GTC celebrates seven years since formation

This month we celebrate 7 years since Global Telesat Communications (GTC) was formed. We take a look back at the key moments so far and what the future holds for GTC and our customers.

December 2008 – GTC Founded

largeGTC was founded by Managing Director David Phipps. With previous experience in satellite communications in the US market David saw the potential in the UK for a supplier offering competitive pricing and expert advice.

GTC was launched as a family owned and run business.

December 2010 – Rental Service Launched

isatphone-2-in-use-20141015005-1200x801Originally GTC offered satellite phones for hire with a one month minimum term. Today we offer satellite phones, trackers, broadband terminals and Wi-Fi hotspots. With just a minimum term of 1 week we can ensure you stay connected wherever you travel.

Read more about our rental range

Autumn 2011 – GTC launches new website

Our latest website was launched with an updated design and offering a wider range of products.

GTC Website v2

March 2012 – Amazon Storefront Launched
amazon
GTC opened our UK Amazon storefront selling a handful of products. Today we sell on Amazon storefronts in 9 different countries with over 200 products listed on each site.  Purchasing through Amazon allows our customers to take advantage of additional delivery options including free delivery for Amazon Prime customers.

Visit our UK Amazon Storefront

 

January 2013 – GTCTrack Launched

With satellite trackers gaining popularity it became clear that there was a need for one platform where trackers from different manufacturers could be monitored in one place. GTCTrack was developed for this purpose and is currently used by customers varying from security companies to race organisers and first aid responders.

Read more about GTCTrack

July 2014 – GTC provides sat phones for UK leg of Tour de France

Globalstar-GSP-1700We were proud to supply 100 Globalstar GSP-1700 handsets to the organisers of the UK leg of the Tour de France.

The route through the UK covered remote locations where mobile phone coverage was poor or non existent and so sat phones were required for emergency purposes.

Globalstar phones were recommended for their excellent value for money handsets and airtime options.

Read more about sat phones provided for Tour de France

December 2014 – SatCallSaver Launched

SatCallSaver-LogoAfter listening to customer feedback we understood that the high cost of calling a sat phone was sometimes prohibitive to both businesses and individuals alike.  SatCallSaver overcomes this problem by assigning a local number to the sat phone number – inbound callers simply call the local number at a local rate and will be diverted to the sat phone.  The sat phone user will be charged a minimal charge of just $9.99 per month along with a charge to receive the call (charge varies depending on sat phone network).  For frequent users the cost of the monthly fee soon outweighs the cost of calling a sat phone which can be as much as £10 per minute!

Read more about SatCallSaver

 

February 2015 – GTC Merger

GTC merged with Orbital Tracking Corp and its subsidiary Orbital Satcom Corp, US-based providers of satellite based tracking, voice and data communications. The three companies combined now service around 10,000 existing customers around the world.  GTC remains a family run business.

 

SPOT Gen3 Personal Tracker

SPOT Gen3 Personal Tracker

July 2015 – GTC and Globalstar celebrate 5000th SPOT Device Sales Milestone

GTC reached a major sales milestone with the shipment of its 5,000th SPOT tracking device, making us one of the largest SPOT distributors in Europe.  SPOT products offer users worldwide peace of mind, by allowing them to track their assets, use location-based messaging and emergency notification technology and to make calls beyond the reach of mobile signals.  Over the past seven years, lone-workers and outdoor enthusiasts have come to depend on SPOT’s life-saving capabilities. SPOT products have been used to initiate over 3,500 rescues globally and are currently at an average of a rescue every day.

Read more about GTC’s SPOT sales history

 

October 2015 – New Premises

GTC moved to new premises in Poole doubling in size the space we have available for employees and stock.  Our new location allows an improved environment to meet with customers and demonstrate the wide range of variety of products we have on offer.

Would you like to see our products in action? Contact us to arrange an appointment.

 

December 2015

Today GTC is a family run business with over 8,000 customers serviced by 10 employees working from Poole.

 

Looking to the future

We are very excited to be working on the final stages of our new website which will be launched in the New Year.  The new site features improved layout and navigation and is mobile friendly.

Sneak peak of the new GTC website, due to launch in Q1 2016

Sneak peak of the new GTC website, due to launch in Q1 2016

Sign up to our mailing list to receive updates on our new website and product launches

Thank you to all our customers for your continuing business!

Thuraya SatSleeve+ and Hotspot are now compatible with Android Smartphones

GTC-11-042In September, Thuraya announced two new additions to their popular SatSleeve range – a range of accessories which allow you turn your smartphone into a satellite phone: the SatSleeve+ and SatSleeve Hotspot.

