Thuraya Launches the World’s Most Advanced Satellite Phone: The Thuraya XT PRO

Thuraya have launched the industry’s most advanced satellite phone, the Thuraya XT-PRO.

The Thuraya XT-PRO offers:

  • XT-PRO1the longest talk-time on any satellite phone – up to 9 hours!
  • the largest display available on a satellite phone made with hardened Gorilla® glass that is glare resistant – perfect for use in bright sunlight.
  • Jet-water, dust and shock resistance – ensuring it withstands the harshest environments.
  • A dedicated SOS button with advanced navigation and tracking features for added safety.
  • all three major navigation systems – the only satellite phone to feature built-in GPS, BeiDou and Glonass for highest accuracy and added security in every region
  •  Unparalleled flexibility for government, energy, media and NGO users in all regions.

The XT-PRO is ideal for professional satellite phone users who need highly reliable connectivity in some of the world’s toughest and most remote places. It also works as a security backup when natural or man-made disasters disrupt terrestrial communications.

The XT-PRO can be used across the Thuraya network covering two thirds of the globe, including more than 160 countries and is available to buy from our website for £525 plus VAT.

Firmware version 5.8.0 now available for IsatPhone Pro

IsatPhone Pro firmware version 5.8.0 is released and available for download now.

Important: Firmware version 5.8.0 supersedes the firmware version 5.6.1.

IsatPhone-Pro

Recommendations for installation
For users of 5.3.0 or higher this is a recommended upgrade, meaning that the features introduced by the firmware are important but not critical for the GSPS service, including the network and the IsatPhone Pro handset.

 

For users that who have not yet upgraded to version 5.3.0 or higher, this upgrade to 5.8.0 is considered  to be ‘mandatory’ to avoid the phone becoming non-operational.

To check you have the latest version on your IsatPhone Pro, go to Menu > Settings > About > Firmware version.

Download Firmware version 5.8.0

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

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

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.

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!

 

 

Global Telesat Communications to support record attempt for Fastest Human Powered Circumnavigation

Lap-The-World-Boat

The 28ft ocean rowing boat will carry five people on board 3,500 miles! Picture courtesy of Sam Greatrex/Lap The World

We are pleased to be supporting Sam Greatrex from Lap The World in the next leg of his attempt to break the record for the fastest Human Powered Circumnavigation.

The second leg of the journey sees Sam and his team rowing 3,500 miles from Lagos, Portugal to Guyana across the North Atlantic Ocean.  On this trip alone the opportunity to break 4 Guinness World records exists including the fastest crossing from mainland Europe to mainland South America.  During the journey the team will carry an Iridium satellite phone and Iridium GO! to keep in contact with the team back home and obtain weather reports.

Aside from breaking records Sam aims to raise £240,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.  Macmillan is a cause close to Sam who was diagnosed with cancer in 1995.  He says “It’s always been an ambition of mine to do something really meaningful for Macmillan Cancer Support after they helped me recover from cancer.”  This amount would be enough to build a chemotherapy suite in a hospital – of the target Sam says “The circumference of earth is 24,000 miles and if we raise £10 for each mile of that journey, we’ll hit the target and help people diagnosed with cancer in the UK have access to the same level of care that I was fortunate to receive.”

Help Sam by donating at https://www.justgiving.com/laptheworld/

Read more about Sam’s Circumnavigation at http://www.laptheworld.com/

Satellite Phone, Tracker, WiFi Hotspot and BGAN rental from GTC

When you need satellite communications on a short term basis only our rental service is a flexible option with satellite phones, trackers and internet terminals available to rent with a minimum term of just 7 days and charges from just £4 per day.

We like to offer our customers flexibility so our daily charges don’t include minutes or messages you might not end up using – if you know you will be using the phone we offer pre-paid minutes from just 80p per minute.

Here at GTC we pride ourselves on customer service and are here to answer your questions on our rental services.  Furthermore with then wide range of equipment available here at our offices in Poole we can offer next day delivery within the UK. Need it quicker?! Let us know and we can obtain a same day delivery quote.

Satellite Phone Rental

satellite-phone-rentalWe can provide rental services for single users or those in need of multiple phones.  We offer phones from Iridium, Inmarsat, Thuraya and Globalstar all of which have benefits depending on which region you are travelling to.

Satellite Phones are great for voice calls, they do have a slow data connection but we do not normally advise using the handsets for this purpose.  If you need a data connection please look at Satellite Terminal/WiFi Hotspot Rental below.

One of most exciting satellite phone rentals to date was providing 100 Globalstar phones for use on the UK leg of the Tour De France 2014!

Read more about the rental phones provided for Tour De France 2014

Satellite Tracker Rental

satellite-tracker-rentalFor those just requiring tracking services we offer the popular DeLorme inReach SE.  Rental customers get their own MapShare page which allows followers back home to keep track of the user’s location and send messages to the device.  This device enables the user to send out automatic tracking points as well as custom text and email messages.

Satellite Terminal / Satellite WiFi Hotspot Rental

Isathub-rentalWhile satellite phones are great for voice services the data speeds offered are a little slower than what we are used to these days! If you require email or internet access then a BGAN terminal or WiFi hotspot is the option for you.

BGAN terminals need to connect directly to a laptop while WiFi hotspots pair with your existing smartphone or tablet to provide voice and data services.

Read more about Satellite WiFi Hotspot Rental

GTC-01-010For further information on our rental service please contact our Rental Administrator, Nicholas Stedmon on 01202 801290 who will be happy to answer your questions!