Your Frequently Asked Satellite Push-to-Talk Questions – Answered!

How does a PTT satellite phone work?

Satellite push to talk has become more accessible and more popular to people over time. Yet, because this technology is fairly new as compared to cellular and smartphones, we hear many questions about satellite PPT systems and what they can do.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about satellite PTT, so you can better understand why it can be a boon to both your business and your everyday life.

What is Push to Talk?

Push to talk (PTT) is a service where a low profile, portable or fixed device is used to communicate between different satellite radios in the same group. This group, often referred to as the “Talk Group,” is defined through a simple map interface that allows you to define a space in the group for communication.

Is PTT Easy to Use?

You may think that accessing satellites for communications across the globe is difficult, but the truth is that this technology is very simple to use. After a Talk Group has been defined, you simply push a button and speak into the handset. Everyone in your Talk Group will hear you in seconds.

Does PTT Allow You to Communicate Anywhere?

Depending on the PTT solution, the service is 100 percent global. If the North Pole is in your Talk Group, then you could talk to Santa…theoretically of course. The global coverage provided by satellite push to talk allows you to create Talk Groups anywhere on the planet in an instant.

Can Anyone Buy a Satellite Push to Talk?

Yes, anyone can buy satellite PTT technology. In fact, many hunters, hikers, offroad racing teams and emergency responders use this technology to stay in contact with their respective groups or as a part of their safety plan when they travel into places where regular phone service simply isn’t available. There are also a variety of plans that fit practically any budget and need, from a few people who need to stay in communication to large groups or teams.

Why You Should Consider Satellite PTT?

You may be wondering how satellite PTT can be of use in your life, but the truth is there are so many applications for this type of technology. If you plan to travel, you simply want to be prepared for an emergency or natural disaster, or you spend a lot of time out in the remote wilderness for work or play, then satellite PTT is a technology that can be of great use to you.

Not to mention, satellite PTT technology is reliable, working even when cell phones will not. They cover the globe, can automatically transmit your location, and can be used to contact help in case of an emergency.

Would you like to learn more about how a PTT satellite system might benefit you? Contact ISS today and one of our friendly, helpful team can answer any questions you might have.

Is Your Smartphone a Satellite Phone?

PTT and satellite phone systems sales

Most people use smartphones today. They allow us to be connected to others almost anywhere in the world — almost. Despite their impressive reach, there are still many places smartphones can’t go – and that’s where push-to-talk satellite phones come into play.

If you want to explore the differences between smartphones and satellite phones more in-depth, then read on to learn more about the differences between each and how a push-to-talk satellite phone can fill the void your smartphone leaves behind.

How Powerful Is Your Global Network?

While your smartphone provider may have an extensive network for you to take advantage of to make calls and send text messages, these networks are limited. The way that smartphones transmit signals is different than the way that satellite phones connect which, in addition to reach, is the one of the most significant differences between the two.

A smartphone transmits signals via land-based towers. When you are in a given area, your phone picks up a signal from the nearest tower in your network. When you move to a different location, you may get a signal from a different, closer tower. If there’s no nearby tower, then you may experience issues such as dropped calls or, worse, no service at all.

A satellite phone connects in a completely different manner. Sat communications devices rely on signals from satellites rather than towers. These signals are transmitted far above the earth to even the most remote areas, which makes satellite phones — including push-to-talk satellite phones — more useful if you plan to travel to remote areas or spend time on open water.

Sat Phone Functionality Matters

You may think that, when it comes to the functionality of a phone, smartphones have the advantage – but that’s simply not the case. A satellite phone has been designed specially to allow you to make and receive voice and text communications from the most remote locations.

Satellite phones are invaluable in emergencies, too. That’s why you see them being utilized by state and local governments around the world, as sat communications can be used during power outages and other emergencies that tend to knock out smartphone reception.

Do You Need a Satellite Phone?

The truth is that, for everyday situations, your smartphone probably suits your needs just fine. But there are situations where having a satellite phone is preferable or even imperative.

