Category Archives: About GlobaFone

A Shameless, Self-Serving Plug for GlobaFone

I am mindful that you don’t want to read sales pitches, preferring to learn more about the satellite communications industry and I fulfill that in almost every other blog post (and will with a life-saving story later today!).  However, this morning I have to share with you the difference between a full-service satellite provider and  providers who sell at the ‘lowest price’.

GlobaFone took over a client’s Iridium service several years ago and sent out replacement SIM cards.  Friday at 4:45 (when else?), we received a call from our contact that he had a user far away, overseas who needed Iridium service ASAP.  But since he had not swapped SIM cards he still had the old provider’s SIM in the phone.  I saw three options:

1)    We request Iridium port the number (which is not done)

2)    We ship a SIM card to this far-away land; Three days and $175

3)    We re-activate the olds SIM card with GlobaFone as the client

Option 1 is out since there is no number porting.  Option 2 is not favorable because we are then subject to a number of unknowns: the shipping company, weather, customs, etc.

So I called the old provider, explained the situation, threw down a credit card and re-activated the SIM card.  Our client needed service and this was the fastest possible way for me to make that happen.  Will it be profitable?  Probably not?  Will my General Manager kick me for running an unprofitable SIM card?  Probably.  But the client needed service ASAP.  I couldn’t think of another way to meet the clients’ need faster and with less hassle for him.

So here’s the question:

Will your lowest cost provider do something outrageous like this for you?  Or would they tell you ‘tough luck’ or recite some policy or tell you all the things that cannot be done?  I’m pretty sure they would not call a competitor and activate a SIM card for you.  In fact I assure you they would not; rather they would do what is in THEIR best interest, not yours.  After all, why do you think you get phones in boxes from ‘lowest-cost’ providers?

This creative solution demonstrates (again!) why at GlobaFone you are a client with us, not just a customer.

What has your lowest cost provider done for you lately?

When it’s time to upgrade your satellite phone GlobaFone will “Buy Back” your old Iridium or Globalstar phone!

Why should you upgrade your satellite phone? The latest models, such as the Iridium 9555 and the
Extreme 9575 are slightly smaller and weigh less than the older phones. Plus, with many new upgrades your phone is easier to use and has new capabilities, such as hands-free options, longer talk time and the ability to create a wi-fi hotspot.
GlobaFone will take your old Iridium or Globalstar phone (with or without accessories) and will give you a generous trade-in credit towards a new Iridium 9555 or 9575 phone. (Yes, even if you purchased your satellite phone somewhere else!)
Learn more about this satellite phone trade-in offer for when you upgrade to an Iridium 9555 or 9575.
CALL 1-800-826-6152

Satellite Phones – Finding the Right Provider

I was at the Satellite 2012 conference last week, and the topic of reputable satellite phone providers came up as I asked the five CEOs a question about how they want their products sold.  I cited the recent state bid where a janitorial supply company had won a  bid on BGAN terminals.  The company didn’t even know what a BGAN was, let alone how to support it – they barely knew what they were selling let alone could even call themselves knowledgeable in the world of satellite communication. This is a common dilemma when it comes to being in the business of selling communication equipment that isn’t quite mainstream yet. We have consumers looking for global phones that will work while they are boating or hiking, and frequently companies in search of redundancy options to support disaster recovery efforts. Yet, there is so much more to the process of implementing satellite technology such as voice, data, and tracking systems. Picking the lowest cost provider should be the very last thing you do when making a satellite phone purchase especially when you can find hundreds of providers on the Internet.  You get what you pay for, and (I’ve beat this drum for years), buying the lowest price will ALWAYS cost you more.  Always.

Consider the following key points when choosing a satellite phone, voice, or data package:

1) Consider your long term goals when it comes to using our products, because satellite technology can have an impact on your entire business. For example, will you be transferring data in addition to making phone calls? We ask our clients these questions every time they consider a purchase since we want to make sure they have fully considered the results they need.  Then we can better discuss rate plans, pooling airtime, roll over minutes and more.

2) How long has the provider been in business? This is important to note because I have seen vendors go out of business when they try to offer below cost prices while hiking up service plans. You will lose in the end when the provider is no longer able to honor your contract.  There have been some pretty high profile ‘re-bids’ in this sector due to the low-cost provider going out of business.

