The BBC has ordered 13 LNG (laptop news gathering) software systems from web and newsgathering partners TVZ and 4BN, for journalists to use in covering the impending war in Iraq.
The software encoding systems, priced from£3,500 to£6,000, depending on the configuration, enable correspondents to heavily compress reports before transmitting them over a satellite phone or narrowband internet connection.
BBC newsgathering executive editor Peter Mayne said the advantage of the LNG is that it "integrates with our editing platform on one laptop and we're satisfied the system is rugged enough to cope with whatever our teams might face in the Gulf".
TVZ and 4BN are now working on a way to use the same technology to enable the user to report live from a location "using only a small camera, a laptop and a satellite phone".
TVZ chairman Pete Hendersen said that US broadcaster ABC has also bought more than a dozen and believes that although the system "can't help with the frustrations of crossing war borders, it can help with the frustrations that technology has posed in the past".