Thuraya Launches Vehicular IP Broadband Terminal

Thuraya Telecommunications has launched its first dedicated vehicular IP broadband terminal.

Designed and manufactured by Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes), the global leader in broadband satellite solutions, Thuraya IP Voyager is a cost-effective, high-quality satellite terminal designed for end-users in the government, oil and gas, media, and relief sectors. It is the only terminal available in the market capable of achieving streaming IP rates of up to 384 kbps as well as user-definable asymmetric streaming.

Thuraya-IP-Voyager

Randy Roberts, Vice President of Innovation at Thuraya said: “Reliable connectivity and mobility are essential for users who need to communicate with their field teams and to file reports while on-the-move. The Thuraya IP Voyager broadens our Land IP portfolio and is part of our strategy to give end-users the power of choice when it comes to having high-quality, reliable connections at competitive prices, no matter where they are.”

Thuraya IP Voyager enables remote users to collaborate reliably and efficiently using video, data and VoIP services to achieve mission-critical tasks in areas that are not served by terrestrial communication networks. It is designed to connect at IP broadband speeds of up to 444 kbps while on-the-move and includes a built-in Wi-Fi access point as well as four Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) ports to connect multiple wired devices.

Asher Faredi, Product Manager of Land Data at Thuraya said: “Many parts of the world remain unconnected by terrestrial networks. In developing the Thuraya IP Voyager, we listened closely to our customers to understand their needs and we were able to design a robust “comms-on-the-move” terminal that it is easy to install and facilitates real productivity in the field. There is an opportunity in the land vehicular terminal market, which is now being addressed with the Thuraya IP Voyager.”

GTC will have pricing available shortly for the Thuraya IP Voyager.

 

 

Iridium Introduce the Iridium GO!

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!

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 expected to start at around $35 a month, with unlimited plans at around $130 a month.

You will be able to purchase the Iridium GO! from our website soon but please click here to receive updates on availability.

FleetBroadband excels in 65 degree South Antarctic conditions

FleetBroadband is tested to the extreme aboard a month-long sailing expedition from Cape Horn to the Antarctic Peninsula.

Panos Tsikopoulos

An extreme sailing expedition from Cape Horn to the Antarctic Peninsula is putting Inmarsat FleetBroadband and the IsatPhone Pro satellite phone to the test in one of the harshest and most remote locations in the world.

The crew of ten experienced sailors on the month-long voyage includes Panos Tsikopoulos from Navarino, a leading satcom provider to the maritime industry and an Inmarsat Partner. He set sail on a specialised stainless steel sailing boat ‘Vailhere’ on 12 January from the port of Ushuaia in Argentina. Inmarsat Maritime has sponsored the voyage with an ‘all you can eat’ (AYCE) package of airtime and data, with equipment provided by Cobham.

Equipment testing

“Our objectives have been to learn to navigate in icy conditions, hike at the Antarctic, observe the landscape and wildlife, visit old military and scientific bases, and for me personally, to test equipment such as FleetBroadband,” said Panos.

“I am currently in the Antarctic at 65 degrees south enjoying Inmarsat’s high-quality connectivity – our FleetBroadband is working very well for voice and data, even though we are at such southern latitudes.

“Furthermore, my IsatPhone works very well too. Voice quality is perfect. This is particularly useful and gives us additional safety when we are exploring on land,” he added.

Inhospitable environment

He also found that the IsatPhone Pro satellite phone worked much better compared to a competitor product, which had an inferior service with intermittent coverage and loss of connection after five minutes.

IsatPhone-Pro

The expedition course is mapped through Cape Horn, Drake Passage and the Southern Ocean, tackling some of the most adverse and rough sea conditions.

The extreme southerly route takes FleetBroadband not only to one of the world’s most inhospitable environments but also tests it right up to the edge of its coverage map.

Staying connected

The crew have all been using FleetBroadband to call family and friends, browse the internet and to send and receive emails, including large picture files.

The AYCE package has proved to be particularly useful as the team are big fans of the cross-platform mobile instant messaging app ‘Whatsapp’ – high demand has led to up to four to six simultaneous users at any one time.

