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.

Globalstar

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.

Inmarsat

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.

Iridium

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.

Thuraya 

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.

 

 

Introducing pre-paid airtime for Globalstar phones!

The Globalstar satellite network is one of the most advanced in the world, allowing you to keep in touch across over 80% of the Earth’s surface and we are pleased to announce that they have now introduced pay as you go satellite airtime!

To celebrate we have created a special introductory offer: Globalstar GSP-1700 satellite phone with 50 minutes of call time now available for just £260 plus VAT*.  Other packages are available here on our website.

gstar prepay voucherPay as you go airtime can offer a far more practical and cost effective solution if you do not use your satellite phone all year round or you don’t want to get tied into long contracts. Starting from just £25.00 ex VAT, we currently offer 5 different Globalstar pre-paid top up options ranging from 50 to 1000 units- each with a different amount of SIM validity attached so there is an option to suit everybody’s needs. If you are interested in pre-paid airtime for Globalstar phones then please take a look at our website here.

Globalstar-Prepaid

If you don’t already have a Globalstar phone we highly recommend the great value handset Globalstar GSP-1700 satellite phone which costs just £250 ex VAT! It offers the best call quality on the market and now there are new pay as you go options available it really is hard to beat! Buy yours today or learn more by clicking here.

Note: Pre-paid service will work ONLY in the current Globalstar Home zone, please check the Globalstar coverage map to see if you will be covered.

*Introductory Offer only available for a limited period.

We Offer Great Deals on Post-paid Airtime for Satellite Devices!

At GTC we work hard to bring our customers the best service possible and this includes offering great deals on airtime. We have a fantastic range of post-paid airtime contracts from leading satellite network providers Globalstar, Thuraya, Inmarsat and Iridium and we have ensured that our contracts are very easy to set up and can all be completed online.

Inmarsat-Satellite-Network-LogoThuraya-Satellite-Network-LogoIridium-Satellite-Network-Logogtcltd-globalstar-hplogo

We offer a lower calling rate per minute on post-paid contracts than many of our competitors do which means that if you choose to buy your post-paid airtime with GTC you can enjoy savings throughout your entire contract term! The lowest calling rates that we offer are from Globalstar and cost just €0.60/£0.50 per min and our Thuraya rates are almost as low, starting at only $0.80/£0.51 per min on the NOVA plan. Our Inmarsat rates start at just $0.90/£0.57 per min and our Iridium rates start from as little as $0.63/£0.40 per min.

Many of our monthly fees are also cheaper than other airtime providers and we are pleased to announce that we have created a great new deal on Thuraya airtime and have lowered the monthly fee from $40/month to $30/month.

We do not charge activation fees for any of our Inmarsat post-paid contracts and the majority of our Iridium and Globalstar contracts and this sets us apart from many of our competitors who ask for a $50 start-up fee.thuraya-satsleeve-iphone

We understand that some of our customers will not want to be tied into long contracts and so we have designed our post-paid airtime options to offer flexibility. Most of our post-paid contracts are available with a one month term, as opposed to the minimum one year contracts that most of our competitors offer.

Another advantage of our post-paid airtime options is that our customers have access to a simple-to-use database called SatCompass so that they can monitor their airtime traffic usage.

Check out our website where you will be able to find more information on all of our post-paid contracts and airtime.

How an Iridium Satellite Phone Brings Hope to a Family

When you’re in a remote area away from your friends and family, it’s comforting to know that you have a reliable source of communication and satellite phones are often the only way to make this possible. Here is a story that shows just how much of a comfort a simple call can become. 

Through their work with Project HOPE in Belize, Iridium was able to provide a connection for volunteers Amy Kogut, a midwife, and Lindsey Zupancic, RN, as well as a local family who was in a dire situation. The following story has been shared with Iridium by Amy Champagne, Project HOPE’s Volunteer Public Announcement Officer.

ProjectHope1

Midwife Amy Kogut (centre) with HOPE nurse (L) Lindsey Zupancic and (R) a local counterpart.

