DeLorme inReach initiates emergency medi-vac from Atlantic Odyssey Sailing Rally

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Cocojet III. Picture courtesy of Cornell Sailing.

A participant in Cornell Sailing’s Atlantic Odyssey had to be evacuated from his catamaran on Saturday.  Nicolas Hauzy was attempting to fix a fault in the hydraulic steering on Cocojet III when he fell and broke his ankle.  The crew of the catamaran immediately initiated the SOS function on their DeLorme inReach provided by Cornell Sailing, the race organisers.

Global Telesat Communications supplied inReach Satellite Trackers to the race organisers for last year’s inaugural race to allow followers of the rally to keep an eye on race progress.  It was hoped that the SOS button on the trackers would never be used but in this situation proved to be vital in alerting the organisers of the accident.

Cornell Sailing said “Within minutes of the emergency message being received, the Atlantic Odyssey organisers and Cross Gris-Nez, the French Operational Rescue Center which coordinates SAR operations, were in touch with the crew of Cocojet III to ascertain that there was no immediate risk to life or the boat.”

Nicolas was evacuated from the catamaran onto the nearby passenger cruise ship Saga Pearl II which diverted its route to meet Cocojet III at 2300 UTC  on Saturday 22 November.

For this event the SOS button diverts directly to emergency contacts set-up by the race organisers.  As standard the SOS button would alert the GEOS Emergency Response Center which would then communicate with emergency contacts and initiate a rescue.

Atlantic Odyssey is an annual even organised by Cornell Sailing which left Lanzarote on Sunday 16 November bound for Martinique.  Earlier in the trip Cocojet III posted a video showing a beautiful sunset and dolphins swimming alongside the catamaran:

We wish Nicolas a speedy recovery!

Are you feeling adventurous? Join Dave Cornthwaite on his next trip!

Dave Cornthwaite is the British adventurer behind Project Origin: 25 Stand Up Paddleboard Journeys, each 100 miles or more. A series of adventures designed to make a difference.ProjectOriginPoster

He hopes to put one million new trees in the ground within 5 years through donations, corporate support and, ultimately, through the power of adventure. He is looking for 200 people (or groups) to take on an adventure, in return for committing a minimum fundraise of £500.

The first leg of Project Origin kicks off at the end of November with a 130 mile circumnavigation of Martinique, in the Caribbean. He will be using his DeLorme inReach Explorer and we are providing the airtime so that he can track his entire journey.

If you are interested in joining Dave please click here to find out more.

End of production for IsatPhone Pro

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As manufacture of the IsatPhone Pro comes to an end we discuss the future for users of the handsets and alternative sat phones on the market.

In 2010, IsatPhone Pro was launched marking Inmarsat’s entry into the global handheld satphone market. Now, after four successful years, Inmarsat is announcing the end of production for IsatPhone Pro.

Although Inmarsat have stopped manufacturing IsatPhone Pro, GTC currently still hold stock of the handset so please contact us if you wish to place an order.

With the end of manufacture of the handset will also come a stop to production of the accessories.  We also hold these in stock, please see our range of IsatPhone Pro accessories if you wish to place an order.

Inmarsat will continue to provide customer support and firmware upgrades to correct critical issues that may arise with IsatPhone Pro products in the field until further notice. As a reminder, IsatPhone Pro handsets must be upgraded to firmware v 5.3.0 or higher by 30 November 2014 to ensure continuation of service.

Visit GTC Support for instructions on how to upgrade your IsatPhone Pro.

What are the alternative sat phones on the market?

IsatPhone 2

IsatPhone 2

Inmarsat IsatPhone 2

Of course the Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 is a great alternative to the IsatPhone Pro – with all the same voice and SMS features the IsatPhone 2 comes with the added bonus of a built in GPS tracker.

The GPS tracking can be combined with our GTCTrack mapping to enable detailed monitoring of the user.

With global coverage excluding the poles the IsatPhone 2 is a great all in one device for the global traveller.

IsatPhone 2 pricing starts from £520 ex VAT.

Globalstar GSP-1700

One advantage of the IsatPhone handsets is the affordable cost of airtime and handsets.  Looking to other satellite networks Globalstar also offers an excellent value for money sat phone, the GSP-1700.

