Tag Archives: iridium 9555

There is ALWAYS Internet

We have a full-fledged uprising complete with riot police, armed citizens, unarmed citizens, water cannons and rubber bullets.  The government’s response includes a media blackout – or attempted blackout.In the modern era of global communications – satellite phones in particular, shutting off the internet and cell service cannot stop information, pictures and video from showing the world what is happening in Egypt.

Anyone with BGAN or Thuraya IP terminal can broadcast and anyone with any of the handheld phones – Iridium 9555, iSAT PhonePro or any of the Thuraya phones can send text and voice messages.  In fact many of the reports you may have heard have been filed via a satellite phone.This is how far we have technologically – to the point where anyone with a laptop and a video camera needs only to spend a couple thousand dollars and the world can see your story.It seems to me the Egyptian government needs to realize they are preventing the news, but increasingly they ARE the news.

Never A Dull Moment

I frequently use this phrase to describe my life; between GlobaFone, travel, family events, community service and relaxation time, there is….well, you get the idea. The satellite industry is the same.

If you’ve visited the new GlobaFone website, you’ll see/hear in the main page video that ‘there is plenty going on’. How true. Here are a few examples:

IRIDIUM: Now that the financing package has been completed and signed Thales Space is going to ramp up production and build 81 NEXT Iridium satellites. This of course will bring Iridium up to the estimated 2014/2015 launch of NEXT.

GLOBALSTAR: Last Tuesday held a landmark event for the satellite phone provider as the Soyuz rocket carried six satellites in the first of four launches into orbit. The three remaining launches will add 18 more satellites so the new constellation will consist of 32 satellites. Over the next year, there will be a noticeable improvement to coverage and connectivity on Globalstar phones. The simplex data service is working just great, as demonstrated by the strong numbers coming from the SPoT division. And there is now an intrinsically safe SPoT available for workers who need one-way messaging and tracking in a potentially hazardous environment.

INMARSAT: Not to be out-done by the implied rivals to the iSAT Phone, Inmarsat had announced recently the development of a new constellation for some years out. This follows on the completion of the I-4/BGAN launch completed just two years ago. Unfortunately the iSAT Phone has met what I consider to be expected results; it works great near the equator, not too well north or south.

TERRESTAR: Having announced the launch of the Genus phone just weeks ago, they have filed Chapter 11. This must be a record – it Both Globalstar and Iridium took at least a year to get to that point back in 1999/2000. Both have recovered and done well so we’ll see what the future holds for this cell/satellite phone hybrid. Unfortunately the initial reviews of the satellite capability are not too favorable in terms of the time it takes to set up and actually make a satellite call. And with an embedded antenna, one would think pointing in the right direction to the GEO satellite might be a difficult. We’ll see what comes of their move to bankruptcy protection.

Yes, there is never a dull moment in this business. Constant change is the norm and exciting developments continue to shape the industry. As they happen we’ll keep you up to date.

Thanks for reading today.

Free Webinar Reveals the Truth about Satellite Phones!

provide access to voice and data communications from almost any location on the planet. They offer easy operation, dependable service, reasonable rates and a wide range of functionality. Some familiar names are , and .

Unfortunately, there are pervasive myths surrounding that cast them in a negative light. These misperceptions and distortions of the truth may prevent people from making use of these incredibly valuable tools, mistakenly believing satellite phones are not the right solutions that will solve their particular problem.

On this webinar, we will outline seven myths about and then reveal the truth, debunking each myth. You may be surprised by what you learn – that Satellite phones are essential tools that really may make sense for you and your organization.

Please join us for this thought-provoking webinar by clicking one of the times below:

Title: The Truth Revealed! Debunking Satellite Phone Myths

Date: Tuesday, August 3, 2010:

Date: Wednesday, August 4, 2010:

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Thanks so much for signing up – we look forward to sharing this exciting information with you.

Simple Physics

Maybe this title is an oxymoron but it does describe the theme of this post and I didn’t need to study physics to understand the basic principle:

An object at rest stays at rest, an object in motion stays in motion.
Once something has momentum, it will only stop when met with a force greater than its own force.   Yet I digress….

Iridium continues its movement by finalizing its NEXT financing and announcing that despite lower hardware sales, the 2011 forecast remains positive on the subscriber side.  Given the pending Globalstar re-deployment in 2011, the phone launch, Terrestar and the coming Skyterra launch, this is an exceptional forecast.  The motion continues….has deployed the first of six new satellite and successfully made test calls.  This remains one of the most amazing stories in the segment.  From the near disaster of announcing that the constellation was dying to an award-winning device that created a segment to a successful test call, Globalstar has show incredible resilience by staying in motion and forging ahead, despite the forces pushing back.

The Skyterra antenna has been deployed and they are back on track.  They did have the minor glitch of the antenna not unfolding, however their motion was enough to overcome that obstacle.