“I had been in exotic Belize for a week, surrounded by an array of new smells, faces and trees filled with plush fruits and vegetables, participating in a humanitarian mission that was a collaboration between the U.S. Air Force and Project HOPE. We were teaching Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO) to local healthcare providers. The volunteers and I were enjoying our favourite local Belizean dish, Hudut, which consists of fish marinated in coconut milk and a side of coconut shavings mixed with plantains chunks, when the phone rang.

If there is one thing to know about having a satellite phone, it’s that you never really know who will be on the other end. It still surprises me that regardless of how remote of a location we are, our Iridium satellite phone keeps us connected.

 Iridium-9505a-US-Made-Satellite-Phone“Hello,” said a nervous voice in broken English. The person calling was a medical provider from a rural health clinic located about ten minutes away from the restaurant. “I’m looking for the midwives and nurses that are here from Project HOPE.”

I handed the phone to Project HOPE volunteer and midwife, Amy Kogut. I knew she would be able to answer the doctor’s questions better than I could.

A pregnant woman was in trouble. During an ultrasound, the fetal Doppler had detected something unusual in the baby’s heartbeat. A doctor had diagnosed the problem as fetal tachycardia, an abnormal increase in the infant’s heartbeat.

I’m not a medical professional, but I had just spent the previous week with the HOPE volunteers studying local maternal healthcare policies and procedures. Any suspicions as to if there was a problem were quickly confirmed when the volunteers left their meals half eaten and immediately headed for the door.

Little did I know, this same Iridium satellite phone would later be the point of contact for uniting a family.

We rushed into a crowded emergency room where we passed by six women in the post-partum recovery room. As my colleagues changed into a pair of scrubs I noticed a woman sitting in a wheel chair with a look on her face that said ‘anguish.’

I heard her mumble something quietly. Listening closer, I heard her say, “Please call my husband, he’s at work.”

Her husband was in Belize City working in a sugar cane field. He had no idea that his wife and unborn child were in trouble. As I watched her, my heart went out to her. She was alone. She was scared. And she desperately wanted to speak to her husband.

Working with Project HOPE has taught me many things. One of those is that sometimes it’s the little things that can change a person’s life. I wasn’t a doctor, and I couldn’t promise her that her baby would be safe. But I did have a phone. And I could call her husband.

ProjectHope2She knew I was desperately trying to reach her spouse. The phone call was short, but as the anaesthesia took hold of her, she had a peaceful look in her eyes. She knew her husband was leaving work immediately.

Shortly after the nonverbal exchange of emotion, the patient underwent surgery. Dr. Rosado, using the instructions learned in the ALSO course, prepped her abdominal area.

The new-born was a beautiful, healthy baby boy. The mother could recover with ease because she had spoken to her husband and knew he was rushing to the hospital to be by her side.

There are many reasons to carry a satellite phone, but emergency communications and peace-of-mind are two very significant benefits that can be achieved through Iridium’s always-on, always-reliable communications network. Iridium is proud to be a part of Project HOPE’s humanitarian mission to improve the quality of obstetric care in Belize.”

Since 1958, Project HOPE has worked in more than 120 countries to make quality and sustainable health care available for people around the globe. Their work includes educating health professionals and community health workers, strengthening health systems, improving the health of women and children, fighting diseases such as TB, HIV/AIDS and diabetes and providing humanitarian assistance through donated medicines, medical supplies and volunteer medical help – See more by clicking here.

Originally published at http://www.iridium360.com/2013/07/17/project-hope-in-belize-how-one-phone-call-brings-hope-to-a-family/

Staying connected in the Australian Outback Using Iridium

Satellite communications allow people to stay connected and keep in touch at all times, even in the most remote of locations.

Here’s a great example of a man in Australia that relies on the Iridium network to stay connected during his adventures to the outback.

shutterstock_22229518

When “Ivanhoe Harry” (the pen name he uses on his adventure blog Mundi Mundi) retired, he decided to spend his time traveling throughout Australia, discovering rural towns and enjoying the quiet open spaces.

