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!

Inmarsat announce IsatPhone 2

The 2nd generation IsatPhone handset will offer tracking, an emergency button and pageability will be available at the end of March.

IsatPhone 2

IsatPhone 2 will be available from the end of March 2014

IsatPhone 2 will target the higher end of the satphone market. A slimmer handset with a high-quality feel, it has additional features and functionality over IsatPhone Pro, such as tracking, an emergency button and pageability.

Offered at a higher price point than IsatPhone Pro, it will still deliver excellent value. The new phone is expected to particularly appeal to end-users looking to upgrade from an outdated existing satphone.

Meanwhile, IsatPhone Pro will continue to be marketed as the lower-cost satphone option.

With two phones, differentiated by price and performance, our voice portfolio will allow you to attract customers in two very diverse markets.

 

We will shortly add information on the IsatPhone 2 to our website, contact us to be added to our IsatPhone 2 Mailing List.

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.

 

 

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.

Thuraya Launches SatSleeve for Android Phones

Following the success of the Thuraya SatSleeve for iPhone Thuraya have launched a version for android phones.

SatSleeve for Android Compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4, the new game-changing product allows Samsung Galaxy users to turn their own smartphone into a satellite phone to make phone calls, send SMS messages and access apps via Thuraya’s satellite network when they are unable to connect to a terrestrial GSM network.

The Thuraya SatSleeve eliminates the need for carrying a separate satellite phone. Users only need to dock their Android smartphone into the Thuraya SatSleeve and operate it normally via the Thuraya Satellite network. Its built-in SOS button allows users to call one predefined number even without their smartphone attached. Additionally, users can send SMS messages, send and receive email, and access popular social media and instant messaging apps such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and WhatsApp, among others.

SatSleeve_GALAXY-S4_1

Randy Roberts, Vice President of Innovation at Thuraya, said: “This latest release of the SatSleeve illustrates Thuraya’s focus on market needs by addressing the installed base of Android devices and enables us to provide easy access to satellite services for our Android customers. Thuraya is progressively working to provide our users with flexible choices for their satellite communication needs when they are travelling or working from areas unserved by terrestrial networks. Whether our customers need connectivity through voice or data services, we are there to keep them connected.”

“The launch of the SatSleeve for Android demonstrates Thuraya’s ability to deliver market-driven products to reach even more end-users. The lines between MSS and consumer technology sector are blurring and we are proud to lead this change,” said Alex Lachner, Senior Product Manager, Voice Services at Thuraya.

The Thuraya SatSleeve for Android will be available to buy from our website soon.

5 Questions To Ask Before You Choose Where To Purchase Your Satellite Phone

checklistWhen looking to buy a satellite phone we know that you probably have lots of questions on coverage, phone features and whether the handset is right for you.  We also know that you have options when it comes to where you buy your satellite phone so make sure you consider these extra points before making that important purchase.

 

1. Have I been given all the options available?

Make sure that you have considered all available satellite phones before making your purchase.  Some retailers only offer higher priced models which may offer features that you don’t require.  At Global Telesat Communications we offer all satellite phone models currently supported by the manufacturer:

  • Iridium: 9505a, 9555, 9575 Extreme
  • Inmarsat: IsatPhone Pro
  • Globalstar: GSP-1700
  • Thuraya: SG-2520, XT, XT DUAL, SatSleeve

2. Does the phone come with all the standard accessories?

Most satellite phones come with a wide range of accessories to get you started including wall chargers, DC chargers, data cables and handsfree headsets.  Some retailers sell handsets without all the original accessories to offer a lower price but this is not always clear – this is an important point to remember when comparing prices.  At Global Telesat Communications we always provide our satellite phones with the original manufacturer’s accessories.  The standard accessories that should come with the phones are:

  • Iridium Handsets: Battery, Leather Holster, AC Charger with 4 int’l adapters, DC Charger, USB Data Cable, Wired Handsfree Headset, Antenna Adapter, Auxiliary Antenna
  • Inmarsat Handset: Battery, AC Charger with 4 int’l adapters, DC Charger, USB Data Cable, Wired Handsfree Headset
  • Globalstar Handset: Battery, AC Charger
  • Thuraya Handsets: Battery, AC Charger with 4 int’l adapters, USB Data Cable, Wired Handsfree Headset

3. Are the top-up options reasonable?

It’s always great to get a bargain but make sure that you check what your ongoing costs will be.  If you are planning to top-up regularly or take out a contract be sure to enquire what the ongoing top-up charges will be otherwise you may find yourself losing money in the long run even after saving money on the intial purchase.  At Global Telesat Communciations we constantly monitor competitor pricing and offer some of the lowest pricing on top-ups in the UK.