Panos and his team aim to finish their once-in-a-lifetime sailing adventure on 12 February. If you would like further information about the products that they are using please visit our website or call us on 0800 112 3919.

Our pick of the top 5 gadgets for your next expedition

Hike in desertEvery January we get plenty of enquiries from people full of enthusiasm to plan their next adventure. Of course, for those planning trips in remote areas satellite communications are often an essential part of their trip not only for keeping followers back home up-to-date but also for their life-saving SOS functionality.

Here’s our pick of the best gear for your next expedition:

DeLorme inReach Satellite Trackers

DeLorme-inReach-SE-Satellite-Tracker

The DeLorme range of inReach Trackers are award-winning satellite communicators that use the Iridium global satellite network to enable communication anywhere in the world.  The trackers offer 2-way personal and SOS communications and remote Follow-me/Find-me tracking and have been used by numerous GTC customers to track journeys all over the world.

Can I see the inReach in action? Check out Jon Beardmore’s DeLorme page, driving on a 25,000 mile round trip to China/South East Asia and back.  https://share.delorme.com/JonBeardmore

DeLorme Satellite Trackers are available from £150 ex VAT

BGAN Satellite Internet TerminalsThrane-Explorer-in-Use

BGAN terminals are ideal for travellers who need an internet connection during their trip. We offer a variety of terminals, all offering speeds of at least 384 kbps.  Although they are not as fast as the speed home broadband connections we are used to these days they are fine for sending and receiving emails, photos, updating blogs and general internet browsing.

Who uses a BGAN terminal? British adventurer Leo Houlding counts a BGAN terminal in his top five expedition gadgets:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/nov/09/expert-guide-gadgets

BGAN Terminals are available from £1,115 ex VAT

Thuraya SatSleeve

thuraya-satsleeveThe Thuraya SatSleeve is a world first in satellite add-ons, transforming an iPhone 4/4S/5 into a satellite phone, allowing you to send and receive SMS messages and make calls using the Thuraya network, which covers 2/3rds of the planet.  It’s great to know that you can use your normal iPhone in areas of GSM coverage to reduce costs and have the back-up of the SatSleeve in more remote areas.  The iPhone 5 version also allows you to use data services to update your Facebook and Twitter pages.

Coming soon…Thuraya SatSleeve for Android handsets

http://www.globaltelesat.co.uk/blog/thuraya-launches-satsleeve-for-android

Thuraya SatSleeve is available from £415 ex VAT

Globalstar GSP-1700 Satellite PhoneGlobalstar

With inclusive plans offering voice and data calls for as little as €0.15 per minute and the lowest handset prices in the market, Globalstar sat phones are hard to beat. In 2013 Globalstar became the only mobile satellite service provider to deploy a second-generation constellation of low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites, allowing you connect to one of the most advanced and modern satellite networks currently available. With pre-paid plans being launched at the end of Jan Globalstar is a great value handset.

Who uses a Globalstar sat phone? Team Savoir Faire used a Globalstar phone on their round Britain rowing challenge http://www.gbrow2013.com/

Globalstar GSP-1700 is available for just £250 ex VAT

Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone

6The Iridium 9575 Extreme is the newest satellite phone currently available. Not only does the 9575 Extreme offer Iridium’s global coverage for voice, data and SMS but it is the first satellite phone to offer the fully integrated services of customizable GPS, online tracking and emergency SOS with notification services with the 2 in 1 design allowing you to carry one less piece of kit!

Who uses the Iridium Extreme? Mountain Guide Bruce Goodlad relies on his Extreme, see his review here:

http://www.globaltelesat.co.uk/blog/bruce-goodlad-review-of-iridium-9575-extreme

Iridium Extreme is available from £735 ex VAT

Have questions about any of our expedition kit? Give us a call on 01202 801290.

Update on Inmarsat BGAN HDR testing

BGAN HDR will be available on the new Explorer 710 terminal

BGAN HDR will be available on the new Explorer 710 terminal

Back in April we told you about the new BGAN HDR service which will be used in conjunction with the new Explorer 710 terminal to provide the fastest satellite data speeds on the Inmarsat BGAN service.

Here at GTC we saw the Explorer 710 at the DSEI exhibition in London this week and were impressed with how compact the terminal was.

