Stratos Global, a reseller and integrator of remote communications solutions, last week announced that the company was acquired by satellite-communications provider Inmarsat Finance III Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Inmarsat.

Although Stratos Global now is a wholly owned subsidiary of Inmarsat, it will continue to operate independently under existing management, said Hugh Donnan, enterprise vertical market manager for Stratos Global.

"Even though we're going to be owned by Inmarsat, we're still going to be selling our entire portfolio," Donnan said during an interview with Urgent Communications. "So we'll still be selling Iridium, we'll still be selling VSAT services and microwave in the Gulf of Mexico from Inmarsat and other providers, even though we'll be owned by Inmarsat.

Stratos Global is the largest of Inmarsat's many distribution partners, boasting more than 40% market share, Donnan said.

"They want us to continue to do what we do best, which is to find the best solution for the customer."

Aquiring Stratos Global puts Inmarsat "on a level playing field" with satellite-industry competitors, Inmarsat Chairman and CEO Andrew Sukawaty said in a prepared statement.

"We remain committed to selling through our growing network of distributors and service providers worldwide to service our customers," Sukawaty said in the statement. "Stratos will play an important role alongside our trusted distributors in bringing new exciting satellite products and services to market in the years ahead."

In December 2007, Stratos announced that CIP Canada Investments acquired all issued and outstanding shares of Stratos in a deal indirectly financed by Inmarsat Finance III. Inmarsat Finance III held a call option to buy CIP Canada and exercised this option after securing regulatory approvals.

In separate news, Inmarsat today announced the launch of BGAN X-Stream, which will provide users with guaranteed streaming data rates of 384 KB/s using the compact and lightweight BGAN terminals built by manufacturers Hughes and Thrane & Thrane.

Unveiled at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, the company developed the X-Stream service in "response from broadcasters" wanting a higher-quality streaming-video capability, Drew Bandy, Inmarsat's head of land mobile services, said in a prepared statement.

Donnan said the solution also is applicable to the emergency community, noting that the new BGAN service can include integrated Wi-Fi connectivity, so the link is able to support multiple laptops in a command-center scenario at during the response to a large incident.