Frequent Users of Satellite Phones and Communication Devices

users satellite phones communication

Frequent Users of Satellite Phones and Communication Devices

At International Satellite Services Inc., we’re proud to offer a wide range of mobile satellite phone, satellite push-to-talk, and portable internet solutions for those who require them. From our Iridium networks to our range of Inmarsat BGAN devices and many others in between, we have all the latest technology when it comes to satellite communications.

There are several groups that regularly utilize satellite phones and similar technology, whether for personal or business-related purposes. Let’s go over some of the most common.

Business Travelers

Today’s modern economy is unquestionably a global one, with technology allowing us to connect to every corner of the world. This also extends to travel – the frequency of business sector travel to other countries and continents only continues to rise.

And while many are familiar with the challenges of communicating in other places based on language and culture barriers, fewer have go-to solutions when it comes to the actual logistics of long-distance communication. Even if you’re in a country without the internet and cell phone service capabilities of the US or another similar nation, knowing you have the ability to communicate to your home base is vital.

Other Travelers

Business travelers aren’t the only types who commonly use satellite communications, however. Those who travel regularly for personal reasons often have similar needs in terms of communicating with the outside world, whether it’s for unexpected events or emergency needs. While these are often good to have around just as a precaution, there are many situations where access to a satellite phone has actually saved lives or helped people be safer due to their ability to communicate from remote locations.


Many areas of the scientific world also involve significant travel and discovery, including to less accessible regions that are still being studied. Think about scientists who spend time studying the Amazon rainforest, for instance, or those in the Antarctic region still discovering new wildlife. Isolation is often vital for these kinds of research, but it’s also important to be able to communicate back to larger parts of civilization for several reasons.


Finally, another group that often needs to combine remote travel with access to worldwide communication is journalists, who travel all over the globe but have to be able to transmit information and perhaps even file stories from anywhere. Some journalists even experience unsafe environments or situations, in which case it’s vital to have a satellite device with emergency features.

Satellite communication devices are vital to anyone traveling off the grid in remote areas around the world where terrestrial communication solutions, like cell phones and traditional internet services, aren’t accessible.

For more on the varying groups who commonly utilize satellite phones and similar forms of communication, or to learn about any of our satellite technology, speak to the staff at International Satellite Services Inc. today.

Research Scientists look to the FB150 Marine Satellite System

ship using satillite system

Research Scientists look to the FB150 Marine Satellite System

FB150 High Speed Satellite Service a “Winner” in Research Vessel Trial

A FleetBroadband 150 (FB150) terminal, an Inmarsat 2009 entry in the marine satellite communications market, completed a successful three month trial aboard the New Zealand Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) vessel Kaharoa.

The FB150 is designed for coastal merchant, small leisure, fishing, and government vessels. Service provider Wright Satellite Connections approached NIWA about placing a Thrane & Thrane Sailor® FB 150 aboard for a test run.

NIWA expressed interest in a terminal that would allow communications from the Southern Indian Ocean and offer higher data rates than the ship’s existing Mini M terminal.

The ship’s heavy workload and three month voyage from New Zealand, across the Great Australian Bight, into the Southern Indian Ocean to Durban, South Africa, with return to New Zealand on an even more southerly route, provided a real test of the FB150 high speed satellite internet and satellite voice service. The trial was a success!

Kaharoa’s master, Simon Wadsworth said: “FleetBroadband is a winner. We were able to send and receive large emails, PDFs and so on with no problem - and it was super quick.”

The FleetBroadband 150 terminal allowed the crew to enjoy data exchanges of up to 150kbps – compared with the 2.4kbps possible using the Mini M.

The crew liked the FB150’s compact size and the portable satellite internet service turned out to be more economical for data transfer, resulting in considerable savings on the usual airtime bill. The terminal also saved on manpower as the Kaharoa was able to download weather forecasts directly. The crew was also impressed with the voice quality of the FB150 compared to their existing satellite terminals.