Both devices are now compatible with a range of Android smartphones thanks to the release of the new Thuraya app v1.1 on Google play. Please see list of compatible devices below.

GTC-11-035The SatSleeve range allows you to make calls, use messaging applications, update your social network, send and receive email and SMS, and access apps. They also come with an additional safety feature – a programmable SOS button that works even if your smartphone isn’t connected. This convenient function lets customers call a predefined number of their choice. If you would like to know more please give us a call on 0800 112 3919 or click here.

Current list of compatible Android devices:

Samsung Galaxy S3 • Samsung Galaxy S3 Neo • Samsung Galaxy S4 • Samsung Galaxy S5 • Samsung Galaxy S6 • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 • Samsung Galaxy Note 5 • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge • Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1” 2014 edition tablet • Samsung Galaxy A8 • Samsung Galaxy J7 • Samsung Galaxy E7 • Samsung Galaxy Alpha • Huawei Ascend P7 • Huawei P8 • Huawei Mate S • Huawei Honor 4C • Huawei Ascend G750 • Huawei Y635 • LG G4 • HTC One M8 • HTC One M9 • HTC Desire Eye • Sony Xperia Z1 • Sony Xperia Z2 • Sony Xperia Z3+ • Sony Xperia Z5 • Sony Xperia C4 • Sony Xperia M4 • Google Nexus 5 • Google Nexus 6 • Motorola Moto G (3rd Gen) • Motorola Moto X Play • Motorola Moto E (1st Gen) • Lenovo Vibe X • Lenovo P70 • Asus Zenfone 2 • Asus Memo Pad 8 ME180A tablet

Stranded in a river in Iceland – Rescued thanks to SPOT

SPOT Gen 3 satellite GPS trackers provide a critical, life-saving line of communication when you travel into remote areas where regular forms of communication are unavailable. At the end of October 2015, a survival school found out just how indispensable they can be as they travelled across South East Iceland.

SPOT 3Overleven Survival School organised a trip for 19 Dutch adventurers to traverse a remote area in Iceland in five modified Land Rover Defender 4x4s. As they crossed a fast-flowing river of glacier water one of the Land Rovers engines failed in the deep water and got wedged on an underwater sandbank.   

All four of the passengers managed to escape through a window and got onto the roof of the Land Rover but the freezing water was rising quickly around them and they had no mobile phone coverage – thankfully they had a SPOT Gen 3!

They sent an SOS message using one of the team’s two SPOT messengers to the International Emergency Response Agency, GEOS and built an improvised shelter out of their equipment on the roof of the 4×4 to shelter from the cold wind and rain.

Overleven-3A search and rescue team kept in contact with the Overleven team using its Globalstar GSP-1700 satellite phone. Two hours later they were able to reach the remote location in huge, modified all-terrain vehicles. The river was flowing even faster and the water was deeper than earlier but they were able to drive straight up to the stranded 4×4 and bring the four trapped adventurers safely to shore within minutes. A rescue helicopter also arrived and checked that everything was okay while recovery vehicles towed the stranded Land Rover out of the water. 

Dennis van Dokkum of Overleven Survival School, commented, “The SPOT messenger was very useful. A couple of locals had thought SPOT wouldn’t work in Iceland, but they were wrong, it worked perfectly. And as a wilderness guide and survival instructor I now can confirm that SPOT really does work. Please keep up the good work you do providing your services to those of us who enjoy the outdoors and adventure.”

SPOT devices are one way messengers which allow you to send your GPS location and pre-programmed message to your personal contacts or an Emergency Response Centre. Using 100% satellite technology, SPOT works virtually anywhere in the world, even where mobile phones don’t. If you are interested, please take a look at our website.

Polar Expedition Leader Alex Hibbert discusses his satellite communications set-up

Polar-LandscapeAlex-HibbertAlex 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.

“Just one example of GTC's 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.”

“Just one example of GTC’s 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.”

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.”

Alex uses the Iridium Extreme to keep in touch on his Polar expeditions

Alex uses the Iridium Extreme to keep in touch on his Polar expeditions

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

Iridium Push-to-Talk now available from Global Telesat Communications

Global Telesat Communications is pleased to have been approved by Iridium as an Authorized Iridium Push-to-Talk Reseller

Iridium’s Push-to-Talk (PTT) solution is the world’s first global, satellite-based push-to-talk service. It enables fast, simple, and global group communications at the push of a button, enabling instant communication between participants located anywhere on earth.

Iridium can deliver push-to-talk the way it was meant to be, without the expense and limitations of traditional ground-based towers and repeaters.

