Happy 1st Birthday to the IsatPhone 2!

isatphone-2-in-use-20141015005-1200x801As the IsatPhone 2 is now a year old we take a look at the features of Inmarsat’s newest handset along with some recent updates to the handset.

IsatPhone Pro, IsatPhone 2’s predecessor,  was a very popular handset at a great price. However, the needs of sat phone users have evolved, and the IsatPhone 2 is a great solution to those requirements:

  • Always contactable: Users can receive notification of inbound calls, even with the antenna stowed
  • Location and tracking services: Safety and security on the move with GPS tracking and location services and an assistance button compatible with our www.GTCTrack.com Mapping service
  • Robust handset: Engineered to withstand the most extreme situations your customers encounter, IsatPhone 2 operates at -20° to +55°, has humidity tolerance up to 95 per cent, and is dust, splash and shock resistant (IP65, IK04).
  • Connect when you need it: Network registration in under 45 seconds, IsatPhone 2 enables your customers to connect quickly and easily.
  • Unrivalled battery life: 8 hours of talk time and up to 160 hours standby.

New Feature: GEOS emergency service

Increasingly, safety and security are paramount concerns amongst purchasers of satellite phones, who often work in isolated or volatile areas, so from 02 February, all post-paid IsatPhone 2 customers will be able to access worldwide emergency response services from GEOS, free-of-charge.

See our blog article Life-saving GEOS emergency response service added to IsatPhone 2

IsatHub Firmware Released

IsatHubInmarsat have released firmware version 01.0.2 for the Wideye iSavi IsatHub Land Portable Terminal which is now available to download from the GTC Support Site.

This is a recommended firmware upgrade including improvements to existing services such as:

  • Improved call handling
  • Improved battery charging/discharging management
  • Improved satellite pointing algorithm
  • General bug fixes

If you have any questions during your firmware upgrade please call us on +44 1202 801290.

Download IsatHub Firmware Version 01.0.2

Life-saving GEOS emergency response service added to IsatPhone 2

isatphone-2-in-use-20141015005-1200x801Inmarsat will now offer complimentary access to GEOS’ Worldwide Emergency Response Coordination service to all post-paid customers.

Pre-pay customers can also access the service by paying an annual fee of $17.95 to GEOS.

The service can be accessed by pressing the assistance button on top of the handset.  This will then send the user’s GPS co-ordinates via satellite to GEOS.

The GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC) was founded in November 2007 with the culmination of various 24/7 monitoring centers that individually focused on travel safety, security services and monitoring for clients. Staffed, equipped and prepared to respond worldwide with the push of a button, an automatic emergency alert or a simple phone call, the mission of the GEOS IERCC is to aid in the rescue of all savable lives whether at land, air or sea. The center receives the alert and notifies the appropriate authorities to execute the SAR mission and maintains a liaison with the family, first responders, and in some instances, a user’s embassy, keeping all parties up to date with new position information, updated medical information and any other pertinent data until the mission or call is resolved.

Other Satellite Devices which use GEOS:

Have questions on how the Emergency Response service works? Leave a comment below or contact us on +44 1202 801290

 

SPOT Coverage improves to include Southern Africa

spot_coverage_jan_2015spot-key

You can now use your SPOT Satellite Tracker in even more parts of the global as the coverage has been expanded to include Southern Africa.  This improved coverage applies to SPOT Personal Trackers as well as SPOT Trace Asset Tracker.

SPOT products offer users peace of mind by allowing them to track their assets, utilize location-based messaging and emergency notification technology and to make calls beyond the boundaries of cellular.

In May last year SPOT announced that it’s products had been used to initiate over 3,000 rescues around the world since the technology’s launch in 2007.

Read our blog article on SPOT’s 3000th rescue

Our pick of the best satellite communications apps

Combine the increase in popularity of new Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Satellite products such as Iridium GO! and IsatHub with existing favourites such as the Thuraya SatSleeve and you will soon see there are a number of Apps now available to make communication easier in remote locations.

We take look at the most popular satellite communications apps below.

 

Thuraya-SatSleeve-AppThuraya SatSleeve

The popular SatSleeve from Thuraya enables you to transform your smartphone into a sat phone with the help of a clever satellite phone adapter.  The SatSleeve app allows you to make and receive calls on your smartphone even when not in range of normal mobile phone networks.  SatSleeve even allows you to use popular apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter and send/receive SMS.  Phones that can take advantage of this product include iPhone 4/4s/5/5s/6 and Samsung Galaxy S3/4/5.

