Innovative satellite company Tariam has introduced a combined broadband and voice-call solution that's compatible with Macs and other devices.

Tariam's BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) is the world's first global mobile communications service to deliver simultaneous voice and broadband through one portable device at achievable prices.

The system means a Mac user can access the internet and email wherever they are on the planet - from the Arctic Circle or deep in the Amazon.

BGAN is currently accessible in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, North and South America

The service is presently available across 85 per cent of the planet's land mass and reaches 98 per cent of the world's population. Coverage will be extended worldwide around mid 2008.

Tariam claims its data rates to be cheaper than GSM for data in the UK and abroad and competitive on voice roaming charges while abroad.

"UK mobile networks charge around £6 to £10.28 per megabyte for mobile data in the UK, more abroad," Tariam states. "Customers using BGAN can get their effective data charges down to under £2 per MB."

BGAN users can achieve broadband data speeds of up to half a megabit (synchronous) while making a voice call. The service also offers guaranteed data rates on demand, with a choice of rates to suit user needs.

As an added benefit, the portable system, which takes just a few minutes to set up, also provides ISDN and the ability to send and receive SMS text messages.

The system consists of a portable satellite broadband terminal and software. There's a range of terminals available, with smaller models designed to suit a single user.

Prices for a BGAN terminal start at £1,000.