15 Minutes to Set-Up Your Satellite Phone

We often have customers come to us with last minute requirements or those who are worried that setting up their satellite phone will be complicated but it needn’t be.

Once your SIM is active here’s how to get started.  GTC customers will receive an email once the SIM is active with their phone number details.

If you’re not sure on the status give us a call on +44 1202 801290.

1. Make sure the SIM card is inserted into the satellite phone

Remove the battery and insert the SIM card with gold PINs facing down. The exception is modern Globalstar phones which do not require a SIM card.

clear-line-of-sight-to-the-sky2. Take the phone outside and find a clear line of sight to the sky

For best performance, move away from tall obstacles such as buildings or trees.

Make sure the antenna is fully extended and pointing to its optimal position (straight up to the sky).

For Inmarsat and Thuraya handsets face towards the equator.

3. Make a test call from the satellite phone

When dialling make sure you dial in international format:

e.g. to call GTC dial 00 44 1202 801290.

Use a + or 00 in front of all numbers.

Calling into the phone

Use the same method to call into the phone i.e. a + or 00 in front of the number.

Having problems? Check with your operator that they support calls to satellite phones. Try dialling from a different network.

Did you know…Inmarsat & Iridium customers can call these test numbers for free ?

Inmarsat: +870776999999

Iridium:  +1-480-752-5105 

4. Send a test message*

Enter the recipient’s phone number in international format.

Sending an SMS to the phone

Use the same method to send a text into the phone i.e. a + or 00 in front of the number.

*Excludes Globalstar which does not have SMS capability.

Did you know…You can send a free SMS to some satellite phones?  Visit:

http://msg.iridium.com/

http://connect.inmarsat.com/Services/Land/IsatPhone/SMS/sms.html

https://sms.thuraya.com/

 

Do you have any other tips for getting started with a satellite phone?

 

Post a comment and let us know!

Inmarsat announce IsatPhone 2

The 2nd generation IsatPhone handset will offer tracking, an emergency button and pageability will be available at the end of March.

IsatPhone 2

IsatPhone 2 will be available from the end of March 2014

IsatPhone 2 will target the higher end of the satphone market. A slimmer handset with a high-quality feel, it has additional features and functionality over IsatPhone Pro, such as tracking, an emergency button and pageability.

Offered at a higher price point than IsatPhone Pro, it will still deliver excellent value. The new phone is expected to particularly appeal to end-users looking to upgrade from an outdated existing satphone.

Meanwhile, IsatPhone Pro will continue to be marketed as the lower-cost satphone option.

With two phones, differentiated by price and performance, our voice portfolio will allow you to attract customers in two very diverse markets.

 

We will shortly add information on the IsatPhone 2 to our website, contact us to be added to our IsatPhone 2 Mailing List.

Thuraya Launches Vehicular IP Broadband Terminal

Thuraya Telecommunications has launched its first dedicated vehicular IP broadband terminal.

Designed and manufactured by Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes), the global leader in broadband satellite solutions, Thuraya IP Voyager is a cost-effective, high-quality satellite terminal designed for end-users in the government, oil and gas, media, and relief sectors. It is the only terminal available in the market capable of achieving streaming IP rates of up to 384 kbps as well as user-definable asymmetric streaming.

Thuraya-IP-Voyager

Randy Roberts, Vice President of Innovation at Thuraya said: “Reliable connectivity and mobility are essential for users who need to communicate with their field teams and to file reports while on-the-move. The Thuraya IP Voyager broadens our Land IP portfolio and is part of our strategy to give end-users the power of choice when it comes to having high-quality, reliable connections at competitive prices, no matter where they are.”

Thuraya IP Voyager enables remote users to collaborate reliably and efficiently using video, data and VoIP services to achieve mission-critical tasks in areas that are not served by terrestrial communication networks. It is designed to connect at IP broadband speeds of up to 444 kbps while on-the-move and includes a built-in Wi-Fi access point as well as four Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) ports to connect multiple wired devices.

Asher Faredi, Product Manager of Land Data at Thuraya said: “Many parts of the world remain unconnected by terrestrial networks. In developing the Thuraya IP Voyager, we listened closely to our customers to understand their needs and we were able to design a robust “comms-on-the-move” terminal that it is easy to install and facilitates real productivity in the field. There is an opportunity in the land vehicular terminal market, which is now being addressed with the Thuraya IP Voyager.”

GTC will have pricing available shortly for the Thuraya IP Voyager.