As someone who frequently visits remote areas, he’s had to learn a lot about satellite communications. In his recent blog post, The Good and the Bad in Satellite Phones”, he explains why he made the switch to Iridium:

“I need to be able to call for help if I am in an isolated area and I figured that not only did I need a satellite phone, but I needed one that worked every time I turned it on.

[…] the good thing about the Iridium 9575 Extreme is that it works all the time, with no problems.”

Below is a transcript of the conversation that Iridium had with Ivanhoe Harry about his homeland, the process of choosing a satellite phone and the importance of a reliable connection.

IRIDIUM: Why is a satellite phone such a critical need for you?

IVANHOE HARRY: Australia is a large land mass and most of the population lives in cities and large towns — and telephone coverage is largely limited to those population centres and major highways. Since I like to get away to more remote places, I’m often in areas without mobile phone coverage. I don’t need to be contactable all the time, but I do need to be able to call for assistance if I encounter any problems. Some travellers have perished in Australia’s outback and I don’t plan to join their numbers. In the city, there are always other people from whom to get help. But in the outback, there’s often no one else. If I have an accident, health emergency or vehicle breakdown, I want to be able to call for help.

Iridium 9575 Extreme

Iridium 9575 Extreme satellite phone

Without mentioning names, can you tell us about experiences you’ve had with satellite phones from other providers?

Initially I purchased a satellite phone from another provider, but it often could not get a network connection. The other network required the phone to work out its own position using GPS coordinates, and unfortunately the phone often could not do that task. My ordinary mobile phone – or one of numerous other cheap devices – could tell me my GPS coordinates, but the satellite phone couldn’t work it out. And there was no way of entering the information for it. So the phone repeatedly failed to connect to the network, giving me a message that it could not work out its location. During one period of 8 days of travel through western New South Wales and into South Australia, I could get a network connection on only one occasion. I realized that if there had been an emergency, this particular satellite phone would have been useless. It may have been cheaper than a phone on the Iridium network, but I had still wasted my money.

What are the benefits of the Iridium network, from your perspective?

The main benefit of the Iridium network is that my satellite phone works all the time. It always gets a connection, wherever I am in this vast landscape. I hope I don’t have any emergencies in my travels but I am confident that, if the unforeseen occurs, I will be able to call for assistance. After my previous experience, it’s reassuring to know that my satellite phone will always work.

Which Iridium satellite phone do you currently use? How has it performed so far?

I use an Iridium 9575 Extreme. I use it periodically, really only to ensure that it’s working. It’s very convenient and uncomplicated, just like using an ordinary mobile phone. And it has worked every time and provided a good connection every time. More than that, it has delivered great peace of mind.

What advice would you give people looking to purchase a satellite phone of their own?

I recommend to prospective purchasers to buy a phone that will work all the time. Learn from my mistake. Buying a satellite phone that works only some of the time is a waste of money — after all, purchasing a satellite phone is to enable one to make contact at any time from any place. In my experience, this means connecting to the Iridium network.

Original article published at: http://www.iridium360.com/2013/06/14/staying-connected-in-the-australian-outback/ 

Introducing New Iridium Airtime Vouchers

We are pleased to announce that we have introduced two brand new airtime vouchers to our website and so we are now able to offer you even more options for your satellite phone airtime.

IRDM_9555_Usage_09The first of our new vouchers is called the Iridium PAYG Latin America 200 Minutes/6 Months Validity and it is competitively priced at just £125. This voucher provides a lower rate per minute for Iridium sat phone users that are making calls within Latin America* from Mexico to Cape Horn and up to 12 nautical miles offshore. It gives you 200 minutes of calling time (12,000 units) and 6 months of validity.

The second new voucher that we have introduced is called the Iridium PAYG Global 300 minute prepaid voucher. This voucher is also very competitively priced, it offers 12 months of validity and costs just £350 for 300 minutes (18,000 units) at a lower rate per minute for Iridium sat phone users. This voucher offers an inexpensive alternative to the full 500 minute voucher.