Available on: iOS and Android

Price: Free

Equipment Required: Thuraya SatSleeve

View the Thuraya SatSleeve App on iTunes / View the Thuraya SatSleeve App on Google Play

 

 GTCTrack-AppGTCTrack

Our very own app has a multitude of uses. It can be used to track movement of the smartphone it is installed on or alternatively be used to monitor and manage a range of satellite and GSM assets which are compatible with the device.  Another handy feature is the ability to send and receive messages from assets on the account.

Available on: iOS and Android

Price: App Free. Monthly Fee applies

View the GTCTrack App on iTunes / View the GTCTrack App on Google Play

 

 IsatHub-AppIsatHub Apps

The IsatHub Apps from Inmarsat enable you to use your smartphone or tablet to make and receive calls, SMS and browse the internet over Inmarsat’s global satellite network with the IsatHub.  The Voice app is simple and easy to use while the Control app allows you to fine tune the settings to your own requirements.The Control app also shows you where to point the IsatHub in order to obtain the best signal.

Available on: iOS and Android

Price: Free

Equipment Required: Inmarsat IsatHub

View the IsatHub Voice App on iTunes / View the IsatHub Voice App on Google Play

View the IsatHub Control App on iTunes / View the IsatHub Control App on Google Play

 

 BGAN-Pointer-AppBGAN Pointer

A firm favourite in the GTC office the BGAN Pointer app is a great tool for use not only with Inmarsat BGAN terminals but Inmarsat handsets as well.  This handy app shows you in which direction the nearest Inmarsat satellite is located using the camera on your phone.  You can then point the equipment in that direction to obtain the best signal.  It is particularly helpful for new users to identify what might obstruct the line of sight to the Inmarsat satellites.

Available on: iOS

View the BGAN Pointer App on iTunes

 

Iridium-GO!-AppIridium GO! & Iridium Mail

As with the IsatHub there are two apps available for the Iridium GO! In this case one is used to make and receive phone calls and the other is an easy way to send and receive emails via satellite.  The Iridium Mail app uses XGate technology (see below) to optimise the time spent making a data connection.  This app works well with Weather 4D Pro allowing sailing users to obtain GRIB files.

Available on: iOS and Android

Price: Free

Equipment Required: Iridium GO!

View the Iridium GO! App on iTunes / View the Iridium GO! App on Google Play

View the Iridium Mail & Web App on iTunes / View the Iridium Mail & Web App on Google Play

 

XGate-AppXGate

XGate is the easy way to access email through a satellite connection.  The app compresses the data sent and received offering up to 85% savings on satellite airtime expenses.  It also blocks out other unnecessary data use by the phone to avoid a large bill at the end of your trip!

Available on: iOS and Android

Price: App free with Annual Subscription: http://www.globaltelesat.co.uk/satphone/SpeedMail-Email-&-Web-Compression.html

Equipment Required: Any satellite phone or terminal with RedPort Optimiser to enable WiFi connection

View the XGate App on iTunes / View the XGate App on Google Play

 

Do you have a favourite app that works with your satellite communications products? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

Global Telesat Communications to support record attempt for Fastest Human Powered Circumnavigation

Lap-The-World-Boat

The 28ft ocean rowing boat will carry five people on board 3,500 miles! Picture courtesy of Sam Greatrex/Lap The World

We are pleased to be supporting Sam Greatrex from Lap The World in the next leg of his attempt to break the record for the fastest Human Powered Circumnavigation.

The second leg of the journey sees Sam and his team rowing 3,500 miles from Lagos, Portugal to Guyana across the North Atlantic Ocean.  On this trip alone the opportunity to break 4 Guinness World records exists including the fastest crossing from mainland Europe to mainland South America.  During the journey the team will carry an Iridium satellite phone and Iridium GO! to keep in contact with the team back home and obtain weather reports.

