Thuraya announce their latest sat phone, Thuraya XT-LITE

 

Thuraya have launched their latest satellite phone, Thuraya XT-LITE building on the popularity of the Thuraya XT at a more attractive price of just £295 ex VAT.

This compact new handset can be used to make and receive calls and send SMS in approximately 160 countries or two-thirds of the globe.  It’s small size doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the practical aspects of owning a satellite phone – it boasts an excellent battery life which provides up to six hours talk time and up to 80 hours standby time.

Both contract and pay as you go options are available on the handset making it a flexible option for those on a budget – SIM cards start from £20 ex VAT and call charges from 68p ex VAT per minute.*

We will receive our first stock just after Christmas, order online today to get one of the first handsets!

Thuraya Satellite Coverage

Thuraya Satellite Coverage

*Based on calls made in Thuraya NOVA Zone.  Please contact us for advice on which tariff is best for you.

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

Cocojet-III

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!

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.

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

British Adventurer reaches Stockholm after 29 days in a Hobie Pedal Kayak

Cornthwaite StockholmArrivalBritish adventurer Dave Cornthwaite is now 29 days into the 11th leg of Expedition1000, a project to complete a series of 25 different non-motorised journeys, each a minimum of 1000 miles in distance.

On Wednesday 10th September, Cornthwaite reached the Swedish capital of Stockholm after covering 600 miles along the Oslo Fjord, Sweden’s Bohuslän coast and then across Sweden via the Göta canal, along the way portaging over 60 locks.

In addition to encountering stunning scenery and marine life, Cornthwaite has faced turbulent stormy weather, open water crossings and busy sea traffic, but he is no stranger to overcoming challenges.

His previous journeys include world record distances by stand up paddleboard along the Mississippi and across Australia by skateboard. He also sailed across the Pacific and in 2012swam over 1000 miles down the Missouri River.

We are supporting Dave by supplying him with free airtime for hDeLore inReach ExplorerisDeLorme inReach Explorer satellite tracker. The DeLorme inReach Explorer is the world’s only truly global satellite communicator with built-in navigation, waypoints and routing. It is capable of creating text messages via its virtual keyboard, sending out tracking points that can be viewed online, and transmitting SOS messages – enabling Dave to keep everyone at home updated on his journey via his MapShare page.

To follow the journey please take a look at Dave’s MapShare page or visit his website and facebook page.

Globalstar Launches New Voicemail Service

dsc_0078Globalstar are in the process of launching a brand new voicemail service with considerably advanced features.

On September 26th 2014, this new service will be added to all existing customer lines – if you already have a Globalstar handset all you need to do is call into the Voicemail service and set up your account.

To set up your Globalstar Voicemail Account:

  • Dial *86 from your Globalstar handset
  • OR dial +336 40044111 / +335 82880420 from any other phone

Once you have set up the Voicemail service calls will automatically be forwarded to your new voice mailbox when you are not contactable.

Please be aware that from 26th September 2014, the existing Globalstar Voicemail service will be retired. Saved messages and recordings will not be transferred to the new Voicemail service, therefore, we strongly suggest that you listen to and take note of your voice messages by the 25th September.

From September 26th 2014, you may access messages on the old system by dialling a temporary number (+336 40045957). After November 26th 2014, the temporary number will be discontinued and you will no longer be able to access messages on the old Voicemail system.

Globalstar satellite phones are perfect for customers demanding quick connection times, excellent satellite voice quality and fastest low-band data speeds at an affordable and highly competitive price. If you do not already have a Globalstar phone please click here to find out more and buy yours today.

Round the World in 80 Days: Global Flight Challenge Completed

Dave-McElroyWe are pleased to confirm that GTC customers Dave McElroy and Chris Elgar have completed their global circumnavigation ‘Round The World in 80 Days’ (“RTW-80″) flight from and to Toronto, Canada  in their Piper Comanche aircraft. The final leg of the flight will take them back to Perth, Scotland by which time they would have flown 42,000 nautical miles (78,000 km) and achieved their ambitious target – crossing the Atlantic three times, visiting 6 continents and 57 airports – all in 80 days!