If you plan to travel, you need a way to connect in case of an emergency. If you spend a lot of time on the water, then a satellite phone is a powerful resource that you may want to take advantage of.

Getting the right phone is crucial to ensuring you can stay connected. So why not consider a handheld satellite phone today? The experts at International Satellite Services can help you stay connected wherever your travels take you. Contact us today to talk to one of our friendly, helpful sat phone specialists.

Iridium PTT: Protecting African Wildlife and Communities

Iridium PTT Satellite Phone Systems

When people think of push-to-talk (PTT) services, they think about the value it can add to their businesses or their recreation time. What many people may not realize is the way that amazing products like Iridium Push-To-Talk can have an impact on the safety of ecosystems and communities.

The National Reserve in Kenya utilized Iridium PTT services and it has helped them to manage situations that are complicated and dangerous in their line of work. Here’s a little about this amazing project that shows the wonders that Iridium PTT has brought to Kenya and the world.

The Challenges Faced by Wildlife Protectors in Kenya

In Kenya, the South Rift Association of Landowners, or SORALO, is a Maasai-owned collective of ranches that span over 3,800 square miles. For the East African and Maasai indigenous peoples of the Nile Valley, SORALO works to maintain their traditional pastoral lifestyle in the reserve and to safeguard the free movement of wildlife and people within.

In Kenya, SORALO is of the utmost importance since the government-run parks there cover only about eight percent of the territory. This area is simply too small to sustain the wide-ranging populations of wildlife in the country.

Rangers for SORALO, as well as the local Maasai tribes, often have difficulty communicating with each other over outdated cell networks. The network simply cannot sustain the vast territory they are trying to serve. Pair that with the fact that rangers require real-time communications and secure channels to do their job as effectively as possible and you can see why their old networks simply weren’tgetting the job done.

The Value of PTT Satellite Communications Solutions

To address these challenges, SORALO decided it was time to test the Iridium Push to talk. They brought Iridium PTT technology in as a solution to the communication problems faced over this vast territory. Several Iridium Extreme PTT units were purchased to replace their analog radio network and to serve as the cornerstone of their new communications system. The team created a central operations hub to help coordinate security and deployment and set up a monitoring framework with an app designed to deploy patrol units that are monitored from this central hub.

The result of all this hard work is a wide-reaching and secure network that allows for instant communication from the central hub across the territory.

What Impact Has Iridium PPT Technology Had?

The Maasai rangers involved with SORALO today use Iridium PTT to communicate reliably and quickly. They are now able to more effectively monitor the wildlife and people across the territory, communicating with and tracking the movements of wildlife as well as livestock herders. This allows them to help local herders find safe places for livestock to graze.

The results benefit everyone by providing the ability to communicate and track the wildlifemore accurately and in real-time.

Nature and humans will always compete for the resources of any area, but Iridium PTT technology has made it easier for SORALO to try to keep things as harmonious and safe as possible across their territory.

International Satellite Services is proud to offer Iridium satellite communications systems for our customers. Although you might not need to herd or track wildlife across African preserves, you deserve to have the most reliable, affordable mobile satellite services available today.

Contact us to learn more about our comprehensive selection of push-to-talk satellite solutions now.

Is Inmarsat Fleet One Marine Satellite Internet Right for You?

What is the best marine satellite phone and internet service

If you spend a lot of time on your leisure yacht or fishing boat, then you might be interesting to learn more about Fleet One marine satellite service from the Inmarsat Satellite Network.

Fleet One is a unique satellite internet service that is tailored to smaller vessels to help provide them with dependable broadband data and voice. Plus, it comes with an easy-to-use and easy-to-install antenna, making it a great choice for many vessels.

Here are just a few of the benefits offered by Fleet One, to help you decide if it’s time to add this convenient and affordable service to your yacht or boat.

How Inmarsat’s Fleet One Works

Fleet One has a small terminal that is easily and quickly installed to enable connectively to a global broadband satellite network. It provides voice and data connectivity robustly, something that was previously only available for larger vessels. This provides fishing boats and yachts with access to reliable technology and SOS safety services, giving you peace of mind as you enjoy life on the open ocean.

