Iridium help Benegas Brothers Reach Remote Villages in Nepal

Nepal011Guillermo (Willie) and Damian Benegas are twin brothers from Patagonia who run Benegas Brothers Expeditions and take groups on expeditions and adventures all over the world. They were guiding a group on Everest earlier this year when disaster struck – the first earthquake hit Nepal and they quickly set up a rescue project called “Nepal Relief: Building a Path to Recovery”. The project was established to provide aid to remote villages all over Nepal through a system of local porters who delivered food and supplies to some of the worst affected areas. They needed a reliable form of communication to provide logistical support and chose the Iridium Pilot Satellite Terminal. The terminal also provided a hugely appreciated form of communication for locals who were desperate to hear from loved ones for the first time since the earthquake. Willie explains just how vital the terminal was:

“One of the key elements of this project, ‘Nepal Relief: Building a Path to Recovery,’ that has enabled us to succeed is access to a reliable communication system. During our planning and organization, Iridium provided us with the Iridium Pilot Land Station, which allowed us to set up quickly for deployment in a remote location. Powered by the Iridium® global satellite network, the equipment gave us the ability to communicate worldwide with our logistics partners, enabling real-time updates on weather conditions and ETA of supplies. But beyond the technical aspects of our project, and even more importantly, the Iridium Pilot Land Station provided the village of Laprak with a means to communicate with loved ones who had been separated since the first earthquake on April 25th.

I have been using satellite modems and telephones for years in my job as an Everest mountain guide. I have to say that this unit far exceeded my expectations. We have three Iridium Extreme satellite phones with us as well, which have allowed us to create an invaluable network with access to communication 24/7. To get the project off the ground, we were sending guides on remote, exploratory missions to other villages where we are trying to provide relief in the most extreme terrain. Knowing that they were equipped with these reliable tools gave us an incredible peace of mind. We knew that if anything went wrong they could contact us immediately in an emergency situation, and we would be able to respond with help. As of today, we’ve moved 20 metric tons of relief supplies to remote areas of Nepal through our system of hired porters and are continually working to move supplies to all the villages above Laprak. This project will take at least one more month, with a goal to provide enough supplies to last local communities three months.

Nepal022In the end, I am the most grateful for one particular moment that will stay with me forever: seeing the smile of a mother who was finally able to talk to her son who had been air-lifted to Kathmandu. For 20 days, she had no form of communication with him and, as a result, no idea if he was even alive. To see her smile and her eyes shining when she heard his voice again for the first time was amazing. I am so grateful to Iridium for the support they’ve provided to us through equipment and connectivity, but the locals in Laprak must be the most thankful. In so many ways, Iridium has provided a truly critical lifeline to the people of Nepal.” – Guillermo (Willie) Benegas, Benegas Brothers Expeditions

We offer satellite broadband terminal rentals and also have a wide variety of terminal options available to buy. If you are interested in purchasing or renting a satellite terminal please take a look at our website or give us a call to discuss your requirements on 0800 112 3919.

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 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

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


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.

Changes to Inmarsat Airtime Plans

Inmarsat-Satellite-Network-LogoIn response to recent changes brought in by Inmarsat there will be adjustments to both IsatPhone pre-paid and post-paid airtime plans in the coming months.  Please note these changes apply to existing and new customers and we advise customers to read the following information carefully to get the best value from their Inmarsat equipment in the future.

If you have any questions at all about how these changes affect you please do not hesitate to contact us.

IsatPhone Pro Pre-Paid Airtime with effect from 1 September 2014

Inmarsat are changing the validity and pricing of pre-paid vouchers as shown below.

    • All pre-paid call charges that were 1.0 units per minute will increase to 1.3 units per minute
    • This means that a 500 unit voucher will have 384 minutes of voice to PSTN.
    • This impacts Existing & New Activations
    • There will be no increase in pricing

Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro Post-Paid Airtime with effect from 1 September 2014

Inmarsat are changing the pricing of the standard post-paid plan. Please note that existing customers on the standard plan will see increases in their monthly fee.

    • IsatPhone Pro Standard Plan monthly fee increased to $35
    • No change to allowance (still includes 10 minutes)
    • This impacts Existing & New Activations

To compare the latest IsatPhone contracts please visit our website.

If you have any questions on how the changes impact you please ring us on 01202 801290.

Globalstar Satellite Phone Cashback Incentive

GlobalstarGlobalstar have introduced a new cash back incentive plan. This new offer means that any customers who purchase a Globalstar GSP-1700 phone between 28/04/14 and 26/09/14 and sign up for a Voice & Data Plan will be eligible for a rebate of up to €500.

The Globalstar satellite network has deployed a second-generation constellation of low-earth-orbit satellites and now offers the best satellite voice quality and fastest low-band data speeds at an affordable and highly competitive price, so why not sign up today?

You must sign up for a minimum 12 month plan and each different plan has a separate corresponding rebate amount (as shown below). The rebate will be issued in the form of a credit on your account balance.  G'Star Rebate form If you are interested in this offer please click here for more information and to download your rebate form.