To assist with RTW-80’s flight safety requirements, GTC provided two satellite trackers to enable flight coordinators and followers from all over the world to track the aircraft’s movements and live location online at any time.

The primary satellite tracker provided by GTC was a DeLorme inReach satellite tracker which was configured to send out GPS coordinates every ten minutes throughout the entire trip with all transmissions and movements shown as a breadcrumb trail on our GTCTrack mapping portal. The DeLorme inReach is an award-winning satellite communicator that enables 2-way personal and SOS communication and remote Follow-me/Find-me tracking. Because the inReach transmits via the Iridium satellite network, it provides 100% global coverage, with no gaps or fringe coverage areas enabling the tracker to continuously broadcast Chris & Dave’s location as they circumnavigated the world.

Delorme-inReach-Satellite-TrackerThe DeLorme inReach has recently been approved by Lockheed Martin Flight Services for the LMFS Adverse Condition Alerting Service (ACAS) and Surveillance-Enhanced Search and Rescue. Once an inReach device is enrolled in the free program, pilots filing flight plans with LMFS can receive ACAS alerts of any new or modified adverse conditions, such as severe weather or airport closures, which may arise after the pilot has received an initial briefing and filed the flight plan.

We also provided a SmartOne satellite tracker to use on-board the aircraft throughout the global trip. The SmartOne tracker is a small, standalone unit which was used on RTW-80 without a requirement for external antennas or power. It is one of the most cost effective and popular satellite trackers currently available and can be configured to transmit GPS coordinates from as little as every 5 minutes when in motion. Impressively, the  SmartOne  transmitted throughout the entire journey on just one set of AA lithium batteries and was still going strong when RTW-80 arrived back in Toronto!

Followers of RTW-80 were able to view online the movements of the aircraft using our GTCTrack mapping portal. GTCTrack is a web based integrated satellite and GSM tracking solution, compatible with modern web browsers and works on a multilingual platform that brings together all the positions of every manufactured product under one location and displays and manages them in a single unified interface.RTW80 Tracking

We have watched Chris and Dave’s progress with great interest throughout the journey and would like to congratulate them for completing the ‘Round The World in 80 Days’ challenge and raising important funds and awareness for two fantastic charities:

  • Toronto’s SickKids Hospital Foundation – 200 young lives changed – (Canada)
  • Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance SCAA – 100 lives saved/rescued – (Scotland)

If you would like to make a donation to either charity please visit RTW80’s website where there is plenty more information and links to donate.

 

 

 

 

The Iridium GO! – Available to Buy Next Week

Iridium have announced a brand new product that can turn your smartphone or tablet into a global communications device capable of making reliable voice calls and data connections – anywhere in the world – even when outside of the range of terrestrial networks! The Iridium GO! will be available to buy from our website next week.

Iridium GO!

The fully portable Iridium GO! is a pocket sized device, with military-grade ruggedness and an IP rating of IP65, that enables you to use your smartphone or tablet when you have no access to terrestrial networks to:

  • make voice calls
  • share photos
  • access emails
  • SMS two-way
  • use applications
  • use GPS tracking
  • access social network sites
  • send out SOS alerts

Simply flip up the integrated antenna and the battery-powered unit will connect quickly and automatically to the Iridium LEO satellite constellation to create an anywhere Wi-Fi hotspot within a 30.5m radius.

You can then connect and operate up to 5 devices at a time within this area using the ‘Iridium GO! application’. Iridium have said that the Iridium GO! will be “supported by affordable plans that keep voice and data costs reasonable” with low-end service plans starting at $50 a month and unlimited plans at $132.50 a month (please click here for more information on the Iridium GO! airtime plans that we offer).

You will be able to purchase the Iridium GO! from our website next week.