BGAN HDR is expected to be made available in Europe, Middle East and Asia in October and then globally during November and Inmarsat have this week given some exciting updates on the new service:

Streaming rates achieved

• Streaming rates of over 700kbps at full channel have been successfully achieved on the I-4 network

• Using an ‘external’ bonding solution (‘native’ bonding is not available until November), a streaming rate of 1.5Mbps has been maintained

Testing considerations

• Testing was undertaken in Portugal on the edge of a spot beam, so the indicative streaming rates highlighted above are extremely encouraging

• We are currently still giving guidance however, as per previous communications, that the expected streaming rate will be around 650kbps

• More precise, guaranteed performance figures will be defined following beta testing in late September / early October

Pricing options

BGAN HDR will support a portfolio of four streaming rates, with corresponding decreasing price points as follows:

 • Full channel symmetric – premium service, with significantly increased streaming rate in each direction

• Half channel symmetric – similar streaming rate to the existing BGAN X-Stream service, but offering better value for money

• Full channel asymmetric – in response to customer and market demand – providing a significantly increased streaming rate in the return direction, with a much smaller speed in the forward direction

• Half channel asymmetric – similar price point to the existing 256Kbps service, but likely to deliver a greater throughput (in testing it is currently delivering up to 380Kbps)

Once BGAN HDR is launched, there will be an introductory offer running until 31 December 2013 under which the full channel service will be discounted to match the current BGAN X-Stream per minute pricing.

Thrane & Thrane Critical Firmware Update for FB SAILOR and BGAN EXPLORER

Inmarsat-Satellite-Network-LogoIt has been announced that the latest firmware update from Inmarsat (Version 1.16) must be downloaded by the 1st June 2013 in order for certain terminals to continue working correctly.

The Thrane & Thrane FB SAILOR 150, 250, 500 and the BGAN EXPLORER 325 and 727 unit are the terminals that will be affected and it is critical that they are updated as without this firmware update they will be unable to receive calls on the IP handset.

Only the terminals listed above using the Thrane & Thrane/Cobham IP handset will be affected and terminals with a standard two wire handset will continue to work as normal.

Inmarsat FleetBroadband Sailor 150To download the firmware please follow this link for BGAN and this link for FleetBroadband.

Other features in the update include support for Fax and 3.1Hz Audio on SAILOR 150 and the restoration of an open PDP context on a UT power cycle. In addition to this there is support for ThraneLINK which is a sophisticated communication protocol that connects the SAILOR products in a network.

Spotlight on Gerry Hughes: The First Deaf Man to Solo Circumnavigate the World

GTC customer Gerry Hughes this week completed a hugely impressive feat and achieved his lifelong ambition to become the world’s first deaf person to solo circumnavigate the world via the five southernmost capes. Gerry Hughes is 55 years old and his challenge began over eight months ago when he set sail from Troon Marina in South Ayrshire on the 1st September 2012. He spent 210 days alone at sea on his 42ft yacht ‘Quest III’ and sailed over 32,000 miles before returning to Troon yesterday to a crowd of hundreds of well-wishers and an audience of over 20,000 people who were watching the moment he landed via a live internet link.

gerry hughes photo 2Unfortunately the journey was not all plain sailing and Gerry had to deal with terrible weather conditions and high winds that led to colossal waves and one of the most dramatic episodes in his journey where he capsized and feared for his life; thankfully he was able recover the situation and completed his challenge despite this close call.

Gerry hopes to become an inspiration for young deaf people by proving that the obstacles they may face can be overcome. Considering that this was not the first of his sailing achievements, as he became the first deaf skipper to sail around the British Isles in 1981, there is no doubt that he has achieved this goal and is in fact an inspiration to us all.

According to his Facebook page Gerry spent last night enjoying his heroes welcome in The Harbour Bar, sipping pints of Guinness which he had sorely missed throughout the voyage and sharing countless stories of his adventure. He was also presented with a special award from the Ocean Cruising Club to commemorate his achievement.

Mr Hughes said: “The last eight months have been among the toughest of my life but despite all the challenges of the expedition, it has been a period I have thoroughly enjoyed. I hope that following and completing my dream can encourage young people who face similar difficulties to see that their hopes and aspirations can still be fulfilled through belief and hard work. The support I have received has also played a huge part in completing this voyage and it is wonderful to be reunited with my wife and daughters who have undoubtedly endured as many highs and lows as I have during the period of my challenge.”