You can also access weather information, chart updates, or simply check in on the news with Fleet One.

Key Features of Fleet One

This compact terminal delivers SMS, a single voice line, and data connectivity specifically for smaller vessels. Some of the features of Fleet One include:

  • Simultaneous SMS texting and phone
  • Simultaneous IP data and voice
  • Uninterrupted access to the internet for updated navigation and weather reports, plus anything else you want to connect to
  • 505 emergency calling
  • Wi-fi connectivity for tablets and smartphones
  • Global coverage or coastal coverage – you decide!

Fleet One Coastal Coverage

Small vessels such as fishing boats and small yachts spend a lot of time in coastal waters. With Fleet One coastal, you can choose a plan that offers data and voice for your seasonal needs. Coastal was designed to meet the needs of near-shore fishermen and pleasure vessels, offering 100 kbps in coastal areas around the world.

Fleet One Global

Fleet One global now brings global data service to any vessel, no matter how small. It provides access to global data and voice that will work no matter where you sail in the world. The global plan has no restrictions on vessel size or type, so it can be used in a variety of capacities on a range of vessels.

Trust ISS for Your Inmarsat Satellite Service

Fleet One, with its minimal weight and compact size, is an innovation in satellite communications technology. The installation is quick and easy, allowing for simple connections to be made between the belowdecks unit and the compact antenna. It’s easy to use and affordable, too, with plans that can suit any budget to meet your specific needs.

With Fleet One, you can enjoy more time on your boat knowing that you can stay connected no matter where you are. If you would like to learn more marine satellite internet or other mobile satellite services, contact International Satellite Services today.

Who Can Benefit from Satellite Push to Talk Radio?

Could I benefit from a push to talk system

Satellite push to talk allow you to talk to anyone, anywhere. It’s like having your own personal radio tower that allows you to call anywhere between the equator to the North Pole. Now imagine putting that power of satellite push to talk radio into the hands of your private network, allowing your employees to communicate from anywhere in the field.

There are so many industries that can benefit from satellite push to talk radio. Is yours one of them? Read on to find out the four industries that can benefit the most from harnessing the power of this type of communication.

Utility Companies

Utility workers must be able to stay connected with their dispatch center no matter what.

They also need to have clear communication with dispatch to let them know when utilities may be down in certain areas for service or when utilities can be brought back up after a storm or other natural disaster. Satellite push to talk radio systems can help to ensure that that communication can be maintained no matter where they are or the conditions, they’re in.

Forestry

Those who work in forestry are used to being in remote locations where cell signals simply aren’t available. Satellite push to talk radio allows workers to communicate with each other and their teams from the farthest reaches of the wilderness. They can also contact their main offices for updates and to get help when they need it.

Law Enforcement

There are few fields where communication is a life or death matter, but law enforcement is one of them. Officers must be able to communicate clearly with one another without interference. Although traditional radio communication is used in many places for law enforcement, satellite radio allows for more privacy in communication and can work in places more traditional phone or radio services cannot.

Public Safety

Organizations that must coordinate and respond to disasters can benefit greatly from the use of satellite push to talk radio. Public safety organizations in places that experience natural disasters such as hurricanes must be able to communicate with first responders and each other. Using push to talk radio allows public safety divisions to work together on one signal to make sure efforts are in coordination with one another – something essential in places where it’s not uncommon for cell service to be down in the event of an emergency.

Push to talk satellite radios, such as the Iridium portable push to talk radio and the MSAT-G2 push to talk radio offered by International Satellite Services, are a terrific way to ensure communication is possible no matter where you are. In industries such as the ones discussed above, where good communication is integral to getting the job done right, you simply can’t go wrong with push to talk satellite radio. If you’re interested in learning more, contact the experts at ISS today.

Do Sat Phones Work Anywhere In the World?

Can I use a sat phone anywhere in the world?

Since sat phones do not rely on any ground-based technology to receive a signal, theoretically they should work from anywhere on Earth – right?

