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!

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.