 

 

Globalstar Home Zone Extended to Include North America

Since it’s launch last month the Globalstar pre-paid service has proven to be very popular offering rates as low as 47p per minute.

The service has now been improved even further as users can now make calls with their pre-paid service in North America.

Globalstar Pre-Paid Coverage Map

Globalstar Pre-Paid Coverage Map

To take advantage of the Globalstar pre-paid service you need a GSP-1600, GSP-1700 (just £250 ex VAT!) or GSP-2900 handset.  Then simply choose from one of the great value pay as you options available and you are ready to make calls wherever your travels take you.  The current pre-paid options available are:

Globalstar-PrepaidContact us today on 01202 801290 if you have any questions on the Globalstar pre-paid service.

 

 

Our pick of the top 5 gadgets for your next expedition

Hike in desertEvery January we get plenty of enquiries from people full of enthusiasm to plan their next adventure. Of course, for those planning trips in remote areas satellite communications are often an essential part of their trip not only for keeping followers back home up-to-date but also for their life-saving SOS functionality.

Here’s our pick of the best gear for your next expedition:

DeLorme inReach Satellite Trackers

DeLorme-inReach-SE-Satellite-Tracker

The DeLorme range of inReach Trackers are award-winning satellite communicators that use the Iridium global satellite network to enable communication anywhere in the world.  The trackers offer 2-way personal and SOS communications and remote Follow-me/Find-me tracking and have been used by numerous GTC customers to track journeys all over the world.

Can I see the inReach in action? Check out Jon Beardmore’s DeLorme page, driving on a 25,000 mile round trip to China/South East Asia and back.  https://share.delorme.com/JonBeardmore

DeLorme Satellite Trackers are available from £150 ex VAT

BGAN Satellite Internet TerminalsThrane-Explorer-in-Use

BGAN terminals are ideal for travellers who need an internet connection during their trip. We offer a variety of terminals, all offering speeds of at least 384 kbps.  Although they are not as fast as the speed home broadband connections we are used to these days they are fine for sending and receiving emails, photos, updating blogs and general internet browsing.

Who uses a BGAN terminal? British adventurer Leo Houlding counts a BGAN terminal in his top five expedition gadgets:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/nov/09/expert-guide-gadgets

BGAN Terminals are available from £1,115 ex VAT

Thuraya SatSleeve

thuraya-satsleeveThe Thuraya SatSleeve is a world first in satellite add-ons, transforming an iPhone 4/4S/5 into a satellite phone, allowing you to send and receive SMS messages and make calls using the Thuraya network, which covers 2/3rds of the planet.  It’s great to know that you can use your normal iPhone in areas of GSM coverage to reduce costs and have the back-up of the SatSleeve in more remote areas.  The iPhone 5 version also allows you to use data services to update your Facebook and Twitter pages.

Coming soon…Thuraya SatSleeve for Android handsets

http://www.globaltelesat.co.uk/blog/thuraya-launches-satsleeve-for-android

Thuraya SatSleeve is available from £415 ex VAT

Globalstar GSP-1700 Satellite PhoneGlobalstar

With inclusive plans offering voice and data calls for as little as €0.15 per minute and the lowest handset prices in the market, Globalstar sat phones are hard to beat. In 2013 Globalstar became the only mobile satellite service provider to deploy a second-generation constellation of low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites, allowing you connect to one of the most advanced and modern satellite networks currently available. With pre-paid plans being launched at the end of Jan Globalstar is a great value handset.

Who uses a Globalstar sat phone? Team Savoir Faire used a Globalstar phone on their round Britain rowing challenge http://www.gbrow2013.com/

Globalstar GSP-1700 is available for just £250 ex VAT

Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone

6The Iridium 9575 Extreme is the newest satellite phone currently available. Not only does the 9575 Extreme offer Iridium’s global coverage for voice, data and SMS but it is the first satellite phone to offer the fully integrated services of customizable GPS, online tracking and emergency SOS with notification services with the 2 in 1 design allowing you to carry one less piece of kit!

Who uses the Iridium Extreme? Mountain Guide Bruce Goodlad relies on his Extreme, see his review here:

http://www.globaltelesat.co.uk/blog/bruce-goodlad-review-of-iridium-9575-extreme

Iridium Extreme is available from £735 ex VAT

Have questions about any of our expedition kit? Give us a call on 01202 801290.

Tracking Products on Trial – DeLorme inReach and SmartOne Satellite Trackers & Queclink GL200 GSM Tracker

It’s always good to see a product in action to get a feel for how it works. That’s why we tested out 3 of our most popular products on a road trip to Spain last weekend.