Although these marvels of modern technology do work virtually anywhere, there are some locations where you might not be able to use your sat phone or satellite push-to-talk system.

Locations Where Satellite Communications Might Not Get Signal

Although there aren’t many places where a satellite signal won’t reach, those locations do exist.

Some of the world’s deepest caves – like the Krubera Cave in the country of Georgia – can prevent signal from getting through. Some locations in South America, India,  and New Guinea intentionally block all communications signals to protect uncontacted indigenous peoples who live there. Finally, certain depths of the world’s oceans won’t allow a signal to penetrate.

We are probably safe in assuming that few sat technology users will ever encounter any of those locations. However, there some more common areas that you might find yourself without signal. Sometimes a tall building or really substantial tree could block your connection with the satellite, but solving that problem is as simple as moving a few feet one direction or another.

Locations Where Sat Phones Are Not Allowed

Some countries have restrictions on the use of satellite communication technology. Others ban sat phones completely.

China is among the most notable locations where you are not legally able to even possess a sat phone, let alone use one. China also frowns on GPS devices and blocks access to many portions of the internet.

In Cuba, you may be able to have and use a satellite communications device but you need to obtain a permit from the country’s Ministry of Informatics and Communication. You must also obtain approval to possess or use one in Russia. You can be arrested and put in jail for having one in North Korea, Bangladesh, Libya, and Chad. In India, you could be arrested if you have a device that uses any network other than Inmarsat.

The list of countries where you might not be able to use your device changes frequently, as ruling parties and regimes change. Some countries that have undergone recent changes in their communications laws include Myanmar, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Sudan. Before you travel to any international destination, it’s a good idea to look into that country’s laws and regulations on communications devices.

Do All Satellite Networks Have the Same Coverage?

The last factor that might affect where you can and can’t use your sat device is your network. Not all networks offer the same range of access. The right network for you depends on where you plan to use your device most often.

The Iridium network has virtually complete coverage around the world. Inmarsat is a close second, with spotty coverage in polar locations. Ligado is mainly limited to the North American region.

The International Satellite Services Inc. team of experts has an exhaustive knowledge of satellite phones, push-to-talk systems and networks. We can recommend the best equipment, network and plan to meet your needs, wherever you need to stay connected. Contact us today to learn more about sat phones and the power of satellite communication technology.

Top 3 Reasons You Need a Satellite Phone Now

Do you need a satellite phone?

Have you been thinking about getting a satellite phone?

Whether you have or have not considered getting mobile or fixed sat phone service, there are several compelling reasons why you might want to consider it now. And, if you haven’t spent much time learning about your options for satellite-based connectivity, you might be surprised by the options available today.

No. 1: Your Ongoing Need for Connectivity

When you need to stay in touch with your family, your office, your customers, etc., losing connectivity can quickly become problematic.

We all have circumstances during which staying connected is critical. Maybe your business requires you to constantly keep in touch with the main office because you often travel outside of cellular coverage and you cannot afford to miss any important updates.  Or perhaps you want to say goodnight to your kids before they go to bed and you are off the grid and no other form of communications is reliable.

The bottom line is that, when you need a method of communication that you can rely on any time, anywhere, satellite phones are the answer.

No. 2: The Growing Threats to Communications Channels

Between changing weather patterns and the threat of wide-spread disaster (natural and man-made), cellular networks can quickly fail. As a result, anyone who relies on a traditional cell phone risks losing their ability to communicate with the outside world.

If cell towers are compromised or destroyed, you could be struck for weeks or months without coverage in your area.

Reliability is the hallmark of sat-based phones and push-to-talk radios. If you choose to add data connectivity in addition to voice communication, you won’t have to worry about ever losing access to the internet, so all of your bases are covered.

No. 3: The Affordability of Satellite Phones

If you’re like many consumers today, you may have avoided exploring sat phones because you believe the costs are overwhelming. If that’s the case, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

Handheld satellite phones, on average, can cost about the same as many of today’s most popular smartphones, in some cases…even less. Airtime can also be surprisingly affordable, especially as compared to the roaming charges you’re subject to through cell carriers. You can purchase airtime on a prepaid basis, or you can set up monthly service, depending on your needs

Today’s advanced technology means that you’ll have various options to select from when choosing a sat phone and service. This can be overwhelming, especially if you aren’t familiar with many of the common terms and jargon related to the satellite communications industry.