3) Where will you be using your satellite solutions? This is key since different manufacturer’s products have varying capabilities depending on the part of the world you are in. Be sure you understand how your phone or device will work when you are out in the ocean, or travelling abroad.

4) Can you pool your airtime? I have not seen any other provider with rate plans that benefit multiple users. For example, GlobaFone will allow many users under one plan to benefit from airtime minutes. The airtime used is deducted from a single rate plan. This is a great way to save costs and not waste minutes.

5) Finally, how does the vendor’s customer service rate? Many providers ship product straight from the manufacturer, not taking time to test the phone, charge the battery, remove the pin code and more. At GlobaFone, we do all of this , and ship phones in a complimentary user kit. Our clients enjoy knowing they are not blindly receiving a phone that may or may not work. We are available 24/7 so there is always help available.  Is your provider there when you need them?

So I encourage you to ask your provider a lot of questions. Don’t just go with a ‘low price wins’ mentality; it iwll cost you much more in the long run.  I speak from experience, having seen it time and time again; a client chooses the lower cost option and then has (expensive) problems.

I encourage your feedback, and can be reached at 603-433-7232 0r e-mail l.altman@globafone.com

Satellite Phone Rentals – Costs and Benefits

Recently, a group of University of New Hampshire nursing students travelled to Ghana, Africa, on a 2 week long humanitarian trip so they could offer their services to area clinics while also promoting health education. The trip was a huge success in that the group assisted with births, immunizations, and even learned about the spiritual side of healing. However, the expedition was also a lesson in worldwide communication and proved how challenging it can be to make a phone call when you are halfway around the world.

In an effort to prepare for the journey, group organizers planned to rent an international cell phone upon arrival at the airport. With little time to catch a van ride to their final destination, the tired travellers were now enduring a seven hour bumpy ride with no cellular communications. Luckily through GlobaFone, they were able to secure a satellite phone rental just a couple of days prior to departure through a personal connection here at our office – thank goodness! The satellite phone became their only means of communication on the long van ride, one in which worried parents back home desperately wanted to know if their kids had safely arrived at their destination.

With free airtime from GlobaFone, the 15 students were able to connect with loved ones with no interruptions, and clear connections. Parents were happy, students were revived with a quick hello from home, and they were able to charge the phone en-route to their lodgings so it could be used again during their stay. In addition, contacts at home were even able to send free text messages via the Iridium website.

The students eventually did get an international cell phone which provided great rates, but the phone was unreliable since the Ghana government performs power diversions, so electricity is not always readily available. This power restriction can affect not only land lines, but cellular towers as they require a power source. With 30 hours of standby time, the Iridium satellite phone also required charging, but uses a gateway to make phone connections and not a cellular tower. Overall, the students were encouraged they had accessibility to the satellite phone and used it to touch base with contacts in the United States throughout their stay.

The costs for the satellite phone were higher, but its accessibility rounded out the price. So, if you will be travelling abroad and need reliable communications, consider a satellite phone for backup communications. The Iridium 9555 is a great communication tool especially if you want to send text messages. The Iridium 9505a is a little more intricate when it comes to checking voice mail and sending messages, but works just as well as its counterpart. Travelling abroad or planning a deep sea fishing voyage? Visit our website for a complete list of satellite rental phone rates or call 1-800-826-6152.

Lou Altman,
CEO GlobaFone
l.altman@globafone.com
www.globafone.com
603-433-7232

Thank You from GlobaFone

The holiday season is upon us and one additional gift (or lump of coal) for you this year is that I get to write this message.  Bridgette has thus far kept me at bay in terms of writing this blog, but since she isn’t here today…..

GlobaFone had another terrific year.  We won some significant contracts, worked on some very interesting projects and solved some major problems for clients, proving that the GlobaFone value proposition is alive, well and gaining momentum.  If you are a new GlobaFone client, welcome!  If you are with us for another year, thank you for continuing to trust us.

We have some fantastic plans in the works for 2012 and beyond!  We’ve already hired a new staff member, to start in two weeks and I anticipate more to come.  Some of these enhancements will make it easier to work with us, many will simply enhance your GlobaFone/Satcom experience, ALL are designed to make us more effecient and to provide you with a higher level of service.    Remember that this business is NOT about satellite phones – it is about your results and our mission to help you achieve your results.