Testing an Inmarsat iSAT Phone Pro

There certainly has been no shortage of attention drawn to the fact that Inmarsat has brought its first handheld satellite phone to the market. The iSAT Phone Pro has been much anticipated, having been on the drawing board and in the testing lab for some time now.

I received my iSAT Phone and charged it up overnight, ready to make calls. I went outside GlobaFone’s office, pressed the power button and rotated the antenna……

I had heard and read a great deal about this satellite phone and how it worked/didn’t work. I was determined to not let the good/not so good news influence me.

The phone took a couple of minutes to acquire the GPS fix and then the satellite network. I dialed my cell, the office, some other people, etc. Here’s what I noted:
• There is a faint background noise that resembles someone answering the call. I said ‘hello’ several times, only to hear another ring.
• The calls have similar latency to calls made on the Iridium 9555 – that somewhat slurry speech, making you sound like you’ve been drinking. Not too bad but noticable.
• The biggest issue was that if you turn your head, the phone displays a message to turn back towards the satellite.

And this last point has been my biggest concern: Four GEO satellites cannot provide as robust an experience as 66 orbiting LEO satellites. If you are far north aor south and are on the northside of the ridge, building, tree stand, mountain, you will not be able to make satellite phone calls.

My conclusions:
• The iSAT Phone Pro is a great little phone and works pretty well. I think it poses very little threat to Iridium’s 9555 or 9505A satellite phones.
• I see a bigger threat to Globalstar’s satellite system, given their issues these days. Yes, they are due to launch a new constellation but with the roll-out of the iSAT Phone which offers more coverage at comparable prices, the question remains: Can they recover their lost client base? (Actualy people have been asking that for quite some time now) It will certainly be interesting to see what happens.
• I see the iSAT Phone expanding an existing/new client base that generally does not buy satellite phones, given the cost; seasonal boaters come to mind. Is it worth $1,500 plus service ($40/month) to have a phone on your boat? Maybe, but for $700 and $25/month, sure, sign ’em up!

We’ll certainly keep an eye on iSAT satellite phone throughout the rest of the year. The launch comes at a critical time – during hurricane season. Having thousands of iSAT Phones depoyed in the after math of a hurricane’s wreckage will be the ultimate test.

All in all iSAT is a nice little phone for the price as ,ong as you understand its limitations.

Please feel free to send your comments to l.altman@globafone.com.

Busting Satellite Phone Myths

Mention the words and people freeze: they conjure images of black-suited government agents with ear pieces and suitcase devices that President uses. The reality is that have evolved to be highly portable, functional tools used by the military, commercial enterprises and recreational boaters, hiker and other outdoor enthusiasts.

My webinar two weeks ago busted the top myths about and in the next few weeks, I’ll post the myths one by one and provide the TRUTH about . This information will enable more people to understand why satellite phones are so useful and make them more comfortable integrating this into their businesses. Here is the first myth:

“Satellite Phones Do Not Work Indoors”

This one is actually kind of true – the satellite phone’s antenna needs to ‘see’ the satellite in order to work. However the notion that you can NEVER use a indoors is absurd. With the development of remote antennas, docking stations, fixed-site phones and a device called SatMAX; you can easily use your portable phones indoors and permanently install a satellite phone in your building, vehicle or vessel. There are solutions for almost every situation and any budget.

Yes, satellite phones CAN be used indoors – you just need the proper equipment.

If you want to learn more about satellite phones, go to and see the options available to you.

Texas Department of Information Resources Extends Satellite Contract with GlobaFone

will continue to provide award-winning services to Texas Department of Information Resources and dozens of other states

August 20, 2010

Portsmouth, NH: The Texas Department of Information resources (DIR) has renewed its satellite contract with GlobaFone, a leading satellite phone Service Provider. The contract extension is valid for one year and represents the third renewal. The Portsmouth, NH-based company provided Texas with competitive pricing and their best value solutions. Under the contract will provide clients in the State with Iridium satellite products and airtime service. In addition, any other State that chooses to do so may buy off of the Texas contract at the specially negotiated prices.

“We are very pleased that DIR has chosen to renew this contract,” said GlobaFone President Lou Altman. “Lowest bidders no longer automatically win business because savvy buyers recognize the risk the low price bidders present. Low price means low value; end of story.”

Under the DIR contract currently provides satellite service to dozens of Texas government agencies including law enforcement, universities, public services, transportation and recreational sectors. “Our Texas clients have a variety of requirements,’ said Altman. “Some use satellite phones in emergencies; others use their phones daily. We offer flexibility,’ he said.

Nationally, clients include dozens of Government, State and Local agencies, corporations, non-profits and individuals, all with diverse satellite communications requirements.


of Portsmouth, NH is an award-winning, leading service provider of satellite phone solutions to Federal, State and Local Governments, as well as corporate clients. GlobaFone’s solutions include five brands of satellite communications – Iridium, Inmarsat, Globalstar, Thuraya and VSAT as well as cellular service for lease with roaming in over 200 countries as and local cellular service in dozens of countries. For more information please visit www.globafone.com