Alex Hibbert is a world record-holding polar traveller who has skied further on an unsupported Arctic journey than anyone in history. He relies on a variety of Iridium satellite comms devices provided by GTC to keep in touch in the harsh environments he encounters.
We spoke to Alex about his use of satellite phones and find out how he applauds GTC for their “no-nonsense approach” to customer service.
When did you first begin to use satellite phones?
“By the time I launched myself into the expedition world in the late 2000s, satellite communications were very much in command; traditional radios had been outdated and replaced. Nonetheless, early models were simple in design, far behind even the fledgling mobile phones of the time, expensive and with glitches.”
How did your relationship with GTC develop?
“I began as a customer of GTC in 2011, attracted by their keen pricing and no-nonsense approach to customer service. If I needed a straight answer to a question that had major safety ramifications, I knew I’d get it. Handsets came and went over the years, and data solutions started appearing. A few years ago GTC formalised its support of my projects and vice versa – grown in the way sponsorships should be: from a long accumulation of trust and excellent performance and not due to being the highest bidder.”
What satellite communications equipment do you currently use?
“My current outfit is the Iridium 9575 Extreme and AxcessPoint for data (with a second AxcessPoint and 9555 handset for redundancy). The ruggedness of the handset itself and the quality batteries (critical on long journeys) combines with a far more reliable Iridium satellite network than transpired in the past.”
How will you change your communications set-up as technology advances?
“As the next generation of Iridium appears, with the GO! data terminal and its replacements to take advantage of long-awaited fast Iridium data bandwidth, I will entrust GTC to make sure I stay connected. Just one example of their support, having had a 9575 charging adapter crunched by the jaws of a polar bear alarm dog, was to have a replacement fast-tracked half way around the world.”
Find our more about Alex at www.alexhibbert.com