We used the 1,400 mile drive to Spain to put the DeLorme inReach and SmartOne satellite trackers and Queclink GL200 GSM tracker through their paces.

GTCTrack portal shows the three trackers en route to España!

GTCTrack portal shows the three trackers en route to España! Click to enlarge…

We used our GTCTrack portal which uniquely is able to show all 3 tracking products (along with a multitude of other tracking devices) on one system.  All the devices were:

  • set to transmit every 10 minutes when moving but not while stationary therefore saving battery power
  • running off their own internal battery power although they can also operate on an external line power
  • used inside the car and got a clear signal showing clear line of sight to the sky is not always necessary for trackers

So how did they perform?

DeLorme inReach

Delorme-inReach-Satellite-Tracker

The inReach performed consistently throughout the trip seldom missing it’s scheduled 10 minute transmission.  It’s great to know that the inReach would perform like this anywhere in the world as it has global coverage.

For faster journeys tracking intervals can be increased to every 30 seconds to show routes with increased accuracy. Tracking intervals range from 30 seconds to hourly intervals.

Find out more about inReach

SmartOne

SmartOneSmartOne also performed well and tracking points were extremely accurate.  With message charges from just £0.05 the device can be used to transmit location messages frequently without running up large airtime bills.

The SmartOne is the most flexible of the three devices as it can be configured with many different rules e.g. to only transmit when it moves out of certain co-ordinates.

The SmartOne has the best battery life of all devices and can easily track the return journey without replacement batteries. It could probably go on to track other journeys for at least another couple of months using the same tracking configuration, or years using a lower tracking transmission setting.

Find out more about SmartOne

Queclink GL200

GL200-gsm-tracker-side-thumbThe GL200 performed well in open spaces but did miss a few tracking points when travelling through remote areas in the mountains.  However, if it is not essential for messages to transmit even in areas with no GSM coverage the Queclink is a great value option as the device and airtime are low priced compared to satellite options.

The GL200 is the best device for covert tracking as due to its small size it could easily be placed underneath a car using its magnetic mount without the driver knowing to track the journey.

Find out more about the Queclink GL200

All three devices proved to be reliable throughout the trip and could be used in a wide variety of situations whether you are travelling on foot, by bike, car, plane or hang glider (as used by some of our more adventurous customers!)

If you would like to see more examples of the devices in use please contact us.

IsatPhone Pro users to experience short service outage on 12 November

IsatPhone_Pro_BalanceOutage will occur at 21:00 UTC for 3 hours in Europe, Middle East & Africa

Inmarsat’s Alphasat satellite was successfully launched on 25 July this year and has now reached its in-service orbital location at 25 degrees East, covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

It is intended that Global Satellite Phone Services (GSPS) will be the first to migrate from the Inmarsat-4 (I-4) F2 satellite to Alphasat on 12 November 2013.

Global Satellite Phone Services include IsatPhone Pro, IsatPhone Link and FleetPhone.

The migration of GSPS traffic from I-4 F2 to Alphasat will take place in the I-4 EMEA coverage region at 21:00 UTC on 12 November 2013 during a scheduled three-hour maintenance window.

During this time end-user customers will experience a service outage while the transfer is made.

Once the migration is complete, GSPS traffic will resume as normal and customers will be able to make voice calls and set up data connections in the usual way. No additional action by end-users is required.

Please contact us if you have any questions about this outage.

5 Questions To Ask Before You Choose Where To Purchase Your Satellite Phone

checklistWhen looking to buy a satellite phone we know that you probably have lots of questions on coverage, phone features and whether the handset is right for you.  We also know that you have options when it comes to where you buy your satellite phone so make sure you consider these extra points before making that important purchase.

 

1. Have I been given all the options available?

Make sure that you have considered all available satellite phones before making your purchase.  Some retailers only offer higher priced models which may offer features that you don’t require.  At Global Telesat Communications we offer all satellite phone models currently supported by the manufacturer:

  • Iridium: 9505a, 9555, 9575 Extreme
  • Inmarsat: IsatPhone Pro
  • Globalstar: GSP-1700
  • Thuraya: SG-2520, XT, XT DUAL, SatSleeve

