Make Calling Satellite Phones Cheaper and Simpler with New SatCallSaver!

Satellite phone numbers with 14+ digit numbers can be confusing to dial and difficult to remember, the expense of long distance call charges can put people off calling them and on top of that many countries and carriers restrict calling satellite phones. The good news is that we have created SatCallSaver to combat all of these issues!

SatCallSaver-Logo

SatCallSaver is a unique solution to allow satellite phone users to select one or many local phone numbers in over 50+ different countries that will terminate to their satellite phone. This provides users with a unique, easy to remember local number and provides a service similar to what they are already comfortable with.

SatCallSaverSatCallSaver also reduces call charges to satellite phones by up to 93% as you will pay calls on a “local to local” as opposed to “long distance to long distance” basis and unlike traditional landline and mobile operators SatCallSaver offers transparent up-front pricing and information on calls. Also, anyone making a call to a satellite phone will no longer be charged for international rates.

One of the many benefits of SatCallSaver is the ability to control costs. We provide real-time billing, activity reports and can integrate all your satellite related services on to one bill. You can stop all unauthorized calls with pin based access codes and save money by routing the call over the SatCallSaver global network to a satellite phone wherever in the world it may be.

SatCallSaver is simple to set up and will be available shortly with all of these great features:

  • A unique and dedicated local phone number for each satellite phone
  • Real-time billing with online access to call records and account balances
  • PIN code restrictions (optional) to protect against unwanted callers
  • Blacklisting of callers (optional) to block calls
  • Instant local number activation
  • Gateway calling for two stage dialing
  • SMS is ONLY possible using SatCallSaver across the Inmarsat network
  • Multiple SatCallSaver numbers with individual or grouped billing
  • Prepaid & Postpaid accounts
  • Whitelisting of callers (optional) to bypass pin codes
  • Satellite telephone numbers can be changed without changing your local number

Call us today on +44 1202 801290 to find out more or sign-up online at http://www.satcallsaver.com

Communication from Polar Regions – the only answer is Iridium!

We often are approached by customers who are undertaking expeditions or scientific projects in the Northern or Southern Polar regions who need to use satellite communications to report back their news and findings.  As Iridium is the only satellite network to cover these areas we take a look at how customers use their products at the in these regions.

Free Press: Journalism Beyond the Traditional Bounds of Geography

North-Pole-Expedition_Iridium_antenna-168x253

Iridium Pilot Data Terminal

Iridium’s latest blog details how cinematographer and editor Kenneth Sorento and journalist Martin Breum were required to report back to the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) while undertaking an expedition to the Arctic seabed.

The team were asked to send a 2.5 minute HD quality news story.  With some strong preparation beforehand Sorento worked with a technician at DR to develop a method of compressing the file – they were able to compress the video from 2.23 GB to 40.6 MB and cut it into three parts. DR received the files, combined them, and the story aired soon after, with very little loss in quality.  Iridium Pilot and Iridium 9555 satellite phone were used for their journey.

Alex Hibbert’s Epic Journey through the North West Passage

Iridium 9575 Extreme

Iridium Extreme satellite phone

GTC customer Alex Hibbert and his team are currently undertaking an expedition to ski, walk and swim 1800 miles fully unsupported (no resupplies or power-assistance) across a treacherous terrain of sea ice! This is the longest ever journey both man-powered or unsupported.

The team knew that the unpredictable nature of the sea ice would mean that they would need a reliable form of communication at all times and so we supplied the Iridium 9575 Extreme Satellite Phone. The Iridium Extreme offers emergency SOS with notification services and works anywhere in the world so the team know that they can call for help if they ever find themselves in danger.

Read the Full Story: Alex Hibbert begins his epic journey through the North West Passage

 

Antony Jinman reaches North & South Pole

AJ South Pole 1In January last year Antony Jinman fulfilled his childhood dream of reaching both the North and South Pole.

Antony is the founder and CEO of Education through Expeditions (ETE), a social enterprise set up to inspire young people to learn more about the world around them and follow their dreams.

Antony embarked on this expedition not only to achieve his own lifetime goal but as a means to inspire and educate children. We lent a DeLorme inReach SE to Antony so that his expedition could be completely interactive and school children from all over the country would be able to ask him questions and track his progress online. The DeLorme inReach SE can send and receive messages and tracking signals from anywhere in the world and is designed for maximum durability in harsh environments, making it the perfect travel companion for Antony on his solo expedition.