4. Does the phone come with the latest firmware pre-installed?

Your phone’s arrived and you can’t wait to get started! But first you have to fiddle around installing firmware.  Save yourself the hassle and check that the sat phone comes with the latest firmware pre-installed.  If it doesn’t, ensure that the retailer does this for you before dispatch.  We always ensure that our handsets are ready to use out of the box as we know you will be keen to get testing!

5. What after sales support is offered?

Too often you receive excellent service in the lead up to a sale but not so much after sales support as you might want!  We offer support via phone, email, Skype, webinar…whatever is best for you.  And unlike other retailers we are happy to help with your enquiries outside of office hours via email.

Do you have other questions you want answered? Give us a call on 0800 112 3919 and we will do our best to help!

 

 

Use your iPhone with the new SatSleeve with Data to send emails and use apps without GSM signal

Now in stock!

Thuraya SatSleeve with Data now in stock

Thuraya SatSleeve with Data now in stock

Thuraya attracted a lot of attention with the launch of their SatSleeve iPhone adapter earlier this year and they have continued to keep the gadget fans happy, first with the launch of the iPhone 5 adapter and now with the highly anticipated SatSleeve with data capability. The updated model allows you to use data services to access apps and email on your iPhone via satellite.

The new release not only allows users to make phone calls and to send SMS messages via Thuraya’s satellite network, it also enables them access to emails, as well as popular social media and instant messaging apps such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and WhatsApp among others. Thuraya SatSleeve users can now post news updates, chat via messaging apps with their contacts as well as send and receive email from the most remote locations in satellite mode. The device can be used across Thuraya’s extensive satellite network with coverage in over 140 countries.

Thuraya’s GmPRS service offers the highest data speeds of all the networks for portable satellite phones – you can obtain speeds of up to 60kbps downlink and up to 15kbps uplink which makes their newest product a very viable option for those who want data connectivity in remote locations.  Furthermore the GmPRS service is now standard on all new Thuraya SIM activations.

The new SatSleeve data will be compatible with iPhone 5 with adapters available to convert the product for iPhone 4/4S use becoming available at a later date.

Thuraya SatSleeve for iPhone 5 Now in stock

The wait is finally over! Thuraya has launched the SatSleeve adaptor for iPhone 5 and we now have them available to order for just £495.

Thuraya SatSleeve is the world’s first satellite adaptor for the iPhone, providing you with easy and affordable access to mobile communication services delivered over Thuraya’s powerful satellite network and now you can pair it with your iPhone 5.

thuraya-satsleeve-iphoneThe Thuraya SatSleeve for iPhone 5 is very easy to use, you simply slide your iPhone 5 into the new Satsleeve adaptor and download the SatSleeve app. The SatSleeve app then allows you to easily integrate your iPhone contacts, send SMS and make satellite calls.

For existing SatSleeve customers, the iPhone 5 adapter can fit with the original iPhone 4/4S version and is available to purchase separately for just £75 exc VAT.

The Thuraya SatSleeve for iPhone 5 works in satellite mode throughout the whole coverage area of the Thuraya satellites which cover two thirds of the globe (140 countries) and uses its own speaker and microphone for calls meaning that it can be also be used as a standalone device.

The Thuraya SatSleeve for iPhone 5 offers you the freedom to communicate with your friends, family and colleagues in remote areas and also provides peace of mind as like all other Thuraya devices the SatSleeve has built-in GPS, so if you get lost, you’ll be locatable.

The Thuraya SatSleeve adaptor for the iPhone 5 is now available to buy from our website, just click here.

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/