BGAN powers vote count in Brazilian presidential election

Inmarsat’s BGAN has been used for a fourth time to secure a speedy result in the Brazilian presidential elections.

More than 140 million people voted in two rounds across three time zones to re-elect President Dilma Rousseff in the closest contest for many years.

This year’s Brazilian electoral commission relied on an increased number of 1,464 BGAN terminals, deployed by voting technology provider Smartmatic across some of the most remote areas in the fifth largest country in the world. Inmarsat’s BGAN satellite broadband voice and data service was used to connect voting stations to the nation’s electronic voting system.

Transmission challenge

“In this age of immediate communications, speed in transmitting election results is a challenge every electoral commission faces,” said Antonio Mugica, Smartmatic’s CEO.

“Over the past two decades, Brazil has built a robust electoral platform to swiftly process the vote of more than 140 million voters. By using satellite technology to expand the reach of its voting platform, Brazil’s electoral commission is setting an example many commissions around the world should follow.”

Inmarsat’s BGAN network monitoring tool BrandNUI was used throughout the election to display real time information about the number of active BGAN terminals and individual SIMs in each of the Inmarsat 4 Americas satellite spot beams over Brazil, to ensure a seamless transfer of information.

Immediate reaction

John Sherwood, Inmarsat Global Government Product Delivery Specialist, who attended the election to oversee the monitoring process said: “Inmarsat and its BGAN service Distribution Partner MVS had teams deployed in their Network Operations Centres and at the Inmarsat Satellite Access Station in Paumalu, Hawaii, actively managing all points in the end to end connection of every terminal.

“This ensured there would be an immediate reaction and restoration in case of any issues, but none arose. All BGAN terminals and the Inmarsat network performed faultlessly and were key to enabling the Brazilian electoral commission to announce the full results within just a few hours of the voting station closing, even those in the remotest regions of the vastness of Brazil.”

Inmarsat, already the network provider of choice for delivering census, voter registration and elections networks, has previously provided bespoke communications solutions for elections in numerous countries across the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ecuador, the Philippines and Zimbabwe.

Smartmatic is the largest single owner of BGAN terminals in the world, and has enabled electoral commissions in Argentina, Brazil and the Philippines to efficiently reach voters who live in remote and rural areas. The company also provided BGAN terminals, training for operators and support services during Brazil’s 2012 municipal elections.