The service made such an impression that when the Kaharoa arrived back in Wellington after her three-month voyage, NIWA’s John Hadfield bought the trial FB150 unit so it could remain aboard.

More about the Kaharoa:

The Kaharoa is a 28-metre (92ft) “advanced floating research centre” with purpose-built trawl nets designed to catch targeted species of fish. It has an onboard laboratory for hydrology, chemistry and marine biology, and carries six crew and six scientists.

Inmarsat ISat Phone Pro

Inmarsat iSatPro

Inmarsat ISat Phone Pro

New Complete Specs on Inmarat’s IsatPhone Pro. This has everyone in the industry talking

This new global handheld satellite phone due out in June by Inmarsat (IsatPhone Pro) has a longer battery life, clearer voice quality and will be priced more competitively than the competition.

The above mentioned specs alone are enough to get everyone in the industry excited for the release of this new technology into the market.

Longer battery life

No other satellite phone battery on the market offers this much battery life - up to 8 hours of talk time and as much as 100 hours on standby.

The IsatPhone Pro is the most robust of it’s kind – splash, dust and shock resistant, with an Ingress Protection rating of IP54 capable of functioning in the most extreme temperatures from -20 degrees Celsius to 55 degrees Celsius

This is also the only handheld satellite phone to be Bluetooth supported and it can be placed on its side to allow for hands-free use. As far as features, the phone will have also have text and email messaging, voicemail and data location info available for users to look up or send in via text message

Inexpensive airtime…relative to the competition

The phone itself has an intuitive interface with a clear color screen, and large keypad for easy dialing.

The MSRP is $699, however promotions are expected to provide a more realistic end user price of $500-600. Retail airtime rates will be around $1 per minute.

Representative Helen Stalker of Inmarsat says the “IsatPhone Pro raises the bar in the handheld satellite phone market. This phone works in just about any condition, from tropical humidity to freezing blizzards to rain storms and dust storms.”

Because of the long battery life, users can rely on this phone when they're in the middle of nowhere and have no other way of communicating. This is a totally reliable global network connection with great voice quality that anyone will be able to use. Not to mention that all these great features come with an extremely affordable price

This phone will primarily target the government, oil and gas, media and mining and construction sectors.

Test Your Iridium Satellite Phone

Iridium 9555 phone

Test Your Iridium Satellite Phone

With Hurricance season upon us, International Satellite Services encourages you to test your Iridium Satellite phone to make sure it is in an operational status. If you own an Iridium satellite phone, just dial 00-1-480-752-5105 from your phone.

If your satellite phone is working, you will hear a recorded message, along with quick tips on proper usage of handset. If you discover your phone is not working properly, contact ISS at 888-511-3403. Iridium customers will not be charged for airtime when calling this number.

When an emergency situation arises, you need to be ready for the worst case scenario. If you test your satellite phone regularly, you can avoid potential problems.


-Test your phone monthly

-Keep the battery charge

For optimal performance, completely discharge before fully charging.

-Ensure SIM card is locked in place

-Remove the battery to check tray is securely positioned and locked.

Protect your phone's antenna

-Stow antenna in the 'down position' when not in use.

Call outside with a clear view

-Avoid obstructions to sky and horizon such as buildings and trees

Where has all the good satellite support gone?

smiling telemarketer

Where has all the good satellite support gone?

I hear it all the time from new customers, "I called several other companies but no one returned my call or the person we talked to at such and such company was rude and didn't seem to care about our needs," Although I appreciate the new business, it's a shame the inquiring "could be" customer, experienced such personal service lethargy and indifference from our competitors support team.

My question to all companies out there no matter the industry, "Why aren't you treating your customers or potential customers like you would a friend, with kindness, fairness and an overall willingness to help.

Although the Satellite Communications industry IS rocket science, treating customers and/or potential clientele like you expect to be treated is far from a difficult concept to grasp. Yet, so many businesses in the Sat Com world lose sight and fall short in the "quality" customer support department.

