The new Wideye iSavi by Addvalue is the first terminal approved for Inmarsat IsatHub service.  IsatHub is intended for consumer-grade users of satellite broadband.  It is easy to use.  The only cable is for charging.   To call, text or web surf, on your smart phone or tablet, you simply need an app.   Clearly, anyone traveling beyond the reach of conventional cellular service should consider the iSavi.  That said, Inmarsat has a much more powerful mobile broadband satellite service called Inmarsat BGAN.  We suggest that you take a little time to compare the iSavi to the EXPLORER 510.  It costs a little more but you get much higher performance.

Comparison of the new Inmarsat IsatHub service with Inmarsat BGAN:

Inmarsat IsatHub is a new consumer-grade Inmarsat service that offers voice, SMS and shared-bandwidth internet access as fast as 384 kbps.

It is intended as a low-cost alternative to Inmarsat BGAN service.  BGAN is an older Inmarsat service which provides internet access speeds up to 492 kbps as well as streaming IP data and ISDN services.

The chart below compares some Inmarsat IsatHub and Inmarsat BGAN service plans.    IsatHub clearly has lower monthly fee and lower per MB usage costs for internet access, but BGAN offers faster internet and a plethora of additional capabilities.  Prepaid BGAN is also available, and amazingly, for a customer expecting low usage but needing to retain a continuously active BGAN terminal, the prepaid option is by far the lowest cost -- even lower cost than IsatHub.

Compare iSavi and the EXPLORER 510:

We have carefully tested both the iSavi and the EXPLORER 510. The iSavi is slightly lighter and smaller than the EXPLORER 510, but the EXPLORER 510 has substantially faster internet access speeds especially for uploading data.  It is also better weatherized and can operate at much lower temperatures and for longer time periods on a single charge.

Recharging the iSavi requires external AC wall power, and no DC car charger accessory is currently available.  By comparison, the EXPLORER 510 can charge using either AC wall power or DC power sources between 10.5 VDC and 32 VDC.   The EXPLORER 510 has comparatively reduced power requirements for recharging suggesting that it is engineered with field use in mind.  One result of this is that solar panel charging solutions for the EXPLORER 510 can be relatively small and lightweight.

Our opinion is that the EXPLORER 510 in concert with an Inmarsat BGAN Prepaid Plan is the best and most economical overall broadband mobile satellite solution for most users.  Basically, anything the iSavi can do the EXPLORER 510 can do better.  We are confident that most users will eventually find the additional hardware cost for the EXPLORER 510 worth the investment.

* Prices, rates and other specifications were accurate as of November 2015 at the time this blog article was first published but are subject to change without notice in the future.  USF fees and other fees or taxes apply in addition to prices shown.   Rental costs shown do not include usage, shipping, USF fees, other fees and taxes that the customer will be charged.  This article tries to compare iSavi to the EXPLORER 510 but other comparisons are possible.