GlobalstarWith inclusive plans offering voice and data calls for as little as €0.15 per minute, the lowest handset prices in the market and the only 2nd generation satellite constellation, Globalstar satellite phones are hard to beat.

The Globalstar GSP-1700 is great for customers demanding quick connection times, excellent satellite voice quality and fastest low-band data speeds at an affordable and highly competitive price.

Globalstar satellite phones were the choice of the organisers of the Tour de France 2014 who used the phones during the UK leg to stay connected.

Globalstar sat phone prices start from just £225 ex VAT.

IsatHub

Inmarsat’s latest product – IsatHub

Inmarsat IsatHub

For those looking to the latest gadgets the IsatHub is also a great alternative to a satellite phone.  Also in the Inmarsat family of products IsatHub is a revolutionary new device which allows you to connect your normal mobile phone or tablet via WiFi in order to make and receive calls, texts and browse the internet via satellite.

IsatHub has just been launched and we are one of a few retailers to currently hold stock.  Contact us to place an order or see our blog The Inmarsat IsatHub Satellite Wi-Fi Hotspot Has Arrived for further information on the device.

As always we would like to answer any questions you may have on the end of life of the IsatPhone or any of the products mentioned above.

Satellite Wi-Fi Hotspots Now Available to Rent from GTC

We have added two brand new Satellite Wi-Fi Hotspots to our rental stock: the Iridium GO! and the Inmarsat IsatHub. These products will enable you to talk, text, and email on your smart device, anywhere inside anywhere in the world – even when outside of the range of mobile phone networks!

We all know how much we depend on our smart devices for work, pleasure, and keeping in touch with friends and family. Empowering you to stay in touch wherever you go, these new satellite Wi-Fi hotspots represent a significant step-change in your own personal connectivity, worldwide.

RJS_4952If you do not have any long-term need for a satellite Wi-Fi hotspot or don’t want to go to the expense of purchasing your own then renting from us could be the ideal solution. You avoid the trouble of setting up a contract and escape having to commit to a lengthy contract term. The daily rental charge is just £7.50 for the Iridium GO! and £10 for the Inmarsat IsatHub and call costs start from as little as £0.60 per minute. Check out our satellite Wi-Fi hotspot rental page for more information or give us a call on 0800 112 3919 to help you decide which hotspot suits your requirements.

The Inmarsat IsatHub Satellite Wi-Fi Hotspot Has Arrived

Imagine a new service from Inmarsat that will enable your smart phone or tablet to work seamlessly, anywhere on the planet*, completely independent of cellular or fixed networks.IsatHub, available now, enables you to talk, text, and access the Internet on your smart device, anywhere inside – or outside – the coverage of cellular or terrestrial comms, with one global tariff.We all know how much we depend on our smart devices for work, pleasure, and keeping in touch with friends and family. Empowering you to stay in touch wherever you go, this new service represents a significant step-change in your own personal connectivity, worldwide.IsatHub will enable yoIsatHub2u to continue to use your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet beyond the reach of cellular or terrestrial networks. The service is accessed via an app on your device, which connects to a new, low-cost terminal, smaller than an ipad.

You will feel empowered knowing you can talk, text and access the internet with your personal or work smart devices wherever you go. In some sectors this will prove to be part of everyday life, such as, journalists who rely on social media and other digital channels to update their readers on news as it happens.

And of IsatHubcourse, using data speeds of up to 384kbps and an unrivalled network availability of 99.9 per cent, no other mobile satellite operator can offer this level of performance and reliability for smart device connectivity.

* Coverage is over the global Inmarsat-4 satellite network, which excludes extreme polar regions

The IsatHub is available to buy now for just £795.00 ex VAT

 

British Adventurer completes Expedition1000 after kayaking 1000 miles with a DeLorme inReach Explorer

Dave Cornthwaite ReturnsExpedition1000: 48 days. 3 countries. 1,092,900 pedal pushes. 303 hours and 35 minutes on the water. 24 islands camped on.  Average speed 3.5 miles per hour. Total Distance: 1000.5 miles. Oslo to Helsinki by Hobie Kayak, tick!