When it comes to satellite communication devices, there are hundreds of different places one could shop to find them. I tell people to keep in mind that anyone can sell you a satellite phone or satellite internet terminal at any price, however, when it comes to support after the purchase, will that same company be available to answer your questions? Does the company offer 24 hour customer support? Is the support offered user friendly or is it communicated in tough to understand "engineer speak" Do they care enough to treat your questions and/or concerns as the highest priority?

Because the products and services we provide often require support after the sale, it is so crucial the customer feel confident, should a technical issue arise, that a sincere, knowledgeable and down to earth technical consultant be availabe around the clock to address questions and concerns.

Quality customer support needs to be the focus of every company. We start with our currrent customer base and ask them how we can improve what we do. If we are always engaged with our customers, we never lose sight of what they need and how they want to be treated.

Whatever the business, if you truly care about the people interested in your products and services, you will come across like a trusted friend, someone they will WANT to continue to do business with. After all, what you put out in life and in business, you get back in spades.....more business, more friends !! What could be better?

Where’s your Satellite Phone?


Every year seems to bring the same propagana from researchers and the media reporting another bad hurricane season ahead. Whether this prophecy proves true is impossible to determine until the storms actually wreak havoc in our backyards. However, you can prepare for the worst of storms should this season mirror 2007. Remember how unreliable cellular communications were when Katrina hit?

International Satellite Services, Inc has prepared for this season by stocking a large inventory of Satellite Communication devices including the Iridium 9555 Handheld Satellite Phone. Also available mid July is the NEW Handheld Satellite Phone from Inmarsat…the ISat Phone Pro . Both of these phones provide global services, allowing users to make and receive calls regardless of location AND during emergency situations when terrestrial connectivity is not possible.

Perhaps it’s a good idea to also have a device that will access the internet when the terresrial network is down? The Wideye Sabre 1 BGAN Terminal is the perfect solution for browsing the web, sending/receiving emails and simultaneously making satellite voice calls… all in one terminal. The Wideye is equipped with a range of common interfaces, providing connectivity options in the field and the swiveled antenna facilitates rapid and easy pointing for a satellite connection. Combined with its sub-laptop size, the terminal is ideal for single users in an emergency situation who need to set up a complete mobile office in frequently changing locations.

I am fortunate to work in an industry that is on the cutting edge of satellite communications devices. Our products and services provide reliable communications during emergency situations when normal ways of communicating aren’t feasible. Whether this year proves to be a rough storm season or not, it’s a good idea to be prepared for the worst. Researching which satellite phone or internet device is right for you, is a step in the right direction. Call or email us today for a free consultation.

Cost Control Tips for BGAN


BGAN Cost Control tips and tricks:

BGAN is incredible satellite communications technology. For remote communications, simultaneous mobile satellite voice and satellite internet have never been this feasible and user friendly. All this being said, the terminal must be managed so as to avoid getting high usage bills which can deter future usage.

I have put together this post to maximize BGAN performance and control usage costs….no matter which terminal you happen to be using. These simple steps will go a long way to keep usage costs right where you expect they should be…with no surprises.
Ideally, these recommendations should be implemented prior to departure. Always make sure to set up and test your unit so you’re confident the unit will be plug and play once you need to use it.
In addition to the User Guide included with your system, our technical support gurus are available 24/7. We can assist you with your BGAN terminal set up, software installation, use of the product and we’ll answer any other questions or problems you may have. Call us at 1 888-511-3403 or 239-598-2241

To Maximize BGAN Performance

When using your BGAN terminal, you must have an open look to the sky, with no hindrances such as tall buildings, trees or mountains between the terminal and satellite. Clouds, fog, rain, snow, wind and smoke will not affect reception and call quality like with satellite TV….called rain fade.

