23rd May 2023
BFBS has announced a development partnership with Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite company, OneWeb. Thanks to the latest technology, the new BFBS MiPlayer Edge and OneWeb’s global constellation network will work together to deliver enhanced media services to the UK Armed Forces, even in the most remote and austere locations.
Over the past 80 years BFBS has provided innovative solutions to entertain, inform, connect, and champion our armed forces. Its pioneering MiPlayer platform already delivers live and on demand TV and radio, as well as digital newspapers and magazines to personnel in places where internet access is either limited or non-existent, such as on ships at sea.
The combined offering of OneWeb and the MiPlayer Edge will be a step change in BFBS’s ability to deliver content to the Armed Forces in hard-to-reach places.
By orbiting the earth at a lower altitude than traditional satellites, OneWeb’s network of LEO satellites will provide increased bandwidth and low latency connectivity. This collaboration between OneWeb and BFBS could offer a range of enhancements including more channels, and more on demand content. Vitally, the OneWeb LEO satellite signal is less likely to be disrupted by the superstructure of a ship.
MiPlayer Edge, the latest advancement in BFBS technology, is roughly the size of a large iPad, and is a smaller, lighter, more economical, and less power-hungry device than the standard MiPlayer. It is more sustainable and can be powered from mains but also low dc voltage and can utilise power generated by solar panels or wind turbines.
Nick Beer, BFBS’s Director of Development and Strategy, said:
“We are thrilled to be announcing BFBS’s partnership with OneWeb and the evolution of MiPlayer Edge. We believe that OneWeb's technology represents the best option for the reliable delivery of BFBS’s services in poorly connected locations – especially on ships at sea. This allows us to more effectively deliver services to the UK Armed Forces when they are stationed in remote areas overseas.”
Air Vice Marshal (Retired) Chris Moore, VP Defence and Security, from OneWeb said:
“Having reliable and always-on connectivity is paramount to the welfare and retention of service personnel. Young soldiers, sailors, and aviators have grown up in a connected world with on-tap internet, 24/7 social media, streaming entertainment, and gaming.
“Being able to combine OneWeb’s global connectivity with BFBS and its impressive MiPlayer Edge tech will allow service personnel to stay in touch with family, friends
and the world around them, wherever they are, whenever they need it. This is the new Theatre Entry Standard for retention, mental health and wellbeing.”
The announcement was made at Speaker’s House where BFBS was celebrating ‘80 Years of Innovation’ by kind invitation of Mr Speaker, the Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle.
See bfbs80.com for more details about BFBS’s 80th anniversary.
Image: The new MiPlayer Edge hub which delivers content to multiple personal devices – such as iPads – in a given location.
Credit: ‘Robert Weideman, Schmooly’