In 11 journeys British Adventurer Dave Cornthwaite covered 19136 miles on four continents. 6 journeys on land, 5 on water. He tracked his entire journey with a DeLorme inReach Explorer satellite tracker which he has reviewed:

“For 48 days in the late Summer of 2014 I travelled 1000 miles between Oslo and Helsinki by Hobie Kayak. This was my first journey using a DeLorme inReach Explorer and I couldn’t be more impressed.

I used it to allow live tracking via my website, to act as a messaging conduit and to update my social media when 3G wasn’t available, and it was the primary device used to measure my distance (1000.5 miles), average moving speed (3.5mph) and time on the water (303 hours, 35 minutes!).

DeLore inReach ExplorerI also used the Earthmate App, which pairs my iPhone with the inReach Explorer via Bluetooth, to allow for easier message writing, and for a month of my journey was using the inReach to communicate directly with my girlfriend, who was on her own journey in the Arctic. And guess what she was using to receive and send messages? Yep, the DeLorme inReach Explorer!

Rest assured, it’s in the bag for the next journey, and I’ll be using a plan through Global Telesat Communications. Unbeatable service.”

If you are interested in purchasing a DeLorme inReach Explorer or would just like some more information please give us a call on 0800 112 3919 or visit our website.

IsatPhone 2 Firmware 01.04.01

IsatPhone 2IsatPhone 2 firmware version 01.04.01 is released and available for download now.

Follow the link below to download: http://www.inmarsat.com/support/isatphone-2-support/

Firmware version 01.04.01 supersedes the firmware version 01.00.00 that was released in March 2014 at the time of the product launch by Inmarsat.

Recommendations for installation
This is a recommended firmware upgrade, meaning that the features introduced by the firmware are important but not critical for the GSPS service including the network and the IsatPhone 2 handset.

Pre-requisites for installation and advice after installation
In order to upgrade the handset’s firmware you must have a PC running Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista or XP. The latest version of USB drivers and IsatPhone 2’s firmware upgrade tool must be installed. These can be found in the Inmarsat Support website by visiting http://www.inmarsat.com/support/isatphone-2-support/

Please read the installation guides for the firmware upgrade tool and USB drivers which are also downloadable from the website.

Installing IsatPhone 2 firmware 01.04.01

To install IsatPhone 2 firmware 01.04.01:

  1. Ensure that USB drivers and the firmware upgrade tool are installed on your PC
  2. Double click on Inmarsat’s firmware upgrade tool and follow on screen instructions.

The firmware upgrade will take approximately between 7 and 12 minutes. After installation, you can check the firmware version by switching on the phone and selecting Menu > Settings > About > Firmware version

Fixes and enhancements in this release
Important enhancements:

  • Introduction of a new air interface encryption scheme to improve the security of communications between the IsatPhone 2 and the GSPS ground network
  • Various enhancements to the MMI

Important fixes:

  • Resolution of a bug that could cause the battery to discharge when the power button is pressed for a very short period of time while the IsatPhone 2 is powered down.
  • Removes the requirement for a manual work around in situations where a brand new or never before used IsatPhone 2 handset fails to register with the network.
  • Resolution of some rare cases of MMI inconsistencies in call and message alerting when the antenna is stowed.
  • Resolution of rare bugs which could cause the IsatPhone 2 to continually restart, hang, or require a reboot during satellite search, while dialling, or during calls..
  • Resolution of bugs that could occur if and when new GSPS gateways are introduced into the network

Globalstar Expanding Simplex Service to Southern Africa

Globalstar today announced that, in partnership with Broadband Botswana Internet (BBi), construction has commenced on a Globalstar gateway in Gaborone, Botswana.globalstar 1 This gateway will provide Globalstar’s full line of Simplex services, including its SPOT line of affordable personal tracking and life-saving solutions, as well as its line of commercial Simplex tracking and monitoring solutions. Globalstar anticipates that this gateway will be operational by the end of this year and will provide coverage across southern Africa, including the following countries and surrounding blue-ocean areas: Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Angola, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi and Zambia. The gateway significantly extends Globalstar’s coverage in sub-Saharan Africa and will allow Globalstar to provide a near-global service offering for SPOT and Simplex services.