Inmarsat IsatPhone Firmware Update

Please be advised that the deadline for IsatPhone Pro users to update the firmware on their phones to version 5.3.0 has been extended to Friday, 28 November 2014.

The operational changes to the IsatPhone-ProIsatPhone Pro network, originally scheduled for 18 April 2014, have been postponed to allow users more time to carry out the firmware update.

In addition, Inmarsat have released IsatPhone Pro firmware version 5.5.1. Firmware version 5.5.1 will supersede the (mandatory) firmware version 5.3.0 released in February 2013.

PLEASE NOTE: Installation of firmware version 5.3.0 or higher is critical to the continued use of IsatPhone Pro after the end of November 2014. All IsatPhone Pro users are therefore requested to install firmware v5.3.0 or v5.5.1 without delay, as no further extension to the upgrade deadline can be expected.

Firmware is available for download here.

What are the running costs of satellite phones?

Many people assume that the running costs of satellite phones are high but did you know that you can run a satellite phone from as little as £10 per month? Satellite phones are ideal for anyone needing voice and SMS capabilities in areas where no other reliable methods of telecommunications are available. You have a choice of two airtime options when buying a satellite phone; pay-as you-go  or a pay monthly contract:

  • Pay-as-you-go airtime allows you to buy aman talking on isatphone specified amount of units or minutes and once they have been used or expire you can either top-up or purchase a new card. This is very similar to the way that a pay-as-you-go SIM card works for a regular mobile phone.
  • Pay monthly contracts carry a fixed monthly charge in addition to the cost of any voice and data calls you will make using the SIM. If you plan to use your satellite phone regularly throughout the year and do not want to worry about the expiry dates or inconvenience of topping-up pay-as-you-go SIM cards you may find it more convenient and cost effective to use a post-paid SIM card.

At Global Telesat Communications we sell a range of satellite phones which operate on networks including Globalstar, Inmarsat, Iridium and Thuraya.


You can run a Globalstar phone from as little as £10 a gtcltd-globalstar-hplogomonth by signing up to their access plan. The Globalstar satellite network is suitable for customers demanding the best satellite voice quality and fastest low-band data speeds at an affordable and highly competitive price. Globalstar currently offer the cheapest pay monthly airtime options and we offer a range of Globalstar airtime plans starting at just €10.00 per month ex VAT with some higher consumption plans offering voice and data calls for as little as €0.15 per minute.

Globalstar have recently introduced pay as you go airtime with airtime vouchers ranging from 50 units for £25 ex VAT to 1000 units for £390 ex VAT. Please click here for more information about Globalstar airtime costs.


You can run an Inmarsat phone from as little as £18 a month Inmarsat-Satellite-Network-Logoby signing up to their standard plan which includes 10 minutes of call time. Inmarsat is the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications providing voice and high-speed data services to almost anywhere on the planet – on land, at sea and in the air. Inmarsat offer pay as you go airtime from as little as £15 ex VAT for 25 minutes worth of call time to landlines and mobile phones. They also offer a range of pay monthly contracts starting at $30.00 ex VAT.

Although the monthly fees are slightly higher with Inmarsat their contracts have a one month minimum term and so you will not be tied into a long contract. You can find out more about Inmarsat airtime costs here.


You can run an Iridium phone from as little as £27 a month iridium-logowith their standard pay monthly contract. Iridium is the world’s second largest provider of mobile voice and data communications services via satellite and the only commercial provider of communications services offering 100% global coverage.

Iridium have pay as you go vouchers starting from £38.00 ex VAT for 50 minutes of call time.

Iridium’s pay as you go vouchers are slightly more expensive than some of the other networks but they are the only one with completely global coverage and so they can be used anywhere on Earth.

Iridium pay monthly contracts cost $45.00 a month ex VAT but they offer a one month minimum term which can be beneficial for people who do not expect to use their satellite phone all year around. Find out more about Iridium airtime costs here.


You can run a Thuraya phone from just £12 a month on gtcltd-thuraya-hplogotheir standard plan. Thuraya is a United Arab Emirates based provider of mobile satellite voice and data services with coverage across most of Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia.

Thuraya pay as you go vouchers start at just £15 for 22 minutes of call time in NOVA zones.

Post-Paid Thuraya airtime starts at just $20 a month ex VAT. You can find out more about Thuraya airtime costs here.

If you would like to learn more about the running costs for satellite phones please call us on 0800 112 3919.

Inmarsat GSPS Service Outage – 11th, 18th and 23rd March 2014

Inmarsat have scheduled maintenance for their GSPS service that will result in a short outage of 10 minutes on the dates shown below:

Inmarsat-Satellite-Network-LogoAPAC Region – 11/03/14, between 18.00 UTC & 20.00 UTC

AMER Region – 18/03/14, between 07.00 UTC & 09.00 UTC

EMEA Region – 25/03/14, between 21.00 UTC & 23.00 UTC

GSPS users will not be able to make calls during the 10 minute outage and we apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.

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.