SOURCE: Vizada


October 25, 2010 08:05 ET

Vizada and Partners Helped the World Watch the Chilean Mine Rescues With "Broadcast in a Backpack"

Mobile Satellite Technology Revolutionizing Remote Newsgathering

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - October 25, 2010) -  Vizada, the world's leading satellite communications provider, and its many partners, played an integral, behind the scenes role during the rescue of the Chilean miners last week. The company and its network of partners in Latin America and worldwide, helped many major news organizations from the United States, Latin America and around the world, transmit the story live through an innovative approach some are calling "Broadcast in a Backpack." 

Just a few years ago, news crews carried large pieces of equipment to remote areas of the globe to report on disasters, elections and other events. That equipment was expensive and cumbersome, requiring complex customs declarations and paperwork that limited the number of crews sent to cover these important live events. In comparison, "Broadcast in a Backpack" describes the new compact, mobile satellite technology that news crews are loading in carryon luggage and taking with them around the world. These kits, which were used extensively in Chile and earlier this year in Haiti and other disaster sites, consist typically of a handheld Iridium and BGAN terminal that can transmit hours of live, high-quality video to studios around the world. These terminals also provide standard broadband data and voice services that support the crew's activities leading up to and following live segments. Because of the flexibility in services -- for example, being able to switch from a more basic Internet service to a robust service that can support video streaming -- news organizations are able to broadcast from these remote regions cost-effectively and reliably.

Vizada partnered with numerous service providers, non-profits and others to help the world watch the live rescue in Chile. These media outlets used the terminals and satellite services to send many gigabytes of data over hundreds of hours of airtime. In particular, Vizada Service Provider GMPCS/Network Innovations partnered directly with CNN, ABC, CBS and CNBC during the rescue efforts while Vizada customer and non-profit organization HumaniNet supported RedeTV!, Brazil's first 3D network. In advance of the final rescue, Vizada fine-tuned its network to handle the anticipated additional traffic.

"Vizada and its partners came through for us in Haiti earlier this year and that gave us and our customers a lot of confidence to deploy the same equipment in Chile," said John Stoltz, Director of Media Sales for GMPCS / Network Innovations. "We were able to quickly deliver dozens of portable units to news crews and others in the region knowing we could also count on Vizada to deliver reliable network service and hands-on support no matter what came up."

Non-profits like HumaniNet also understand the important role these easy-to-use mobile broadcasting solutions provide on the ground reporters and production crews. "News and media organizations need the same level of equipment used by relief workers in emergencies to provide essential information to the outside world, as they did in Haiti, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and other disasters," said Gregg Swanson, Executive Director at HumaniNet. "This helps raise awareness of the disaster worldwide, leading to better understanding of what's needed to help victims, increased donations, and a keener interest in preparedness for future events. Enabling networks to broadcast quickly and completely, with on-premise audio and video services, is a win for everyone -- and most of all in this case, for the trapped miners. Vizada and its network of partners continue to provide reliable service and outstanding support in the most difficult circumstances."

Some of Vizada's many Partners who provided solutions and support to media outlets during the Chilean Mine rescue efforts include Arycom, Continental Computer, Digital Skies, GCS, GMPCS / Network Innovations, Inmarsat, LatinCom and Livewire. The company worked with Inmarsat to provide voice and data service throughout the crisis.

Vizada is the worldwide leading independent provider of global satellite communications, with more than $700 million in 2009 revenue, and more market share on more satellite networks than any other satellite communications provider in the world. Vizada customers include commercial, military and business aircraft, merchant shipping vessels, emergency response teams, government and military units, news gathering organizations, and Fortune 500 companies. Vizada offers fixed and mobile communications services using multiple satellite network operators, including, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Iridium, Loral, New Skies, SES Americom and Thuraya. Gateway access to these networks is made possible through the Vizada Global Teleport Network -- five state-of-the-art facilities strategically positioned around the world. Vizada also provides Vizada Solutions™, leading edge technologies for IP & networking, messaging, business tools, prepaid solutions, fixed2mobile services and secure communications. Vizada has regional centers of operation located in Washington D.C., United States for the Americas and Paris, France for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:

    Catherine Melquist
    Marketing Director
    Vizada Americas
    +1 301 838 7762
    Email Contact

    Jessika Dammert
    Director Marketing Communications
    +33 1 53 35 95 00
    Email Contact