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  Vecta on Global Area Networks (GAN)
  Satellite constellations use a number of satellites orbiting near the equator to offer ubiquitous broadband communications and global coverage.
  Selection of High, Medium, or Low, Earth Orbit (HEO, MEO, LEO) operation is a trade-off between the required number of satellites and performance characteristics with delays and signal loss lowest and capacity highest with LEOs but at the expense of large constellation size.

Once established, as proposed by Inmarsat and Teledesic among others, such constellations have the potential to offer Global Area Networks to users equipped with the relevant laptop and satellite dish and by-pass the gaps in today's international communications infrastructure.

They will reduce field equipment and contribution costs for international news gathering. They will also enable secure, faster broadband access in many parts of the world with low population densities or inadequate economic activity to justify development of fixed telecommunications infrastructure.

The high cost and technical risk of such ventures has led to a number of failures when satellite constellations have been proposed for voice communication, an area of intense development and rapidly reducing margins.

The key need, apart from providing the service, is to identify and serve enough high margin users who will generate enough revenue before the isolated areas install ground-based wireless systems.

  Satellite-based Global Area Networks appeal to users who need, and are prepared to pay for, heavy-duty data communications anywhere and everywhere. However the technical complexity and high capital cost limit deployment to specialist satellite operators. Achieving a financial return will be difficult in the face of global rollout of competing broadband and 3G wireless services. GANs may offer a way to reverse migration to infrastructure-rich cities by providing better bandwidth service to sparsely-populated areas.

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