Gerry used our ‘Thrane & Thrane Sailor 150 Satellite Terminal’ to fulfil reporting requirements, diagnose faults and to connect to the internet; making it possible for him to communicate with the 3,500 supporters following his progress on his Facebook page whilst at sea. The Sailor 150 Terminal uses Inmarsat’s global network
to provide voice and data services to sailors all over the world. We are proud to have been able to help him to achieve this historic accomplishment and look forward to being involved in any of his future endeavours.

gerry hughes photo

Gerry and his proud wife Kay

New high data rate BGAN terminal starts video revolution

HDRtornado_370pxThe first BGAN terminal capable of accessing Inmarsat’s new high data rate (HDR) service will be unveiled at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cobham SATCOM’s EXPLORER 710 will support a game-changing service for satellite broadcasters – delivering an expected streaming rate of about 650kbps with its full channel option for higher quality video newsgathering.

The new terminal will be launched at the annual broadcasting event on 8-11 April and in a series of live video webinars to the global media industry.

Next revolution

BGAN HDR is scheduled for commercial launch in Q3 2013.

“Since 2005, the BGAN platform has transformed newsgathering, enabling live broadcasts from the farthest, most inhospitable reaches of the planet,” said Martin Turner, Inmarsat’s Media Business Director.

“We improved the streaming speeds with BGAN X-Stream in 2009 and now, in 2013, we’re introducing the next revolution in satellite newsgathering with BGAN HDR.”

Built-in bonding

Cobham’s small and light EXPLORER 710 is a plug-and-play device. It features a built-in bonding capability, enabling connection speeds of more than 1Mbps – previously only possible on a VSAT uplink.

“EXPLORER 710 is the most advanced and smallest Class 1 terminal to date,” said Walther Thygesen, Head of Cobham SATCOM.

“It also introduces a number of enhancements, including bonding and smartphone connectivity.

“Combined with BGAN HDR, it becomes a compact, reliable and extremely portable solution for the high-speed transmission of live video, audio and data from practically anywhere in the world.”

Pricing will be available soon, please contact us to register your interest in this product.

Comic Relief climber aims to raise £1 million using Inmarsat and GTC equipment

A climber aiming to raise £1 million (US$1.6 million) for UK charity Comic Relief by scaling Mount Everest will share every step of his attempt using Inmarsat BGAN.

Comic-Relief-BBC-BGAN-Explorer-700

Inmarsat is sponsoring British commercial airline pilot Daniel Hughes in his bid to take Comic Relief’s iconic symbol, the red nose, to the top of the world’s highest peak.

He is asking one million people to pledge £1 each to reach his target.

In order to reach such a huge number of supporters, Daniel plans to make his ascent the most connected climb ever.

Inmarsat is providing him with a Cobham SATCOM Explorer 700 BGAN terminal, which he will use to transmit video, post blogs and regularly update social media – all from his HTC smartphone.

GTC have also provided a RedPort WiFi Optimizer to be used by Daniel to enable cost-effective data transfer with the Explorer 700.

The climax of Daniel’s challenge is planned to be a live video report streamed direct to the BBC News 24 channel showing him wearing Comic Relief’s iconic symbol, the red nose, at the highest point on Earth.

Gruelling journey

“Daniel’s zeal and determination are outstanding and we are delighted to be supporting him in his mission to raise £1million for the fight against child poverty,” said Drew Brandy, Vice President, Industry, at Inmarsat.

“What intrigued us was Daniel’s desire to share the experience of climbing Everest. Through our BGAN service, we will connect him to the outside world, enabling his supporters to follow the gruelling journey and be with him, via live video link, at the summit.”

Daniel was inspired to action while on honeymoon with his wife, Carali, in 2010. A trip through South America took the couple to Bolivia, where the levels of child poverty horrified them.

Supporting children

“The image that stayed with me was a young boy I saw at the silver mines in Potosi, one of the highest cities in the world,” said Daniel. “He was cowering in a miner’s bucket, covered in dirt.