2. Does the phone come with all the standard accessories?

Most satellite phones come with a wide range of accessories to get you started including wall chargers, DC chargers, data cables and handsfree headsets.  Some retailers sell handsets without all the original accessories to offer a lower price but this is not always clear – this is an important point to remember when comparing prices.  At Global Telesat Communications we always provide our satellite phones with the original manufacturer’s accessories.  The standard accessories that should come with the phones are:

  • Iridium Handsets: Battery, Leather Holster, AC Charger with 4 int’l adapters, DC Charger, USB Data Cable, Wired Handsfree Headset, Antenna Adapter, Auxiliary Antenna
  • Inmarsat Handset: Battery, AC Charger with 4 int’l adapters, DC Charger, USB Data Cable, Wired Handsfree Headset
  • Globalstar Handset: Battery, AC Charger
  • Thuraya Handsets: Battery, AC Charger with 4 int’l adapters, USB Data Cable, Wired Handsfree Headset

3. Are the top-up options reasonable?

It’s always great to get a bargain but make sure that you check what your ongoing costs will be.  If you are planning to top-up regularly or take out a contract be sure to enquire what the ongoing top-up charges will be otherwise you may find yourself losing money in the long run even after saving money on the intial purchase.  At Global Telesat Communciations we constantly monitor competitor pricing and offer some of the lowest pricing on top-ups in the UK.

4. Does the phone come with the latest firmware pre-installed?

Your phone’s arrived and you can’t wait to get started! But first you have to fiddle around installing firmware.  Save yourself the hassle and check that the sat phone comes with the latest firmware pre-installed.  If it doesn’t, ensure that the retailer does this for you before dispatch.  We always ensure that our handsets are ready to use out of the box as we know you will be keen to get testing!

5. What after sales support is offered?

Too often you receive excellent service in the lead up to a sale but not so much after sales support as you might want!  We offer support via phone, email, Skype, webinar…whatever is best for you.  And unlike other retailers we are happy to help with your enquiries outside of office hours via email.

Do you have other questions you want answered? Give us a call on 0800 112 3919 and we will do our best to help!

 

 

Use your iPhone with the new SatSleeve with Data to send emails and use apps without GSM signal

Now in stock!

Thuraya SatSleeve with Data now in stock

Thuraya SatSleeve with Data now in stock

Thuraya attracted a lot of attention with the launch of their SatSleeve iPhone adapter earlier this year and they have continued to keep the gadget fans happy, first with the launch of the iPhone 5 adapter and now with the highly anticipated SatSleeve with data capability. The updated model allows you to use data services to access apps and email on your iPhone via satellite.

The new release not only allows users to make phone calls and to send SMS messages via Thuraya’s satellite network, it also enables them access to emails, as well as popular social media and instant messaging apps such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and WhatsApp among others. Thuraya SatSleeve users can now post news updates, chat via messaging apps with their contacts as well as send and receive email from the most remote locations in satellite mode. The device can be used across Thuraya’s extensive satellite network with coverage in over 140 countries.

Thuraya’s GmPRS service offers the highest data speeds of all the networks for portable satellite phones – you can obtain speeds of up to 60kbps downlink and up to 15kbps uplink which makes their newest product a very viable option for those who want data connectivity in remote locations.  Furthermore the GmPRS service is now standard on all new Thuraya SIM activations.

The new SatSleeve data will be compatible with iPhone 5 with adapters available to convert the product for iPhone 4/4S use becoming available at a later date.

South West Kayak Charity Challenge stay inReach using DeLorme satellite tracker

kayak1This August four men from Devon and Cornwall kayaked around the two counties to fundraise for charities close to their hearts. They joined a growing number of customers using the DeLorme inReach to keep their followers informed and provide assistance in the case of an emergency.

The DeLorme inReach is an award-winning satellite communicator that uses the Iridium global satellite network to enable 2-way personal and SOS communications and remote Follow-me/Find-me tracking and location, anywhere in the world.

When starting the journey in Bude the inReach was set to transmit the location every 10 minutes so that friends, family and followers could keep up-to-date with progress.

Steve Carter of South West Kayak Charity Challenge said, “The inReach had a good following and led to a lot of interaction on our paddle. It was also essential to the support crew who could estimate our arrival times and track our progress.”

inreach-southwest-charity-kayakThe group did encounter bad weather during the trip but still made the journey in their goal of two weeks.  We congratulate them on having so far raised over £9,000 for their chosen charities, Devon Air Ambulance Trust (DAAT), Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust (CAAT), Surf Life Saving GB and Alpha 1 Awareness UK.

Find out more about the challenge at http://www.southwestkayakcharitychallenge.co.uk/.