At International Satellite Services Inc., we take the mystery and confusion out of the process. We are the user-friendly satellite phone store, providing exceptional service with a highly personalized approach. Our team of experts can assist you with both stationary and mobile satellite service, and make sure you get the equipment and services you need to achieve your goals.

Contact us today to learn more about how simple and affordable it can be for anyone to get a satellite phone.

How Does Mobile Satellite Internet Work? Is It Right for You?

High-speed mobile satellite internet

Satellite internet has come a long way in the past couple of years, becoming faster, more reliable and easier to use. This technology has also become surprisingly affordable.

If it’s been awhile since you looked into getting online via satellite, it’s time to revisit your options. You now have options for both stationary and mobile satellite connectivity, allowing you to stay connected wherever you may be.

To determine whether satellite internet service will work for your needs, it’s important to understand how this technology works.

Understanding Mobile Satellite Internet Technology

Connecting to the world wide web via satellite works essentially the same way whether you have a stationary setup or a mobile system.

The user connects to their internet service provider (ISP) by sending a signal to a dedicated satellite. The satellite relays the signal to the ISP. The ISP’s signal is sent to the user in the same way.

Stationary systems typically mount a satellite dish on the user’s rooftop. With a mobile system, however, the user simply carries their satellite terminal with them, wherever they go.

Mobile Satellite Broadband Options

If you need business broadband internet without the constraints of traditional cable, fiberoptic or DSL connections, satellite connectivity provides an attractive alternative.

Satellite broadband is particularly effective for enterprise applications due to the technology’s ability to facilitate high bandwidth usage. This means that users don’t typically experience any lag during periods of peak usage.

Broadband satellite internet allows multiple users to do anything they need to online, from attending video conferences to processing transactions and sending email. Today’s advanced technology makes it both easy and affordable to get your entire team connected

Wireless Satellite Internet on the Go

For individual users, wireless internet service via satellite lets you stay connected even in the most remote locations. Today’s all-in-one terminals fit in a handbag, backpack or briefcase, making these global wifi hotspots effortless to transport. At your destination, you simply position the device and connect using a laptop, tablet, smartphone or whatever device you prefer.

Connectivity is reliable, speeds are impressive and the affordability might surprise you.

You can also choose satellite internet service that lets you use your smartphone to send text messages and make voice calls. You’ll never have to worry about being out of cell tower range again. You can even use the internet and make calls at the same time.

If you’ve put off getting satellite internet service because you’re afraid of the cost or the complex technology, talk to the International Satellite Services Inc. team. We are the most user-friendly satellite phone and internet store around. We take the time to understand your needs and recommend the best solutions for your needs. We make getting connected on the go or in remote locations easy and affordable for everyone.

Contact us today to learn more about our land-based and mobile satellite internet connectivity solutions.

Satellite Phone Testing and Storage Themes

satellite phone testing storage

When you purchase any form of satellite communication, from satellite phones to satellite internet, hotspots or any kind of satellite network, you expect reliability and durability. A satellite phone that fails or malfunctions while in the field is no good to anyone.

At International Satellite Services, we’re proud to offer only the highest-quality satellite phones, internet connections and networks. We only work with top manufacturers in the industry, including Ligado, Immarsatand Iridium phone companies, and we provide all our clients with the information and expertise they need to maintain their satellite devices and keep them working optimally at all times. One major factor within this maintenance realm: Testing your satellite phone periodically to ensure it’s working well and not dealing with any issues. Today’s blog will go over why testing a satellite phone is important, some basic steps using Iridium satellite phones as a test case, plus some storage themes that impact phone quality and longevity.

Importance of Testing Satellite Phones

While there are some who use a satellite phone as their primary means of everyday communication, most do not. In the majority of cases, these items are used as an emergency device or for rare excursions into areas without traditional cell network service.

