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

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/

End of production for IsatPhone Pro

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As manufacture of the IsatPhone Pro comes to an end we discuss the future for users of the handsets and alternative sat phones on the market.

In 2010, IsatPhone Pro was launched marking Inmarsat’s entry into the global handheld satphone market. Now, after four successful years, Inmarsat is announcing the end of production for IsatPhone Pro.

Although Inmarsat have stopped manufacturing IsatPhone Pro, GTC currently still hold stock of the handset so please contact us if you wish to place an order.

With the end of manufacture of the handset will also come a stop to production of the accessories.  We also hold these in stock, please see our range of IsatPhone Pro accessories if you wish to place an order.

Inmarsat will continue to provide customer support and firmware upgrades to correct critical issues that may arise with IsatPhone Pro products in the field until further notice. As a reminder, IsatPhone Pro handsets must be upgraded to firmware v 5.3.0 or higher by 30 November 2014 to ensure continuation of service.

Visit GTC Support for instructions on how to upgrade your IsatPhone Pro.

What are the alternative sat phones on the market?

IsatPhone 2

IsatPhone 2

Inmarsat IsatPhone 2

Of course the Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 is a great alternative to the IsatPhone Pro – with all the same voice and SMS features the IsatPhone 2 comes with the added bonus of a built in GPS tracker.

The GPS tracking can be combined with our GTCTrack mapping to enable detailed monitoring of the user.

With global coverage excluding the poles the IsatPhone 2 is a great all in one device for the global traveller.

IsatPhone 2 pricing starts from £520 ex VAT.

Globalstar GSP-1700

One advantage of the IsatPhone handsets is the affordable cost of airtime and handsets.  Looking to other satellite networks Globalstar also offers an excellent value for money sat phone, the GSP-1700.

GlobalstarWith inclusive plans offering voice and data calls for as little as €0.15 per minute, the lowest handset prices in the market and the only 2nd generation satellite constellation, Globalstar satellite phones are hard to beat.

The Globalstar GSP-1700 is great for customers demanding quick connection times, excellent satellite voice quality and fastest low-band data speeds at an affordable and highly competitive price.

Globalstar satellite phones were the choice of the organisers of the Tour de France 2014 who used the phones during the UK leg to stay connected.

Globalstar sat phone prices start from just £225 ex VAT.

IsatHub

Inmarsat’s latest product – IsatHub

Inmarsat IsatHub

For those looking to the latest gadgets the IsatHub is also a great alternative to a satellite phone.  Also in the Inmarsat family of products IsatHub is a revolutionary new device which allows you to connect your normal mobile phone or tablet via WiFi in order to make and receive calls, texts and browse the internet via satellite.

IsatHub has just been launched and we are one of a few retailers to currently hold stock.  Contact us to place an order or see our blog The Inmarsat IsatHub Satellite Wi-Fi Hotspot Has Arrived for further information on the device.

As always we would like to answer any questions you may have on the end of life of the IsatPhone or any of the products mentioned above.

Globalstar Launches New Voicemail Service

dsc_0078Globalstar are in the process of launching a brand new voicemail service with considerably advanced features.

On September 26th 2014, this new service will be added to all existing customer lines – if you already have a Globalstar handset all you need to do is call into the Voicemail service and set up your account.

To set up your Globalstar Voicemail Account:

  • Dial *86 from your Globalstar handset
  • OR dial +336 40044111 / +335 82880420 from any other phone

Once you have set up the Voicemail service calls will automatically be forwarded to your new voice mailbox when you are not contactable.

Please be aware that from 26th September 2014, the existing Globalstar Voicemail service will be retired. Saved messages and recordings will not be transferred to the new Voicemail service, therefore, we strongly suggest that you listen to and take note of your voice messages by the 25th September.

From September 26th 2014, you may access messages on the old system by dialling a temporary number (+336 40045957). After November 26th 2014, the temporary number will be discontinued and you will no longer be able to access messages on the old Voicemail system.

Globalstar satellite phones are perfect for customers demanding quick connection times, excellent satellite voice quality and fastest low-band data speeds at an affordable and highly competitive price. If you do not already have a Globalstar phone please click here to find out more and buy yours today.

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.

15 Minutes to Set-Up Your Satellite Phone

We often have customers come to us with last minute requirements or those who are worried that setting up their satellite phone will be complicated but it needn’t be.

Once your SIM is active here’s how to get started.  GTC customers will receive an email once the SIM is active with their phone number details.

If you’re not sure on the status give us a call on +44 1202 801290.

1. Make sure the SIM card is inserted into the satellite phone

Remove the battery and insert the SIM card with gold PINs facing down. The exception is modern Globalstar phones which do not require a SIM card.

clear-line-of-sight-to-the-sky2. Take the phone outside and find a clear line of sight to the sky

For best performance, move away from tall obstacles such as buildings or trees.

Make sure the antenna is fully extended and pointing to its optimal position (straight up to the sky).

For Inmarsat and Thuraya handsets face towards the equator.

3. Make a test call from the satellite phone

When dialling make sure you dial in international format:

e.g. to call GTC dial 00 44 1202 801290.

Use a + or 00 in front of all numbers.

Calling into the phone

Use the same method to call into the phone i.e. a + or 00 in front of the number.

Having problems? Check with your operator that they support calls to satellite phones. Try dialling from a different network.

Did you know…Inmarsat & Iridium customers can call these test numbers for free ?

Inmarsat: +870776999999

Iridium:  +1-480-752-5105 

4. Send a test message*

Enter the recipient’s phone number in international format.

Sending an SMS to the phone

Use the same method to send a text into the phone i.e. a + or 00 in front of the number.

*Excludes Globalstar which does not have SMS capability.

Did you know…You can send a free SMS to some satellite phones?  Visit:

http://msg.iridium.com/

http://connect.inmarsat.com/Services/Land/IsatPhone/SMS/sms.html

https://sms.thuraya.com/

 

Do you have any other tips for getting started with a satellite phone?

 

Post a comment and let us know!