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R-BGAN supports disabled mountaineers in attempt on peak

10-05-2006 - A climbing expedition that set out to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about amputees has been using R-BGAN as part of its mission to scale the icy Himalyan mountain of Cho Oyu.

A terminal was donated by international consulting firm i-Linx to help the 2006 Friendship Beyond Borders Expedition, an international team of of climbers that is helping amputees climb the sixth highest peak in the Himalayas.

The R-BGAN terminal is located at the expedition's base camp, from where regular reports about the climbers' progress are being sent via Inmarsat.

One of the climbers, Newang Sherpa, aims to become the first trans-tibial amputee to have climbed a second 8,000-metre-high mountain. Cho Oyu is one of just 14 such peaks in the world.

Newang said: "There are so many amputees and disabled people in the world. I would like to give encouragement to all of them by climbing these high peaks with the help of my international friends and sponsors."

In a recent communication from base camp using R-BGAN, the expedition's public relations manager Linda McMillan reported: "Greetings from 16,600 feet at the base camp in Cho Oyu in Tibet. Our R-BGAN modem is working perfectly here and allowing us to stay in touch with our sponsors, supporters and family back in the US."

US-based i-Linx specializes in the design of communication systems for governments, development agencies, multi-national organizations and corporations.

Roselie Vasquez, vice-president of i-Linx, said: "Communications from base camps is critical to all climbing expeditions, so the R-BGAN - and now BGAN - offers unique data transmission capacity to these groups who are otherwise limited by voice telephony.

"The Friendship Beyond Borders team, in particular, was very excited by the opportunity to monitor weather patterns from base camp by connecting to the Internet over the R-BGAN.

"I believe the market for BGAN is clear and we are seeing the tip of the iceberg of a potential market for adventure travellers and end-users."

R-BGAN is the entry-level device in Inmarsat BGAN range of terminals.

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