

This Everest expedition was a perfect demonstration of Stratos ChatCard Data with a BGAN system. Stratos ChatCard Data enables each BGAN user to expand the use of their prepaid Stratos ChatCard to include Internet access. It also allows users to control their Internet costs on an individual basis.

With Stratos ChatCard Data, each user’s costs are calculated separately and charged via the Stratos ChatCard, a prepaid calling card that can easily be reloaded online with a credit card. It can be used on all Inmarsat and Iridium terminals, including BGAN and FleetBroadband.

“BGAN has proven to be a convenient, reliable communications tool on two trips to Everest and one trip on Mt. Aconcagua over the past two years, and we look forward to using it on our Mt. Vinson expedition this fall,” said RMI Operations Manager Jeff Martin. “For this year’s Everest trip, Stratos ChatCard Data made BGAN deployment even easier because each expedition member was in control of their own use. This was far more convenient than last year’s expedition, when we manually kept track of each person’s usage – which can be difficult at sea level, let alone high atop Everest Base Camp.”

Stratos President and CEO Jim Parm said, “This Everest expedition commemorated one of the most remarkable achievements in American sports history. It was a privilege to be a part of the team providing this expedition with dependable BGAN service, enabling them to share their journey in real time with thousands of supporters worldwide. It also is good to know that our ChatCard data solution helped make their entire trip a bit easier. In light of this successful deployment in the harsh conditions of Everest, we also look forward to extending the benefits of this solution to remote camps everywhere – including extreme adventure, energy and mining applications.”

About BGAN from Stratos

Stratos is one of the world’s largest distributors of Inmarsat’s BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) service, a mobile satellite offering that uses portable, lightweight terminals to provide video (guaranteed up to 384 kbps streaming), high-speed data (up to 492 kbps) and voice connectivity anywhere in the world. Users can effectively deploy BGAN services with minimal training. Since its introduction in late 2005, BGAN from Stratos has been widely adopted by media organizations, military agencies, first responders and professionals in many other industries worldwide. Stratos now boasts more than 12,500 BGAN activations in 185 countries.

About Stratos ChatCard Data

ChatCard Data is a major enhancement to the popular Stratos ChatCard crew-calling feature, which has been deployed worldwide for Stratos maritime customers using Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband satellite communications service. It expands the use of the prepaid Stratos ChatCard to include Internet access. With the new Stratos ChatCard Data feature, all crew Internet-access costs are separated from the ship’s business-communication costs and charged to the crew with the prepaid Stratos ChatCard. Stratos ChatCard Data now provides the same level of convenience for users of BGAN and all other Inmarsat and Iridium satellite services.

About The Stratos Advantage

Stratos customers fully utilize The Stratos Advantage, a suite of value-added services that help elevate BGAN from Stratos far above baseline offerings. These value-added services, including Stratos Dashboard, provide users with cost control, instant provisioning, firewall management, full traffic information, pre-paid facilities, high security options, easy VPN access, messaging services and full range of IP options. More information on BGAN from Stratos is available at www.thepowerofbgan.com.

About Eddie Bauer

Established in 1920 in Seattle, Eddie Bauer is a specialty retailer that sells sportswear, outerwear, gear and accessories for the active outdoor lifestyle. The Eddie Bauer brand is a nationally recognized brand that stands for high quality, innovation, style and customer service. Eddie Bauer products are available at approximately 358 stores throughout the United States and Canada, through catalog sales and online at www.eddiebauer.com.

About Whittaker Mountaineering

Whittaker Mountaineering is one of the world’s leading retailers of mountain climbing gear. For more information, please visit www.whittakermountaineering.com.

About Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.

Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI) is one of the world’s leading mountain-guide services. For more information, please contact www.rmiguides.com.

About Remote Satellite Systems International

Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995, Remote Satellite Systems International has grown to become one of the world’s leading value-added resellers of the latest satellite communication technologies – specializing in redundant emergency communications and off-the-grid solutions. For more information, please visit www.remotesatellite.com.

About Stratos

Stratos is the world’s trusted leader for vital communications. Stratos offers the most powerful and extensive portfolio of remote communications solutions including mobile and fixed satellite and microwave services. More than 20,000 customers use Stratos products and industry-leading value-added services to optimize communications performance. Stratos serves U.S. and international government, military, first responder, NGO, oil and gas, industrial, maritime, aeronautical, enterprise, and media users on seven continents and across the world’s oceans. Stratos is a wholly owned subsidiary of Inmarsat plc. For more information visit www.stratosglobal.com.

SOURCE Stratos Global Corporation


Source: newswire



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