Highlighting The Benefits Of The Inmarsat IsatPhone

Highlighting The Benefits Of The Inmarsat IsatPhone

Whether you are looking for new or used IsatPhones, we offer both with your choice of accessories like solar panels, batteries, docking stations, along with warranties to protect your investment. Learn more about and shop our Inmarsat phones today!
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Satellite Phone Rentals

Satellite Phone Rentals

Satellite Phone Rentals for the Budget-Minded Traveler

It's an unpredictable world out there, and can be very dangerous even for the most seasoned adventurer. If your travels take you away from civilization and cellular service, a satellite phone could save your life. Outfitter Satellite offers satellite phone rentals at a daily rate, so you can have this vital method of communication when you need it. All our rentals include accessories like cases, charging systems, extra batteries, and everything else you need to keep going.

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The Florida Everglades: a Unique Wilderness Destination

The Florida Everglades: a Unique Wilderness Destination

The Florida Everglades: a Unique Wilderness Destination

 

Have you ever wanted to visit a place that can't be found anywhere else on Earth? Try the Florida Everglades! This unique subtropical wetlands environment is unlike any other, and comprises mangrove forests, sawgrass prairies, hardwood hammocks, cypress forests, marine estuaries, and more. The Everglades extends over one and a half million acres and is the largest wilderness area to be found east of the Mississippi River.

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4 Incredible Places for Summer Wilderness Adventures

4 Incredible Places for Summer Wilderness Adventures

4 Incredible Places for Summer Wilderness Adventures

Summertime is a prime time of the year to get out and enjoy nature. It's especially true if you live somewhere with harsh winters. Being cooped up in your home for the whole season can have you going stir crazy! Fortunately, for the summer wilderness explorer, there are tons of incredible places around the world where you can go to experience nature in all its glory. Many locations offer guided tours and expeditions that will help you by supplying gear and knowledgeable guides to help you have fun and stay safe.

If you're looking to get out into the wild this summer, here are some suggestions of beautiful places to get away from civilization, and the satellite phone networks to rely on in each one.

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Important Firmware Upgrades for Iridium and IsatPhone Handsets

**IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR IRIDIUM DEVICES- April 25, 2019 - There is now updated firmware beyond what is posted below for the Iridium 955, 9575, and 9575 Push-to-Talk.  See the new article for those devices here - https://www.outfittersatellite.com/iridium-firmware-04-2019.htm

Keeping up-to-date firmware on electronic devices is crucial for functionality and ease of use.  Recently, both Iridium and Inmarsat have released firmware upgrades for many of their handset models.  While some of these upgrades are optional, we recommend moving to the latest firmware to ensure your device functions as the manufacturer intends.  See below for your model of phone and exactly what you need to do to keep up-to-date.

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Satellite Phone Brand and Network Comparison

Satellite Phone Brand and Network Comparison

Satellite Phone Brand and Network Comparison


When purchasing a satellite phone, you have some very important details to consider. The process is more complex than buying a regular cellular phone, because not only do you have handset features to compare to one another, you must also be mindful of the differences between each carrier’s satellite network. Coverage area, call quality, and reliability is all dependent on the satellite network utilized by a given provider. You cannot make an informed decision about purchasing or renting a satellite phone without this knowledge.


Our buyer’s guide goes into more detail, but here is a quick summary of satellite phone providers and their coverage areas, plus a few strengths and weaknesses of each one.

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Gifts for the Adventurer

Finding gifts for the adventurer in your life present a unique set of challenges. Perhaps they love to go on long, far away hikes; or they are hunting in a remote wooded area; or they are setting out to sail on the open ocean. With some careful thought and preparation, acquiring the perfect gift for an adventurer is not only possible, but easy. Consider the following items when purchasing for an active traveler.