In both cases, however, testing is vital. Many of those who use satellite phones every day are first responders, rescue workers, mountain guides and marine workers, all of whom must have reliable access to communications in case of a safety risk or hazard. And in the case of those who use these devices sparingly for emergency uses, testing and maintenance are important for ensuring devices are never out of date, out of battery or otherwise malfunctioning in a way that will fail you during a life-or-death situation. You never know what might happen in a remote situation, but testing your phone beforehand to ensure you’ll have adequate communications is very important.

Testing Steps for Iridium Phones

Using Iridium satellite phones as a basic test case, here are some simple steps (provided by Iridium themselves) for testing these phones prior to use:

  • Take the phone outside and extend the antenna up toward the sky as you normally would for a call.
  • Turn on the phone.
  • Wait for the green indicator to show a connection to the LED network.
  • Dial this number: 00-1-480-752-5105.
  • Press the green button to begin, which will initiate a test call to Iridium.

Storage for Iridium Phones

In addition to regular testing before use, one of the best ways to ensure quality performance from any satellite phone is to store it properly. Once again using Iridium as a test case, here are some basic tips on storing a satellite phone when it isn’t being used:

  • Always store the phone in a dry, temperate and easy-to-access location
  • Keep the battery charged even during storage
  • Remove the battery for storage, but store it in the same location as the phone
  • Test the device regularly, at least once a month if possible
  • Secure the SIM card in place both before and after every deployment
  • Protect the phone’s antenna during storage

For more on the value of testing and storing your satellite phone properly, or to learn about any of our satellite phone or internet solutions, speak to the staff at International Satellite Services today.

Reliable Satellite Communications During COVID-19 Outbreak, Part 2

: satellite communications COVID-19 outbreak

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over the concerns many Americans have about the potential for losing cell network service during the COVID-19 outbreak and how this would impact them, plus several ideal satellite phone and internet products that will keep you connected in case this happens. There is widespread such concern around the country, particularly for those who fear they would be unable to seek medical assistance if needed.

At International Satellite Services, Inc., we’re proud to offer a wide variety of portable satellite phone and internet solutions for a wide variety of needs. In addition to American citizens as a group, our services have long proven enormously valuable to first responders and medical staff – and they continue to provide this value during the outbreak, particularly if traditional cell networks are having problems. Today’s part two will dig into how satellite communication formats benefit first responders, plus some of our ideal products for EMTs and others in these roles.

First Responder Innovations

As mobile capacity has increased around the country and even the world in recent years, there have been major impacts on the first responder and medical world as a whole. First responders like EMTs, firefighters and others commonly utilize technology pieces like smartphones, tablets and smartwatches for their missions, allowing for real-time transmission of data that increases care quality and response time.

While many agencies have spent years in mostly a BYOD (bring your own device) format here, some have also taken a more proactive approach to a robust network spearheaded by the agency itself. Many of the most recent technological advances allow for incredible applications, such as biometric authentication and ability to interface with a variety of laptop or other software.

Medical Advice Delivery

In addition, mobile communications accelerate the delivery of vital medical advice during a first response situation. EMTs, for instance, can use mobile devices to confer by audio or video with doctors in the emergency room, helping receive life-saving instructions if they remain a significant distance from a medical center. This sort of thing relies on a robust network that will not fail under any circumstances.

Helpful Products

Speaking of such networks, we mentioned earlier and in part one how many Americans are concerned about failing traditional cell networks during this outbreak. If such an event were to occur, we offer several products and services that will keep you connected regardless, including:

  • Satellite phone: Perfect for any remote are or anytime a cell network fails, allowing communication with anyone from anywhere.
  • Push-to-talk: Portable, handheld satellite radio products that allow communications to multiple users, often ideal for first responders.
  • Portable hotspot: Perfect for maintaining a wireless internet connection despite remote locations or outages.

For more on how satellite communications products may assist first responders and others during the COVID-19 outbreak, or to learn about any of our satellite products, speak to the staff at International Satellite Services today.