Aside from breaking records Sam aims to raise £240,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.  Macmillan is a cause close to Sam who was diagnosed with cancer in 1995.  He says “It’s always been an ambition of mine to do something really meaningful for Macmillan Cancer Support after they helped me recover from cancer.”  This amount would be enough to build a chemotherapy suite in a hospital – of the target Sam says “The circumference of earth is 24,000 miles and if we raise £10 for each mile of that journey, we’ll hit the target and help people diagnosed with cancer in the UK have access to the same level of care that I was fortunate to receive.”

Help Sam by donating at https://www.justgiving.com/laptheworld/

Read more about Sam’s Circumnavigation at http://www.laptheworld.com/

Satellite Phone, Tracker, WiFi Hotspot and BGAN rental from GTC

When you need satellite communications on a short term basis only our rental service is a flexible option with satellite phones, trackers and internet terminals available to rent with a minimum term of just 7 days and charges from just £4 per day.

We like to offer our customers flexibility so our daily charges don’t include minutes or messages you might not end up using – if you know you will be using the phone we offer pre-paid minutes from just 80p per minute.

Here at GTC we pride ourselves on customer service and are here to answer your questions on our rental services.  Furthermore with then wide range of equipment available here at our offices in Poole we can offer next day delivery within the UK. Need it quicker?! Let us know and we can obtain a same day delivery quote.

Satellite Phone Rental

satellite-phone-rentalWe can provide rental services for single users or those in need of multiple phones.  We offer phones from Iridium, Inmarsat, Thuraya and Globalstar all of which have benefits depending on which region you are travelling to.

Satellite Phones are great for voice calls, they do have a slow data connection but we do not normally advise using the handsets for this purpose.  If you need a data connection please look at Satellite Terminal/WiFi Hotspot Rental below.

One of most exciting satellite phone rentals to date was providing 100 Globalstar phones for use on the UK leg of the Tour De France 2014!

Read more about the rental phones provided for Tour De France 2014

Satellite Tracker Rental

satellite-tracker-rentalFor those just requiring tracking services we offer the popular DeLorme inReach SE.  Rental customers get their own MapShare page which allows followers back home to keep track of the user’s location and send messages to the device.  This device enables the user to send out automatic tracking points as well as custom text and email messages.

Satellite Terminal / Satellite WiFi Hotspot Rental

Isathub-rentalWhile satellite phones are great for voice services the data speeds offered are a little slower than what we are used to these days! If you require email or internet access then a BGAN terminal or WiFi hotspot is the option for you.

BGAN terminals need to connect directly to a laptop while WiFi hotspots pair with your existing smartphone or tablet to provide voice and data services.

Read more about Satellite WiFi Hotspot Rental

GTC-01-010For further information on our rental service please contact our Rental Administrator, Nicholas Stedmon on 01202 801290 who will be happy to answer your questions!

SPOT Satellite Devices Continue to be Essential Gear for Outdoor Enthusiasts and Adventurers

Over 600 Global Rescues Initiated in 2014, 500 in North America Alone

Globalstar-SPOT-TraceSPOT announced today that its products have been used to initiate over 600 rescues in 2014 and over 500 in North America. Since the technology’s launch in 2007, over 3,400 rescues have been initiated due to the SPOT product family. With hundreds of thousands of SPOT units in service globally averaging a rescue a day, SPOT delivers affordable and reliable satellite-based connectivity and real-time GPS tracking, completely independent of cellular coverage.

“SPOT products are crucial for the outdoor recreation market and aviation, as well as a critical government and enterprise solution,” said Jay Monroe, CEO and Chairman of Globalstar. “We receive reports almost daily from individuals who have thankfully had our products when they needed them most. Continuously saving lives drives us to keep innovating satellite communications solutions that reach a market well beyond traditional mobile satellite users.”

SPOT products offer users peace of mind worldwide, by allowing them to track their assets, utilize location-based messaging and emergency notification technology and to make calls beyond the boundaries of cellular. Over the past seven years, boaters, hunters, recreational pilots, hikers, off-road travelers and outdoor enthusiasts have come to depend on the lifesaving capabilities of SPOT.

A noted rescue recently occurred when Tom Madlem, who had been riding motorcycles for years, embarked upon the one trip he had never taken as a biker: Death Valley. The first part of the trip was going to force him to commit the “cardinal sin” of biking – riding through the desert alone as it would take him 1-2 days to meet up with a friend traveling along with him. His wife and son convinced him to purchase a SPOT Gen3 before the trip, just in case. On the second day of his trip, he suffered a fall on the bike – “an easy fall – one that I’ve experienced many times – but I’m getting older and my bones are getting brittle,” Tom comments. He realized he had broken his leg and immediately activated the Gen3. Search and Rescue was there within a couple of hours.