Iridium-9505a-US-Made-Satellite-PhoneIridium is the only satellite network to provide pole to pole global coverage.  These new vouchers along with the other Iridium pre-paid vouchers and contract SIMs are for use on the Iridium 9555, Iridium 9575 Extreme and Iridium 9505a satellite phones.  GTC holds Iridium SIM cards in stock for next day delivery within the UK.  You can also keep an eye on your SIM balances and usage through our online system “SatCompass” which is free of charge to all GTC customers.  Please contact us if you have any questions regarding Iridium satellite phone airtime.

* Check our website for a list of the specific countries that are included.

Globalstar 2 Month Free Service Offer Extended

Due to the incredible success of the Globalstar 2 month free service offer that we announced back in March, the offer has now been extended to 31st August 2013.

GSP-1700 Portable Satellite Phone

This means that all new customers who activate a GSP-1700 satellite phone or GSP-1700-MR Bundle before 31st August 2013 on our Voice & Data Plans* will receive the first two months subscription free of charge and free activation (usually €50).

All GTC post-paid airtime customers are billed on a monthly basis and payment can be taken by Direct Debit or credit card.

If you have questions about any of the Globalstar airtime plans or hardware please contact us.

*Terms and Conditions

Long distance, roaming and overage rates will continue to apply. A minimum contract duration of 12 months applies to lines activated under this promotional offer.  Excludes Access Plan.

Alan Rankin: Solo Round Britain Challenge

On June 9th our customer, Alan Rankin, plans to begin his challenge to embark on a solo singlehanded circumnavigation of the UK and Ireland. He will sail his yacht, Trade Winds, over 2,300 miles in some of the most challenging yet beautiful waters in the world. His challenge does not end there however as he will also be participating in ten 10k runs (one run at each port including our very own Poole Quay) with the intention of raising funds and awareness of his challenge and his charitable objectives.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Alan has over 30,000 miles of sailing experience and is the three times class winner of the Scottish Islands Three Peaks Race. In 2006 he became the first person to singlehandedly sail and cycle around Scotland and now he is preparing to sail singlehandedly around the UK and Ireland in order to raise money and awareness for several charities that are close to his heart including Parkinson’s UK, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Society and Ocean Youth Trust Scotland.

Trade Winds ahead2Alan is passionate about the conservation of our seas and wants to raise awareness of how we can all enjoy them without abusing them. His journey will use entirely renewable resources including wind, wave, tidal and solar power and with food and drink all sourced from sustainable producers in the UK he is really making an effort to be kind to the environment. He has been toying with the idea of creating his own campaign called ‘NOTS’ Nil Over The Side and promises that during his trip he will not throw anything at all over the side of his boat. Alan will also be using his trip as a unique photography opportunity and will be recording wildlife observations and supplying his records to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Society.

IsatPhone-ProWe are pleased to be lending an IsatPhone Pro to assist Alan on his challenge. He will be able to use this extremely robust satellite phone to keep in touch whilst he is out of regular mobile network ranges as it uses the highly reliable Inmarsat network service which has global coverage excluding the poles. Alan will be keeping everybody updated regularly during his voyage through Twitter and so we recommended the IsatPhone Pro as it is the only satellite phone that has its own Twitter menu and is able to send and receive tweets via its SMS functionality. Alan will also be using an external antenna to maintain optimum signal throughout his trip.  You can follow his progress by following Alan on Twitter: @soloroundbrit

You can read about the Twitter functionality of the IsatPhone on our blog: Using the IsatPhone Pro in-built Twitter menu.

The following table charts all of Alan’s departure and arrival dates along with direct-line sea miles and is a best case scenario and so is subject to changes depending on weather conditions.

1 09-Jun Ullapool 11-Jun Lerwick 329
2 14-Jun Lerwick 16-Jun Blyth 310
3 18-Jun Blyth 19-Jun Lowestoft 205
4 21-Jun Lowestoft 22-Jun Brighton 160
5 24-Jun Brighton 25-Jun Poole 80
6 27-Jun Poole 28-Jun Falmouth 135
7 01-Jul Falmouth 03-Jul Dingle 295
8 05-Jul Dingle 06-Jul Broad Haven 175
9 08-Jul Broad Haven 11-Jul Stornoway 275
10 14-Jul Stornoway 14-Jul Ullapool 48