Cost control

Please remember when you use BGAN, you are responsible for all data that is transmitted and received from your computer in 50KB increments. Theoretically, you could be billed for 50KB when you only use 10KB. It’s best not to log in repeatedly to send individual emails. The ideal option would be to save your emails as drafts then log on to send them all at one time. In some cases, you may be paying for activity you were not aware of. Below are some tips to help reduce unnecessary data transmissions and manage your satellite usage costs.

  1. Disable any automatic updates so you don’t pay for un-necessary information like Windows system updates, antivirus updates and more.
  2. Do not leave web pages open while you are working in other applications or while your computer is unattended. You will be charged when pages refresh.
  3. Minimize use of streaming media* or even better, disable multimedia options in your web browser. Video, music and voice applications use significant data.
  4. Use client-based email instead of webmail. Using webmail like Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo can be 10 to 20 times more expensive than Outlook, Eudora or Entourage.
  5. Enable WEPKEY for Wi-Fi networks. Specifically, the Hughes HNS 9201 and the Thrane & Thrane 700 have Wi-Fi enabled capability with no security. Other people may see your unprotected network and piggyback on and this can lead to very high unexpected usage. Please disable the Wi-Fi feature for extra protection. See the user guide for encryption standards.
  6. Minimize sending and downloading large files. Inlcludes photos and videos

BGAN Saves Lives

someone using BGAN

Philippines Search and Rescue Teams Aided by BGAN Satellite Communications

Lives were saved after Typhoon Conson struck the Philippines on July 13, 2010, in part due to BGAN mobile satellite communications. A BGAN-powered emergency telecoms kit donated a few months earlier by an Inmarsat-sponsored aid agency was used by the Philippines National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) to direct rescuers to areas most badly affected.

Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) is intended for mobile satellite communication users who need reliable broadband access when working in locations where telecoms networks are poor or non-existent. Reliable mobile satellite communications can be an excellent solution.

In the Philippines it was a life-saving solution. Power and land communications were lost in several regions due to severe flooding caused by the typhoon and at least 24,000 people were affected; 79 of them were killed. But it could have been worse.

Satellite Communications Proved Essential

The BGAN-powered emergency mobile communication kit deployed on July 14 enabled the regional disaster coordinating center to maintain contact with search and rescue teams working to find and assist survivors on one of the islands. Frederic Bragas, information and communications technology officer for the NDCC, who was trained to use the kit by Inmarsat-sponsored aid agency Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), also reported that over 200 emails of alerts, situation reports and weather bulletins were sent via BGAN in one single day.

The kit (one of ten donated) contains a satellite terminal, data transmitter to establish internet connections, IT equipment and a solar-based power box. BGAN offers simultaneous satellite voice and broadband data when both terrestrial phone and data networks are not available.

Reliable communications are essential, not only in emergency situations, but wherever traditional telecommunications are not a reliable option. The BGAN-powered mobile satellite communication system proved itself during Typhoon Conson.

Source: Inmarsat and International Satellite Services Inc.

Inmarsat Announces NEW Superfast Satellite Network

Inmarsat logo

Inmarsat Announces Global Xpress™ the Superfast Network Offering Speeds Up To 50Mbps

Much faster. Less expensive. High quality. These are some of the phrases being used to describe Inmarsat’s recently announced Global XpressTM service.

By 2014 Inmarsat customers will enjoy a unique global portable satellite internet solution designed to address the growing maritime, energy, and government sector markets for VSAT services, as well as evolving markets such as the aeronautical sector.

Inmarsat has announced a deal with Boeing to acquire three 702HP Ka-band satellites to provide its new Ka-band global, high-capacity satellite services. The satellites will make up the new Inmarsat-5 (I-5) constellation that will enable the company to deliver its unique new service offering. The Inmarsat-5s will support a next generation global broadband service, called Global Xpress™, which will target a US$1.4 billion incremental market for VSAT services.

Chairman and chief executive of Inmarsat Andrew Sukawaty said:

… we will be the first operator to offer global broadband coverage, offering unparalleled speeds and bandwidth to customers in remote locations around the world.