SPOT continues to innovate with products and services that deliver peace of mind, reliable connectivity and accurate GPS tracking solutions that are relevant to millions of users around the world, such as:

  • SPOT Gen3, rugged and affordable device providing off-the-grid messaging, emergency alerts, extended battery life, and extreme GPS tracking at 2 ½ minute intervals.
  • SPOT Global Phone, (marketed in EU as GSP-1700) the most affordable satellite phone available in retail, allowing users to make calls virtually ANYWHERE beyond the boundaries of cellular.
  • SPOT Trace, GPS tracking device using 100% satellite technology to track anything, anytime, anywhere. Never lose sight of your car, boat, motorcycle, ATV or other valuable gear – perfect for anyone who has something worth protecting.
  • The SPOT App, convenient web-based interface allowing users to easily view their SPOT messages, show their track points and monitor their assets via smartphone or tablet.

Free Next Day Delivery on all our Popular Personal Satellite Trackers

Order up to 3:30pm for free next day delivery on our most popular Satellite Trackers from DeLorme and SPOT.  Our trackers provide a line of communication with friends and family when you want it and emergency assistance when you need it.

DeLorme Satellite Trackers

  • Global Coverage
  • Two way messengers
  • Subscription payable by monthly contract
  • Prices start from £150 ex VAT

Free delivery also now includes the DeLorme SE/Explorer inReach Extreme Communication Kit which includes the tracker along with Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel, Goal Zero Switch 8 Recharger and Black inReach Protective & Flotation Case.

SPOT Satellite Trackers

    • Coverage in North/South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, N. Africa
    • One way messengers
    • Subscription payable upfront on an annual basis
    • Prices start from £95.00 ex VAT

 

Please order online or call us on 01202 801290 to take advantage of this offer.

Atlantic Odyssey II is underway with 13 yachts from 11 Nations

Boats head to the start line in a stormy looking La Palma. Image courtesy of Cornell Sailing

Boats head to the start line in a stormy looking La Palma. Image courtesy of Cornell Sailing

All 50 sailors who started in the Atlantic Odyssey II from La Palma to Martinique January 8, 2015 preferred spending the Christmas holidays and New Year in Europe before crossing the Atlantic, as opposed to the choice made by the crews of the 33 yachts that participated in the Atlantic Odyssey I which started from Lanzarote in November 2014 and were looking forward to spend their holidays in the tropics.

As with previous Atlantic Odyssey rallies Cornell Sailing will use DeLorme inReach satellite trackers supplied by Global Telesat Communications.  Using a combination of the GPS and Iridium satellite networks, the DeLorme inReach tracking devices provide 100% global coverage and will automatically transmit regular GPS location reports from the participating yachts.  This will enable the yachts to be visually located and monitored by race spectators and organisers anywhere in the world – track the progress of the rally.

The DeLorme trackers also have an SOS capability which hopefully none of the participants in this rally will need to use.  Unfortunately in the November rally one yacht used their DeLorme to initiate an emergency medi-vac: Read more about the Emergency Medi-Vac.

As varied as the yachts hailing from 11 different nations, were the crews starting from the Marina La Palma on the island of La Palma which is called la isla bonita (the beautiful island). There was a father and son crew, a 3 men crew who had been sailing together for 30 years, couples with and without children, families with children and friends, a boat-owner with friends and a paid skipper. Variety was also to be seen in the type of boats: old steel yachts, brand new yachts, secondhand boats, a new catamaran, all together 13 yachts built in 9 countries.

We wish all participants of Atlantic Odyssey II 2014 a safe crossing.

About Atlantic Odyssey

The Atlantic Odysseys are organized by Cornell Sailing Events.  The next Atlantic Odyssey will start from Lanzarote on November 18, 2015 and from La Palma on January 9, 2016. Both are bound for Martinique. For those sailors wishing to make a more leisurely crossing, the new Islands Odyssey will leave from Lanzarote on 1 October 2015, visiting all the Canary Islands before leaving from La Palma bound for the Cape Verdes, Barbados and Martinique.  For more information see www.cornellsailing.com.