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Case study: Land Rover Experience

Enterprise

Call from the wild: Inmarsat connects the Land Rover Experience Tour

The Land Rover Experience Tour is one of the world’s most famous off-road events, pitting a handful of teams against inhospitable routes that test the durable vehicles and their drivers to the limit. 2019 marks the 13th iteration of the event, taking place across the Kavango-Zambezi nature reserve, which is the largest cross-border nature reserve in Africa. A television programme is produced by DMAX, a Discovery Channel subsidiary, in Germany and many followers track the progress of the tour through its website and social media.

The challenge

The Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area in southern Africa is situated where the borders of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe converge and covers 520,000 square kilometres of remote and rugged terrain. The participants in the Land Rover Experience Tour were tasked with overcoming challenging off-road routes, featuring not only a wide range of remote and inhospitable environments but potentially dangerous wildlife and other hazards.

The Land Rover Experience Tour Team were faced with a number of connectivity challenges with much of the route not covered by cellular coverage. Given the potential safety risks to the tour participants and crew, it was essential that they were able to access reliable connectivity to communicate with the base camp in Germany and the other vehicles in the event of an emergency. Participants in the tour also needed to be able to contact their families, as well as post pictures of wildlife and updates of their progress on their social media accounts. As the tour was accompanied by a number of journalists, they needed to be able to transfer high quality video files and broadcasts back to their editors back home.

The solution

Inmarsat worked with the tour to provide a comprehensive connectivity solution, enabling the team to access Inmarsat’s highly reliable satellite communication network wherever they were. The solution utilised a variety of Inmarsat’s connectivity services with terminals designed to withstand extreme environments, offering the team everything from high quality live broadcasting functionality, telemetry, push-to-talk (PTT) communications, voice calls and general internet access.

Inmarsat’s Land Xpress (LX) service was delivered through the use of a self-aligning Cobham Explorer 8100 with the terminal mounted to the lead vehicle and able to live broadcast high quality video to the DMAX team and to other media companies. LX is a Global Xpress (GX) service which operates on the high throughput Ka-band frequency, offering high bandwidth and high-speed data transfer of up to 16 Mb/s.

Inmarsat’s highly reliable L-band BGAN service provides telemetry, PTT and internet access with Cobham EXPLORER 325 terminals roof-mounted on every car in the convoy. The robust terminals can withstand the high temperatures, sand, dust and other environmental challenges of two weeks in the African bush, and can even offer stable connectivity when travelling at 200 km/h. The team then deployed lightweight, highly portable BGAN EXPLORER 510 terminals when they set up camp for the night.

To enable the team to make voice calls from any location, Inmarsat provided the tour with a number of IsatPhone 2 devices, which have an emergency call button and can offer eight hours of satellite enabled talk time with 160 hours on standby. Inmarsat also deployed its IsatData Pro vehicle tracking and telemetry hubs on each of the cars, so that the team at base camp in Germany can track their location.

Related services and Solutions

Land Xpress

Our unrivalled satellite broadband service that helps land-based organisations build a more efficient, safer and sustainable world.  

BGAN PTT

Transfer mission-critical data and provide voice communications, wherever the mission takes you and your crews. 

BGAN

Access the internet, send email and talk on the phone at the same time with our BGAN service. 

The results

Inmarsat’s comprehensive connectivity solution ensured the team always had the peace of mind that they would be able to contact base camp for assistance in an emergency situation.

Marvin Verheyden, lead instructor at Land Rover Experience Germany, commented: “Inmarsat’s solution played an essential role in the success of the tour by effectively eliminating any potential communication blackspots for us, which was vital to us and the team at base camp. We needed to be able to communicate with them at all times, so that we could advise them of any potential emergencies and so that they could track our location in the off-road sections to ensure we weren’t going off the route. The LX service was critical in helping us broadcast high quality video to bring the magic of this beautiful area to a wider audience.”

Benefits of Inmarsat’s Land Xpress service:

  • High speed – LX offers home broadband speeds on the move
  • Global – provides unparalleled worldwide coverage
  • Reliability – 99.5% network availability with L-band backup
  • Ease of use – terminals are compact, quick and easy to set-up
  • Flexible – users only pay for the data that they use

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