Global Xpress will be faster and less expensive than current Ku-band market offerings, it will be delivered to smaller and cheaper terminals and be the first offered on a seamless, global, end-to-end basis with high-quality of service. Picture 50Mpbs services to a ship or aircraft, and 10Mpbs to an antenna the size of an iPad (20cm).

The Inmarsat-5s will also complement our existing global L-band services, allowing us to offer unique hybrid packages using both networks, giving users unprecedented levels of resilience and reliability in remote and harsh environments.

Boeing reports that each Inmarsat-5 satellite will carry 89 Ka-band beams that will operate in geosynchronous orbit with flexible global coverage. When operational, the I-5 satellites will provide a comprehensive range of services, including mobile broadband communications for deep-sea vessels, in-flight connectivity for airline passengers, and streaming high-resolution video, voice and data.

Boeing also has agreed to enter into a distribution partnership with Inmarsat and has committed to capacity purchases representing more than 10 per cent of Inmarsat’s target Ka-band revenues in the first five years after launch.

Inmarsat estimates the total cost of the I-5s and Global Xpress will be US$1.2 billion over four and a half years, incorporating the fixed cost of the satellites, as well as the cost of additional ground network infrastructure, product development, launch services and insurance. The company is targeting US$500 million of annual Ka-band revenues five years after global service is launched.

Thrane BGAN Explorer 325

Thrane hardware

Explorer 325: Smaller, lighter BGAN terminal for Vehicular Use Offers Low-Cost Option

The BGAN Explorer 325 is an entry-level portable satellite internet and voice terminal in the satellite communications-on-the-move market, one of the most rapidly-expanding markets in recent years due to the demand for constant access to communications regardless of location and situation.

The new Thrane & Thrane BGAN terminal has received Inmarsat Type Approval, and offers low cost of entry compared to other BGAN options in the on-the-move market. It’s designed to meet the needs of organizations and teams with limited budgets, while still offering a high level of performance in both data and voice.

For example, an Explorer 325 terminal is accompanying two Danish explorers on the first ever around the world electric car expedition, “Charge to Change”, which departed Copenhagen July 25, 2010 on its ten month journey. With the Explorer 325 the expedition will have global voice communication and broadband internet via satellite, enabling them to deliver photos and footage, maintain a blog, and communicate by voice and email with friends and family anywhere along the trip.

Traditional COTM markets include military, media and humanitarian organizations. Now more price-sensitive users that also need satellite communications on-the-move service, like transportation, utilities, rapid response and paramedic teams, can also enjoy a cost-effective solution to their mobile broadband connectivity needs.

The Explorer 325 BGAN terminal consists of three fully-integrated units: a transceiver, an IP handset and an auto-tracking and maintenance-free antenna with magnetic roof mounts. It’s really easy to install – just set the antenna on the roof of your vehicle and connect it to the transceiver for instant, global communications on-the-move.

The terminal offers a range of services:

* Standard IP up to 384kbps. This works well, for example, for long-haul trucks staying in contact with their suppliers who, in turn, can keep a watchful eye on their precious cargo. Also for rapid response teams who need to send photographs of disaster zones, to help with assessment of deteriorating situations.

* Streaming data at 32, 64 and 128kbps – suitable for paramedics sending continuous vital signs back to a medical centre while still on the move and for disaster recovery teams streaming video and interviews to the media.

* Voice services. Offering one cross-border roaming rate, international rail services can provide a single, reliable service independent of specific country networks. First responders also have access to independent, reliable communications while restoring an area hit by natural disaster.

It works down to a 5 degree elevation – whether stationary or moving at speed. Inmarsat’s efficient spot-beam handover allows it to operate seamlessly over long distances without losing voice or data connections. It’s also able to withstand some degree of outage thanks to Inmarsat’s clever blockage-recovery algorithm. And the Explorer 325 even tolerates going under bridges and behind buildings and trees without loss of connectivity.