So, from me to you, from Team GlobaFone to you and from our families to yours  – Have a wonderful Holiday Season and a safe and joyous New Year’s celebration.

We appreciate your support and look forward to working with you for years to come.

Best wishes,

Lou Altman, GlobaFone CEO

Join the GlobaFone Price vs. Value Webinar on Wednesday, November 9, or Thursday, November 10

This webinar will benefit Telecom Managers, Buying Agents, Contracting officers, and Telecom Analysts.

The Satcom industry is full of equations when it comes to determining price and services. In this webinar, GlobaFone CEO Lou Altman will outline why the lowest priced satellite phone can often end up costing organizations more in the long run. After this webinar you will understand:

– The price-value relationship
– Why you truly, “Get what You Pay For”
– How to assess overall pricing, not just the lowest number

Attendees will receive a phone capability comparison chart which can be shared within their organization. To register for the event, visit the following links:

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/999766529
Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/320291784
Date:    Thursday, November 10, 2011
Time:    10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EST

The Iridium Extreme 9575 is Now Shipping

The moment we have all been waiting for has arrived. The Iridium Extreme 9575 satellite phone with its extreme is now available for shipping. Building on the capabilities of the Iridium 9555, the 9575 brings military grade ruggedness to the market and customers are eager to use this phone for its ability to withstand the harshest elements while also delivering tracking services.

The Iridium Extreme or the 9555 – What is the right choice for you? Both phones offer pole to pole coverage from a reliable provider. The primary difference is the 9575 includes a built in SOS and GPS locator, integrated tracking, and military grade ruggedness. Lastly, their is a price difference. The 9555 complete kit is available from GlobaFone for $1229, while the 9575 is shipping for $1495. Users who will be travelling to remote locations in dangerous environments may want the 9575 over the 9555 for its emergency locating and tracking capabilities. A programmable SOS button will send a an emergency text message with map coordinates to a specified recipient when pressed. Once activated, the message will continuously transmit every five minutes. The 9575 is also incredibly durable and built to meet the DoD Military Standards 810F for resistance to dust, shock, vibration, and wet conditions including blowing rain and more. And if that isn’t enough, the antenna is 40 percent thicker for better endurance, the overall size is more compact being 10 % thinner and 7% lighter then the 9555. In a non-emergency the GPS locator can be activated, and a remote person can also track individual locations when the integrated tracking is activated.

In summary, the 9575 is the perfect choice for users who will be out in the elements and require straightforward tracking protection. The 9555 is still being sold and is also a reliable solution for those who don’t require the extra tracking capabilities.

GlobaFone to Exhibit at the Commercial Marine Expo in Norfolk, Virgina this Week

This week, starting Wednesday, June 22 – Thursday, June 23, GlobaFone’s Peter Allen will be exhibiting satellite phone technology for resale by our company at the Commercial Marine Expo (CME) in Norfolk, Virgina. Our presence at the convention marks the importance of satellite communication in the marine industry as both leisure and commercial boaters rely on the devices while offshore at a range not covered by cellular signals.

Satellite communication is fast becoming the choice device when it comes to making offshore calls and obtaining data over the Internet due to its reliability and air time plans. While cellular phones and radios bring many benefits to boaters, a satellite signal allows commercial fishing professionals and water sport enthusiasts to make personal contact with family and friends while offshore, and even download maps and other critical data while at sea. Radios provide coverage but are open airwaves for anyone to listen in on.

Products represented at the CME convention by GlobaFone include: Globalstar, Beam Oceana 400 and 800, Skipper 150 Fleet Broadband, ISAT Pro Phone (Inmarsat handheld with GPS), and the Iridium 9555. There is hope that Peter will be able to demonstrate the Oceana at our booth as he was awaiting shipment of the device to Virgina upon his arrival.

Some of the perks of the Oceana which is new to the market include marine applications such as crew calling, captain calling, and PABX integration (a single line allowing multiple external lines to staff). Be sure to visit with Peter at the Half Moon Cruise Ship Terminal in Norfolk over the next couple of days and learn about the many options when it comes to satellite technology in the marine industry. Our goal is to understand your problem, and discuss available options for the best possible solution.