Iridium PTT Handset

Iridium PTT Handset

Iridium Push-to-Talk users will make a connection using the Iridium PTT Handset which facilitates global push-to-talk service as well as all the popular features of the Iridium 9575 Extreme satellite phone including voice, SMS, and GPS tracking via satellite.

The Iridium Extreme PTT has an IP65 rating which means it is dust proof, shock resistant and jet water resistant. It also offers military-grade 810F durability.

Iridium PTT Control Center

Iridium PTT Control Center

There are various airtime options for Iridium PTT depending on how many users and regions you need to use the system in.  PTT plans have just a one month minimum term and Monthly Fees start from $750 for 2 x PTT handsets operating within 100,000 km2.

See all PTT Airtime Options

Once the user has set-up their desired Talk Group Plan with GTC all Talk Group and Handset settings can be controlled directly by the user through the Iridium PTT Command Center.

Talk Groups

  • Have a Monthly Fee based upon the Size Limit
  • Can contain an unlimited number of handsets (there will be a separate monthly fee for each handset)
  • Can be set by the user in the Control Center in Circular or Rectangular areas or by using specific latitude / longitude coordinates in a list view
  • Can be split into up to 10 different coverage “regions”. There are no restrictions on where the coverage may be placed on the earth.

Handsets

  • Can be assigned to a maximum of 15 Talk Groups
  • Will be charged a single Monthly Fee for PTT
  • Standard Iridium Voice & Data services will require a separate contract

Iridium Push-To-Talk can only be purchased through an Authorized Reseller who has undertaken specific PTT Training.

Contact us on 01202 801290 to discuss Iridium Push-to-Talk (PTT) options to suit your requirements.

Product Update: Iridium Push-to-Talk

iridium-push-to-talk-banner-2-3-15

Iridium Extreme PTT Handset

Iridium Extreme PTT Handset

What is Iridium Push-to-Talk (PTT)?

Iridium Push-to-Talk (PTT) solution is the world’s first global, satellite-based push-to-talk service. It enables fast, simple, and global group communications at the push of a button, enabling instant communication between participants located anywhere on earth.

Iridium can deliver push-to-talk the way it was meant to be, without the expense and limitations of traditional ground-based towers and repeaters.

What does the Iridium Push-to-Talk system comprise of?

The solution includes the Iridium PTT service; the Iridium Command Center, the cloud-based management system where radios and talk groups are managed; and the Iridium PTT radios, including the Iridium Extreme® PTT (MSRP $1,599) and other devices powered by the Iridium PTT 9523 Core transceiver, which enables manufacturing partners to further expand the enterprise applications for Iridium PTT.

When using PTT , the handheld device gives your team access to unparalleled situation awareness and control features, including:

  • Automatic registration
  • Over-the-air talkgroup programming
  • PTT service status
  • Dynamic talkgroup selection and monitoring
  • Device talker ID
  • Device talker distance and bearing
  • Visual and audio talkgroup scan

PTTWho would use Iridium Push-to-Talk?

Iridium PTT is applicable in every corner of the globe in every industry. It goes above and beyond current satellite and terrestrial offerings, working globally, utilizing small and portable devices, through instant connections.

Test Your Satellite Phone: Iridium SatPhone Saves Arctic Worker’s Life!

TestIridium

Many of our customers use their satellite phones in remote and often dangerous locations making them essential lifelines if an emergency situation were to happen. It is vital to test your satellite phone regularly to ensure that you can reach out for help if you need to. It is so quick and easy to do and it really can save your life- Fredrik Granath can vouch for that!

Fredrik Granath is a leading expert on fieldwork and production of photography and film in the Polar Regions and he fully understands that proper preparation can be key to survival as he spends a lot of time in some of the most extreme conditions on the planet.

In May 2005 Fredrik was driving his snowmobile up a hill in Svalbard when the ground disappeared beneath him and he plunged into a 20 foot crevasse. He was left with a broken back and his left arm was crushed.

“I always keep the Iridium phone close, so I was able to call for help,” he explains. After a helicopter rescue operation, extensive surgery, and half a year of rehabilitation, Fredrik was able to return to the field. “In our work,” Fredrik concludes, ”having the life line of being able to call for help is absolutely necessary.”

Fredrik’s story is not unique and any of us could find ourselves in an emergency situation of some sort and so it is critical that you test your satellite phone regularly. Iridium have set up ‘Test Your Satellite Phone’ week to help ensure your satellite phones are in proper working order. For testing tips visit www.testyoursatellitephone.com or simply dial 00-1-480-752-5105 to get started. No data rates will apply.

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