Read the Full Story: Antony Jinman Has Completed His South Pole Missions

 

Have you used your Iridium phone or terminal to communicate in remote areas? Let us know your story!

Is the incorrect time showing on your Iridium handset?

Iridium-Satellite-Network-LogoIridium changed the system time on its satellites on 3 March 2015.

Iridium calls this “re-epoching.” After that point, Iridium handsets (like the Iridium Extreme, Iridium 9555, Iridium 9505a, Iridium 9505, and the Iridium 9500) will display the incorrect system time until users enter in a string of numbers.

You can reset the system time on your satellite phone to reflect the correct time by entering a quick string of numbers into your handset.

How to Reset the System Time on Your Iridium Handheld Satellite Phone (9555/9575)

iridium9555At this time, the following instructions only apply to Iridium 9555 and Iridium 9575:

  1.  After the Iridium Time Re-Epoch Occurs (March 3, 2015) you can reset the time on your Iridium 9555 or Iridium 9575
  2. Dial *#99#2014051114235500# on an Iridium 9555 or Iridium 9575 satellite phone
  3. Press the green key
  4. Then power off/on

Resetting the System Time on an Older Iridium Handheld Satellite Phone (9500/9505A)

Iridium 9500, 9505, and 9505A customers will need to set the updated time and date from their phone menu.

  1. Follow the steps in “Getting to Phone Setup…” to get to “Set Time and Date,” and then press OK to select.
  2. Press MENU to choose “Set Home Time + Date” or “Set Away Time + Date,” and then press OK. You will see “Enter Home Time or Enter Away Time” and the time currently set.
  3. Press OK to accept the displayed time or enter the time in 24-hour format, and then press OK. You will see “Enter Home Date or Enter Away Time” and the date currently set.
  4. Press OK to accept the displayed date. You will see “Completed.” or enter the date in day(dd)-month(mm)-year(yy) form and then press OK. You will see “Completed.”
  5. Press and hold C to exit the menu.

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

Why stealing a tracker isn’t a good idea!

Queclink, the manufacturer of our GSM Trackers have reported how in October one of their dealers exhibiting at GITEX Dubai had a GL200 Personal Tracker stolen from their stand.

The dealer had already set a geofence on the device to show to potential customers and so was alerted when the tracker left the building.  They were then able to follow the location of the tracker and after alerting police eventually track down the stolen item!

Queclink-GL300-Asset-Tracker-side

Queclink GL300

The GL200 is the predecessor to the GL300 which we now recommend for GSM tracking.  The GL300 is a small, waterproof, quad band GPS asset tracker which features an in-built motion and temperature sensor, geo-fencing capabilities and SOS/Emergency Alert button. It can transmit location and status messages from as little as every 5 seconds and its internal lithium batteries have a standby time of up to 400 hours. It can also be connected to external power for long life use.  Priced at just £105 ex VAT the GL300 is a cost effective way to monitor lone worker, vehicle, asset and even pet security.  It can also be paired with our www.GTCTrack.com mapping to enable monitoring and reporting on location.

Just goes to show that a tracker is probably one of the worst things you could steal!

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

 

Alex Hibbert begins his epic journey through the North West Passage

Alex Hibbert is the world record-holding polar traveller who has skied further on an unsupported Arctic journey than anyone in history.

HibbertIn the winter of 2015 and not due to finish until the start of summer, three men will travel one of the most iconic polar routes: The North West Passage. Alex Hibbert and his team will ski, walk and swim 1800 miles fully unsupported (no resupplies or power-assistance) across a treacherous terrain of sea ice! This is the longest ever journey both man-powered or unsupported.

The team knew that the unpredictable nature of the sea ice would mean that they would need a reliable form of communication at all times and so we supplied the Iridium 9575 Extreme Satellite Phone. The Iridium Extreme offers emergency SOS with notification services and works anywhere in the world so the team know that they can call for help if they ever find themselves in danger.

The team will begin in the east after preparing in a Canadian Inuit settlement and take a a northern route through the passage, changing direction in the Bylot Island region. Reflecting the unpredictable nature of the sea ice, the team will then choose a suitable path to the west and complete their journey beyond the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

a northern route through the passage, changing direction in the Bylot Island region. Reflecting the unpredictable nature of the sea ice, the team will then choose a suitable path to the west and complete their journey beyond the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

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!