Sub-Saharan Africa represents a significant new market opportunity and will serve a region with increasing demands for affordable connectivity. With a limited wireline telecommunications network and a highly fragmented cellular infrastructure, Globalstar’s satellite services provide a compelling solution for seamless tracking, monitoring and emergency services. Globalstar will initially target mining and oil & gas applications, personal assets, commercial trucking and animal tracking markets.

Globalstar“We believe that southern Africa is a significant untapped market for our traditional MSS solutions and we thank our partner at BBi for all of their efforts to make this opportunity a reality,” said Jay Monroe, Chairman and CEO of Globalstar. “Whether you are going to southern Africa on a safari, work assignment, or to perform humanitarian work, the ability to let your friends, family or colleagues know that you are “ok”, or to summon emergency assistance if you are not, will be only a button-push away. Additionally, for the first time, people and industries in the local area will have access to affordable satellite solutions for personal and asset tracking and we look forward to bringing this service live in just a few months.”

Spotlight on Beam : Lower pricing on docks for your Iridium and Inmarsat satellite phones now available

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We offer a wide range of BEAM products on our website to allow you to use your satellite phone at sea, in your vehicle or office and our pricing has now been updated to offer you even better value. Our BEAM range includes satellite phone docks, antennas and cable kits and more with prices starting from as little as £55 ex VAT.

BEAM-IsatDock-Marine (2)Beam Communications was established by World Reach in 2002, making a substantial investment in the development and manufacturing of Remote Satellite Communications solutions for the global telecommunications market. Beam prides itself on its ability to develop a broad spectrum of market applications and dedicated products, tailored to the needs of vertical markets and industry specific applications throughout the world.

Beam was the first company to design and manufacture a fully compliant POTS emulation phone service for the Iridium Satellite network using its Remote Satellite Terminals. Now one of the leading global manufacturers of satellite communication equipment, Beam offers the widest range of Iridium solutions across all market segments.

If you would like some more information call us on 0800 112 3919 to discuss your requirements.

WiFi Winston brings internet access to remote Africa

BGAN is helping remote African communities to experience the internet for the first time via a vehicle named WiFi Winston.WiFi-Winston

The four-by-four is showcasing the power of connectivity using an Explorer 325 BGAN vehicular terminal, helping underserved communities to see how their lives and work opportunities can be enhanced with internet access.

Winston is three months through a planned nine-month long journey across the country and East Africa, providing free WiFi within a 50 metre radius at each stop.

WiFi for education

The initiative is part of Project Isizwe, a non-profit organization, which aims to bring the internet to communities through free WiFi for public spaces, with a core focus on connectedness for education.

It also aims to encourage local governments to introduce WiFi, helping it to plan, roll-out and maintain free networks.

“Inmarsat’s connectivity is absolutely instrumental to the project. Without connectivity we’re selling the dream without showing them what the dream is,” said Gerrit Scholtz, Winston’s ‘pilot’.

Increase opportunities

“The feedback we’ve been getting back has given us a snapshot of how connectivity can improve people’s life chances in terms of education as well as health and job opportunities. Most commonly people have said they would use WiFi to read more and learn.

“Amazingly the kids wanted to see photos of Nelson Mandela’s funeral. I was almost taken aback when they asked and their enthusiasm to know more about the event was incredibly heartwarming.”

He added: “A few communities have indicated that they would like to take our initial conversations around free WiFi further. Both national and provincial government have placed broadband strategies in place and we’re there to help fulfil their obligations.”

Social media

Inmarsat’s BGAN also enables Project Isizwe to update social media and increase awareness about WiFi Winston through Twitter and Instagram.

James Cemmell, Inmarsat’s Head of Government Affairs, said: “Project Isizwe seeks to eliminate the market failure for connectivity by showcasing the possibilities to excluded communities and creating groundswell demand. The attributes of Inmarsat connectivity – easy to use, very reliable, high availability network – are each advantaged by this project.”

Project Isizwe was founded by e-entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig, founder of Ever Africa which sells eCommerce, games, education, eBooks and telecoms in Africa.