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 Phones are Essential Survival Equipment



Even in today's urbanized world, nature is vast and beautiful. We've written many times before about stunning natural vacation destinations around the globe, where anyone wanting to get away from civilization can experience boundless adventure.

From the Polar Regions to rainforests to deserts, there's always something new to see, and it could take a lifetime to see everything Earth has to offer.We've also emphasized in the past how important it is that you can call for help if you need it for beginners experienced world travelers. The untamed wilderness has different standards than day-to-day life, and it's easy to underestimate your level of preparedness when you plan to travel into the unknown. You can be in fantastic physical shape, be fully stocked up on supplies, and even be quite familiar with the wilderness in which you want to travel, but most people are so used to life being a certain way that we're bound to forget how different the situation is when you're far from home. Small errors in judgment are one thing when you're in town, but their effects can be magnified a thousand-fold when you're out in the wild.
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Viewing the Solar Eclipse

Viewing the Solar Eclipse

Viewing the Solar Eclipse


On August 21, 2017, a rare phenomenon will occur - the moon will pass in front of the sun for a total solar eclipse, perfectly viewable in totality by a large swath of the pacific northwest through the planes into Tennessee and South Carolina.  The United States has not seen a total solar eclipse since 1979.
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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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Are Satellite Communications Possible Indoors?

Are Satellite Communications Possible Indoors?

Are Satellite Communications Possible Indoors?

 

You may hear that satellite phones cannot be used indoors. It is true that satellite phones rely on a clear view of the sky, as they require line-of-sight to a satellite on their network in order to have a signal. Not even using one next to a window will be effective. So, what if you can't necessarily be outside? Maybe you need to use a satellite phone while inside your car, boat, or aircraft. For the purposes of satellite phone functionality, these all count as "indoors" and have a negative effect on your ability to get a signal. So what do you do? Are you out of luck?

The simple answer is no. You can get around the need to use the satellite phone strictly outdoors by installing an antenna on the outside of your vehicle or building. Outfitter Satellite carries the equipment you need for this purpose.

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Countries with Satellite Phone Restrictions

Countries with Satellite Phone Restrictions

Countries with Satellite Phone Restrictions 

Whether you're a frequent world traveler or planning your first vacation to another country, it's important to know the laws of the land where you'll be visiting.  Failure to educate yourself could result in consequences ranging from confiscation of restricted items, fines, arrest and detainment.  

Satellite phones are an excellent investment for world travelers, but certain countries restrict their usage in various ways or ban them entirely.  Even if a country has ceased restrictions on satellite phones and now allows them, it can be helpful to know that a restriction was once in place, as local authorities may not know that the law has been overturned.

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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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Should you rent Iridium or BGAN?

Most people rent Iridium satellite phones for a one-time need such as a hunting or vacation trip.  A satellite phone is especially relevant if you are traveling to a remote location like Alaska where cellular communication is unavailable.  Sometimes, it can be critical to make a phone call because of a health emergency.  Usually an Iridium 9555 handset is the best choice.  First, it is exceptionally easy to use.   Also, rentals as short as 7 days are available with no airtime commitment.  Some people need a more sophisticated product that can support email or web browsing.  In this case, we recommend the EXPLORER 510 BGAN terminal.  Read more here.


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