Outerwear and Footwear

Perhaps the easiest category to begin for the adventurer is outerwear. Consider the list below when choosing outerwear for an active individual:

  • Materials: Choose synthetic materials for their ability to wick away moisture rather than trap it like cotton materials
  • Pants or Shorts: While shorts are cooler and give mobility, pants offer warmth for changing climates in altitude changes and also provide protection from allergenic plants and low-to-ground vegetation.
  • Footwear: Boots provide extra strength to the ankles. Consider leather for its superior moisture wicking properties; also Goretex lining for cold or wet climates to keep feet dry
  • Rain Gear: A waterproof and breathable rain jacket is always a good option; also consider a poncho to be kept compactly packed and deployed when needed
  • Hats: Reducing glare and facial sunburns is simply by using a wide-rimmed hat made of a breathable material

Kit

  • Sunglasses: Eye protection from UV and low hanging vegetation is an important safety consideration but can also add a fun fashion statement
  • First Aid Kit: Having necessary supplies for an emergency could be a life-saving addition for any traveler
  • Waterproof container: A waterproof bag, especially for matches and or cell phones will keep necessary dry things dry in the event of inclement weather
  • Multi-tool: Whether its sawing a small branch or tightening a screw, a multi tool provides a great small addition with multitasking in mind
  • Trekking Pole: A quality trekking pole provides stability on rough terrain
  • Binoculars: Whether taking in vast mountain landscapes or watching whales from the side of a boat, binoculars bring the far away closer for enjoyment and safety

Technology

  • Helmet Cam: Sailors, hikers, and hunter alike can catch the perfect shot with a helmet- or headband-mounted, fish-eye camera like a GoPro
  • Multifunction watch: From compass features to timers, a multifunction watch is a compact tool with many uses
  • Multipurpose Bio Camp Stove:
  • A camp stove would seem like a one-purpose device; however, now multipurpose camp stoves can provide heat for cooking and convert power to charge USB devices

  • Satellite Phone: While away from cell towers, a satellite phone can provide an important safety net as well as provide an ability to keep in contact with friends and family through calls, texts, and emails

Outfitter Satellite has numerous options for satellite phones when gift giving this holiday season. Fantastic deals on the used Iridium 9505A, 9555, GO!, and Inmarsat Isatphone 2 with service activation can be a great idea for the off-the-beaten-path adventurer.

After these considerations, finding gifts for the adventurer, hiker, sailor, or hunter is easy and thoughtful. Any one of these gifts are a cool addition to any gift list, especially for the active traveler.

#NoCellService

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Why You Should Bring a Satellite Phone Out to Sea

Why You Should Bring a Satellite Phone Out to Sea

Why You Should Bring a Satellite Phone Out to Sea 

It takes only a passing familiarity with boats to know about radar and marine radios, and we've all seen both in television and movies. They've become constant in people's minds when they think of traveling over water.  However, because of these assumptions, people underestimate the utility of satellite phones on a seafaring voyage. Having a satellite phone can save your life, even when your vessel is equipped with other electronics, and at the very least it can help you keep in touch much more easily while away from land.

 

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Satellite Phone Choice - Which One?

When leaving on your next trek into the outer reaches, satellite phone choice is as important as bringing the right footwear or clothing. Depending on where your trip will take you, Iridium and Inmarsat possess definite strengths and a few challenges that will make the choice relatively painless.

A World of Difference

Iridium carries the distinction of being a truly “global” phone. An Iridium phone will function at any location on the planet. Use of their low-earth orbit constellation of 66 satellites makes this possible. Those satellites are in constant motion overhead, completing an orbit around the earth in about 90 minutes. For end users, that means that a satellite passes overhead from horizon to horizon rather quickly. And while it passes overhead, a satellite phone can lock on to place a call. This has the advantage of being able to be used even in partial obstruction.

Inmarsat utilizes 3 geostationary satellites in high equatorial orbit. Their essentially motionless satellites afford the end user long connection times without dropped calls. The Isatphone 2, Inmarsat’s primary handset, also registers to the network very quickly. The geostationary system, however, necessitates a line-of-site to the satellite to be used. This means, you must be below (in the north) or above (in the south) the 50 latitude line or the curvature of the earth will obstruct the signal.

Location, Location, Location

Where you will be traveling heavily influences satellite phone choice. Consider the following factors:

  • Tall mountains or deep canyons: large, natural obstructions can block equatorial views; choose Iridium
  • Canada, Alaska, northern Europe or Asia, Polls: above or below the 50 latitude line causes curvature of the earth obstruction; choose Iridium.
  • Open ocean: clear, unobstructed views; choose Inmarsat.
  • Geographic location close to the equator: angle to satellite nearly directly overhead; choose Inmarsat.

Pros and Cons

Basic functionality of both Iridium handsets and Inmarsat’s Isatphones are the same. All Iridium handsets from the 9505A to the current 9575 Extreme as well as the Isatphone Pro and Isatphone 2 have SMS texting abilities and low speed data transfer. The 9575 Extreme and Isatphone 2 also have GPS tracking abilities with programable emergency buttons. However, the similarities end here.

The Isatphone 2 offers superior call quality and call length to the Iridium. So if long, clear connection times are needed, the Isatphone 2 is the obvious choice. Also, airtime options for the Isatphone 2 are more economical than their Iridium counterparts. If, however, there is concern for possible terrestrial obstruction for an emergency situation, then the Iridium, with its ability to register and make calls even with partial obstruction, is the choice to make. Iridium also offers the GO! wi-fi hotspot which allows the pairing of a smart device as the conduit for a satellite device. This enables calls, easier SMS texting and even text-based email.

Outfitter Satellite provides new and used purchase options for the Iridium 9505A, 9555, GO!, 9575 Extreme (with service) as well as the Isatphone Pro, and Isatphone 2 (with service).  If your trip is shorter in duration, or if you don’t want to have to maintain equipment, rental options for the Iridium 9555, GO! and Isatphone 2 present an attractive alternative to purchase.

Satellite phone choice, either purchasing new or used, or renting, is easy when making an informed decision.  Knowing your terrain, location, and how you want to use the device are all factors in making the right pick.

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Is your satellite phone tracked?

Is your satellite phone tracked?

If you're concerned about someone secretly monitoring your location through your satellite phone, we can't help you.  We can tell you how to deliberately share your location with friends and associates through your satellite phone.  In fact, many of our clients want to be tracked, for safety reasons, while they are hiking or hunting in remote locations.  Many newer satellite phone models support automatic location sharing including the Inmarsat IsatPhone PRO, Inmarsat IsatPhone 2, Iridium 9575 EXTREME, and Iridium GO! HotSpot.

If you have a vehicle or boat that you want to be tracked through your satellite phone, tracking features are also built into some satellite phone docking stations.

We recently did a blog post on how to have your Iridium 9575 Extreme satellite phone tracked.  The current post explains explains location sharing on another popular satellite phone, the Inmarsat IsatPhone 2.

The user of the IsatPhone 2 can control who receives the tracking reports being sent from their phone and how often the reports are sent.  The user can also start or discontinue the tracking reports by touching a tracking button on the side of the IsatPhone 2.  In order for location sharing to work, the IsatPhone 2 needs to be registered on the Inmarsat network.  This is the reason that the IsatPhone 2 belt holster is designed to hold its antenna in an upward orientation even while it's holstered.  This allows the IsatPhone 2 to stay registered even while you walk along the trail.

Here are the steps:

The first step is to create a contact in the IsatPhone 2 address book for the person that will be receiving the GPS location reports.

  1. From the IsatPhone 2 home screen, press the Contacts soft key : Phonebook : Options : New contact.
  2. Enter a first and last name and a phone number.  Phone numbers must be in international format.  So for example, to enter a contact for Outfitter Satellite's main phone number, you would enter 00-1-615-889-8833, where 00 is the dialing prefix and 1 is the country code of the United States.  
  3. Press Options : Save and the new entry is in your phonebook.
  4. To enter an email address, select a phonebook entry, press Options : Edit : Options : Add detail.

The next step is to set up a “tracking” contact in your phonebook.  From the home screen, press the Menu : Location Services : Tracking : Configure Tracking : Option : Add from contacts : Text Message.  

  1. Select the contact from your phonebook to whom you want tracking reports sent.
  2. Now press Back : Edit interval.  Select a time interval for GPS reports.
  3. Finally, press the Back soft key and Tracking status : Enable.

Now, enable or disable the stream of GPS location reports from your IsatPhone 2 by clicking the Tracking Button.  This is the button with an arrow head symbol located on the right side of the phone.  When the tracking feature is engaged the Tracking Indicator LED on the front screen of the Isatphone 2 will light up.

Cost Considerations

Each GPS location report that is sent from your IsatPhone 2 is counted as an outbound SMS message.  So you pay for GPS location reports as usage.   Using a short time interval between tracking reports like 5 minutes will result in increased SMS messaging costs.   Most people select 30 minutes.  This means that you would send about 16 reports during an 8 hour day of hiking or hunting.  So, on most service plans this might cost you around $8 per day. That is a pretty small price if you go missing in the woods.  When your friends and family start looking for you, the density of reports will be high enough that your last location report should be fairly close to your actual position.

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