“It struck me that as soon as he was old enough he’d be mining himself, that within 20 years he’d probably be dead of arsenic poisoning or from an accident, for just $8 a day. I just really wanted to do something.”

Daniel chose to support Comic Relief because of the work the charity has done for children living in some of the world’s poorest nations.

Mountain marathon

He has devoted much of the past two years to preparing for the Everest challenge, including climbing three other mountains – Mont Blanc in France, Aconcagua in Argentina and Denali in Alaska.

He has also competed in a host of high-profile cycling, running and trekking events to raise awareness of his challenge, including the Dare 2b Spine Challenger – a 108-mile, non-stop, winter mountain marathon.

Daniel travelled to Nepal at the end of March and aims to reach the summit by the end of May.

Celebrity support

The climber’s determination has won him the support of celebrities including British band Coldplay, entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and actor/presenter Stephen Fry, who will tweet the news of Daniel’s departure from Everest base camp to his 5.4 million followers.

“I always wanted this challenge to be a two-way process,” said Daniel. “I am privileged to be climbing Everest and I want to be able to share the entire experience with everyone who is supporting me.”

Daniel will transmit at least one video post a day and update his Facebook and Twitter accounts with photos and sound clips. Followers will be able to take part in question and answer sessions and track his position in 2D and 3D.

Inmarsat sponsors Everest Million:

www.inmarsat.com/corporate/sponsorship/everestmillion/index.htm

Everest Million: www.everestmillion.com

Update Facebook and Twitter via Satellite Phone using iOS or Android Devices

XGate iPhone and Android apps used by our SpeedMail Compression Software now lets users post to popular social media sites when connected to a Wi-Fi enabled satellite data feed.

Global Marine Networks (GMN), the leaders in advancing satellite data speed and services, today announced an update to its XGate iOS app and XGate Android app that let users update their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter feeds when connected to a Wi-Fi enabled satellite data service. XGate Social Media Services are immediately available to SpeedMail subscribers in addition to accelerated satellite phone email, web browsing and weather data services.

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are the way millions of people share their lives with others every day. Yet until now satellite phone users, who are often in the remote places or emergency situations where they most want to update others of their status, have found it hard to post to social media sites,” said Dr. Luis Soltero, President and CTO of GMN.

“Now, satellite phone users can update all of their friends, business contacts or followers via satellite phone with the press of a button in the XGate application.”

SpeedMail powered by XGate offers email, web, weather, and now, social media services, designed for the unique needs of satellite data users. Satellite data feeds are significantly slower and/or much more expensive than most cellular data services, but have the advantage of working in places and times where cellular networks are not available. SpeedMail uses three to twenty times less data for each of its services than standard email, web, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter apps, saving satellite users time and money.

To access SpeedMail services, users simply need to connect to a Wi-Fi enabled satellite data feed, as would be found on a marine vessel, or created by a device such as the RedPort Wi-Fi Optimizer. SpeedMail will also work over cellular data networks, allowing customers to use a single app regardless of network, or to save on cellular data usage charges.

SpeedMail data services are a fast, reliable and easy-to-use satellite phone email, web, weather data – and now – social media service. Features include:

  • Up to 20 times faster email transfer speeds through compression and custom server protocols
  • Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posting
  • Mid-file restart and automatic satellite phone connection control
  • Access to free GRIB weather files

SpeedMail’s web service accelerates web browsing an average of three to five times faster than uncompressed rates through compression, page re-rendering and ad-blocking, giving users easier and more reliable access to web sites.

Pricing and Availability

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter updating are available to both new and existing users for standard SpeedMail subscription rates. Existing SpeedMail subscribers can download the latest version of XGate in the XGate downloads center. Currently, XGate Social Media services are available for all users of the following Windows, Apple Macintosh and Linux versions:

  • Windows XP, Vista and 7, both 32 and 64-bit versions
  • Apple Mac OSX 10.4 or later computers
  • Apple iOS (iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch)
  • Google Android
  • Any Debian-based Linux system

Compatibility

SpeedMail works with any IP-based data service, including the following satellite phones.

Compatible USB-based satellite phones:

Compatible Serial or Ethernet-based phones and terminals: