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use these devices sparingly for emergency uses, testing and maintenance are important for ensuring devices are never out of date, out of battery or otherwise malfunctioning in a way that will fail you during a life-or-death situation.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.

Reliable Satellite Communications During COVID-19 Outbreak, Part 1

satellite communications COVID-19 outbreak

There are several areas of society that have seen their importance elevated during the recent worldwide COVID-19 outbreak, and mobile communications are among these areas. From individuals who require strong networks in case of emergency or to keep in touch with loved ones affected to emergency responders and others in healthcare, robust communication networks are vital throughout society as we look to stop the spread of COVID-19.

At International Satellite Services, Inc., we’re here to help. We offer a variety of mobile satellite phone and internet solutions that work even when other major networks go down, from our Handheld sat phones  to various other satellite voice and data solutions.  In this two-part blog, we’ll look at what some recent Pew Research Center data says about Americans’ concerns over a potential network outage, plus how our products benefit both private citizens (part one) and emergency responders (part two) during this time.

Recent Study Data

Per recent data from a Pew Research Center survey of US adults, conducted online from March 19-24, Americans are concerned about the potential of an outage in cell phone or communication networks during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are some of the primary takeaways:

  • 93% of US adults say a major interruption to internet or cell phone service during the outbreak would be a problem during their daily life – 49% think this would be a very big problem, while 28% believe it would be a moderately big problem. Only 6% say it would be no problem.
  • Only 16% of Americans report using the internet or email to connect with doctors or other medical professionals during the outbreak – but this is an important swath of citizens that may include elderly or at-risk populations, and it must be considered as a result.
  • Just 27% of Americans think digital connections provide a suitable alternative during a time of social distancing, while 64% think they are not replacements for in-person contact.

Searching for Information

A vital area of interest for many private citizens has been obtaining information and keeping in contact with others regarding the latest on the outbreak itself. According to the study, 76% of Americans say they’ve used email or messaging services to communicate with others, and 70% have used online resources to search for information about the outbreak. Without adequate networks, staying informed would be far more difficult for these individuals.

Our Solutions

Luckily, here at International Satellite Services, Inc. have several solutions available if you’re concerned about other networks failing. Here are some examples:

  • Push-to-Talk: Our handheld satellite radio using the Iridium network, which works in remote areas for multiple areas of communication.
  • Satellite phone: Utilizing dedicated satellite technology that will not fail even when cellular networks do.
  • Satellite hotspot: It allows you to stay connected to the internet from anywhere.

For more on how our products will assist you in cases where other networks go down during the COVID-19 outbreak, or for information on any of our portable satellite phone and internet solutions, speak to the staff at International Satellite Services, Inc. today.

Satellite Communication and LTE PTT Advances for 2020

satellite LTE PTT 2020

The world of satellite phones, internet, radio and various communication formats only becomes more robust with each passing year, and the recent transition into 2020 is no exception. Industry professionals expect to see major developments across several areas this year and moving forward, particularly in areas like satellites, long-term evolution (LTE) and radio communication formats.

At International Satellite Services, we’re proud to serve as your satellite push-to-talk experts who will keep you updated and outfitted with the latest and best technology to meet your every communication need. Let’s look at some of the products and services that will help you capitalize on the amazing technology available in this world in 2020.

Satellite Products

For starters, the quality of satellite communications begins with the robust channel formed between satellites themselves and their transmitter receivers on Earth. Satellites for such communications generally are put into what’s known as a geostationary orbit, also called a geosynchronous equatorial orbit – an orbit that is a certain distance above the equator and follows the same direction as the Earth’s rotation, which removes any need for satellite receivers to ever be changed.

We utilize multiple satellite products and providers at International Satellite Services, including Ligado Networks and their robust, high-performance connectivity network. Our partners only utilize the strongest satellite transmitters that easily reach mobile devices.

Long Distance PTT

Within the world of push-to-talk, an important piece of technology is LTE, also known as 3.95G. This refers to a specific communication standard for wireless broadband, featuring different frequency bands for different countries that are used in data terminals and various connected mobile devices. There are numerous such products that provide excellent communication formats over long distances, utilizing either the internet or a private IP network.

Smartphone Options

There are a couple notable smartphone products to consider in this realm as well:

  • Intercom: There are now several apps on the market for improving mobile device communication, including those that convert smartphones or tablets into a wireless intercom, PTT radio or even a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. These apps are meant to process and handle massive volume needs without any issue.
  • Push-to-talk: Using a half-duplex line that stops users from transmitting and receiving simultaneously, PTT is possible with smartphones using a temporary hold of a switch. It can also be formatted for laptops, tablets and desktop machines.

RoIP Communications

You may have heard of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and RoIP is similar – it refers to Radio over IP, and is used for radio communication instead of phone calls. It has all the same capabilities otherwise, including PTT and connection to any device that has internet connectivity and at least one radio node.

Each of these areas we’ve detailed here is primed for a major increase in the year 2020, particularly for groups communicating over large distance fields. For more on any of them, or to learn about our satellite communication services, speak to the staff at International Satellite Services today.

Industries in Which Satellite Push-to-Talk Technology is Valuable

industries satellite push-to-talk valuable

While we offer numerous types of satellite phones and portable high-speed satellite data hotspots to keep people connected off the grid here at International Satellite Services Inc., some of our most popular solutions are within the satellite push-to-talk (PTT) realm. From the MSAT-G2 satellite PTT radio to the portable Iridium PTT device, we have you covered if you require high-performance communication when other land-based options are not available.

This kind of communication is a vital requirement in industries where there’s a major emphasis on remote communication between teams on a daily basis, including some who are out in the field and could be in a variety of geographical locations. Let’s take a look at a few of the specific industries that benefit most from satellite push-to-talk services, which allow you to talk on a private network with an immediate connection to everyone else in the network.

Forestry Industry

Whether we’re talking about forestry workers or state and national park employees these are some of the simplest examples of the value of satellite push-to-talk services. These individuals commonly work in areas where traditional forms of communication, including cell phones, are nowhere to be found.

With satellite PTT technology, this is no concern. Team members can communicate with not only each other but also their dispatch office and any other connected parties a the push of a button.

Law Enforcement, SAR and First Responders

Whether in remote or more populated areas, it’s vital for those in law enforcement, search-and-rescue and various first responder situations to be able to communicate with dispatch and each other immediately and with no issues – any problems could put lives at risk. Some urban offices still use radio communications here, but those prioritizing privacy and/or the highest-quality connection often look to satellite PTT technology. Not only is this a more reliable connection across locations, but it will also work in many areas where a traditional radio or cell phone simply will not.

Utility Workers

There are several areas that may utilize satellite PTT technology, and a good example is a utility worker. Such individuals often need to cut power to an area or ask their dispatch to do so, but this cannot be done safely if there isn’t proper communication. Those who have had issues with traditional radio or cell signals in remote areas often switch to PTT for better reliability.

Disaster Response and Public Safety

Finally, in the event of a major natural disaster such as a weather event, everyone involved in emergency response needs to be able to communicate, including first responders. If the local infrastructure has a push-to-talk satellite solution in place, several different public safety divisions will be able to communicate on the same dedicated signal, ensuring nothing is missed – especially during disaster periods where cell towers or other forms of communication may have been knocked out.

For more on industries or public areas where satellite push-to-talk technology is highly valuable, or to learn about any of our satellite communication solutions, speak to the staff at International Satellite Services Inc. today.

How ISS and the Iridium 9555 Helped a Pilot Stay Safe and In-Touch

At International Satellite Services Inc., we pride ourselves on helping our clients adapt to changing communication needs through our satellite networks and related SatCom technologies. We’ve helped numerous clients stay safe and in clear communication through important channels over the years, constantly looking for ways to improve based on new technology.

One great example of our care and dedication can be seen through a client of ours named Vince, a longtime pilot from Phoenix, Arizona who had some issues with an older satellite phone that were eventually solved using our Iridium 9555 model. Here is Vince’s story and how we helped him work through his situation.

Vince’s Initial Setup

All the way back in 2006, Vince purchased an older Iridium satellite phone to stay connected while flying his plane. He had a good setup: The phone was in a cockpit compartment in the plane, easily reachable so he could stay in touch through both calls and text messages. This was important for Vince not only for safety but also because he ran a business and needed to be able to stay in touch even while in the air.

Issues With Older Iridium Model

For quite a while, this setup worked just fine. However, Vince eventually began noticing issues with dropped calls and the inability to send or receive texts. He put off addressing these concerns, figuring a new launch of Iridium satellites would solve the problem, but eventually reached a point where his phone started powering itself off despite the battery meter reading full.

At this point, Vince knew he needed to take action. He contacted the team at International Satellite Services, Inc.

Working With Vince to Solve the Problem

When Vince called and told us what was happening, our first step was to ask him about his current setup and needs. We wanted to understand how he utilized his technology so we could offer him the absolute best options in terms of upgrades.

Vince told us about the limited space in his cockpit, plus his need for a headset that could interface with his phone as his old one had. Based on his needs, we recommended the Iridium 9555 model, the single most powerful Iridium option on the market today. Not only is the 9555 model smaller than previous versions, but it also has an easily-stowable antenna and an intuitive user interface.

Problem Solved!

After offering our recommendations, we set up a test call with Vince during a flight. He experienced upgraded call quality and fewer call-dropping concerns, plus he was fully able to send and receive texts at his leisure. Suffice to say, Vince was thrilled with the services we provided, and you will be too.

For more on how we’ll help you address remote communication issues, or to learn about any of our satellite phone or other SatCom technology options, speak to the staff at International Satellite Services Inc. today.

We’ve launched our new website and we’re excited to introduce you to our new look

International Satellite Services, inc launched their New Website

We’ve launched our new website and we’re excited to introduce you to our new look

Welcome To Our New Site!

International Satellite Services, Inc (ISS). is proud to announce the launch of our new website which coincides with our expanding role as a global leader in the Satellite Telecommunications Industry.

International Satellite Services, inc launched their New Website

For more than 21 years, ISS has been providing satellite voice and data solutions to individuals, businesses and emergency responders that operate and travel off the grid, where traditional cellular and internet services aren't accessible.  We keep people connected to everything important in life when nothing else works.

Our new website provides a clear message of who we are, the products and services we specialize in that bring value to end users all over the world, and the caring, efficient and lightening fast customer service and technical support that truly sets us apart in the SatCom industry.

Our new website also boasts a clean design and intuitive and consistent site-wide navigation system with improved menu functionality that directs you to the information most relevant to you. It is also fully responsive on mobile devices, making it easy to navigate on a wide range of web browsers and portable devices.

Going forward, we will continue to communicate regularly through our blog.   We also plan to continue adding more video content and product information to provide you with all of the information you need to evaluate our ever expanding portfolio of satellite voice and data solutions.

We’re really proud of the new website and feel it will create the experience you’re looking for when you pay us a visit. Check out the new website!

Uses of the MSAT-G2 Satellite Radio for the Baja 1000 Race

Uses of the MSAT-G2 Satellite Radio for the Baja 1000 Race

November is here, and for off-road racers everywhere, that means one of the calendar’s most highly-anticipated events is just around the corner: The Baja 1000. Dating back all the way to the 1960s, the Baja 1000 is an off-road race held every year on the Baja California Peninsula, the final of a four-race annual series featuring various vehicle classes all competing on the same course.

At International Satellite Services Inc., we’re proud to offer one major piece of value for participants in the Baja 1000 and other similar events: Satellite two-way radio and satphone options, particularly our MSAT-G2 push-to-talk mobile satellite radio that allows for communication between drivers, their chase cars and the rest of their support team. Let’s go over some of the basics of the Baja 1000 and why communication is so important during it, plus how the MSAT-G2 benefits racers and their teams.

Baja 1000 Basics

As we noted, the Baja 1000 is one of the biggest events on the off-road motorsports calendar each year. It draws participants from dozens of countries and every state in the US, plus features a variety of vehicle types, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs and even buggies.

During the Baja 1000, drivers and their teams are exposed to extreme conditions on a regular basis. Vehicles travel across long swaths of dry, desolate land, and much of the terrain covered does not contain any kind of telecom infrastructure already in place. For this reason, additional technology is an absolute must to keep drivers and their teams in touch with each other, both for safety and performance reasons alike.

MSAT-G2 System Features

Some of the vital features of the MSAT-G2 that make it a perfect communication system for the Baja 1000 and similar events include:

- Push-to-talk operation: Allows drivers and their teams to communicate using nothing but the push of a single button, improving both convenience and safety.

- Connection capability: The MSAT-G2 maintains its connection literally anywhere in North America through a connection to a single Ligado SkyTerra 1 satellite. This means there are no handoff procedures between satellites that might lead to gaps in communication at any point.

- Group or one-to-one PTT capability: This service is combined with satellite telephone options, mounted in a protected kit with a dash button that will activate the feature and an integration to the driver’s helmet microphone.

- Reliability: Off-road racers choose the MSAT-G2 in large part due to its reliability. It will not fail at random points or struggle with connections, ever. This is the top priority for racers who need their technology to work properly at all times.

Issues the MSAT-G2 Helps Solve

Put yourself in the shoes of a Baja 1000 driver who has a vehicle failure of some kind while 700 miles into the race, in desolate and unoccupied terrain. If you aren’t using the MSAT-G2 system, you could quite literally be stranded until another driver comes along – not only will you potentially lose hours in the race, you could be at a legitimate safety risk. This is the kind of issue the system helps solve, ensuring perfect communication capabilities no matter where you are on the course.

For more on how the MSAT-G2 helps Baja 1000 and other event racers stay safe and well-equipped, or to learn about any of our satellite networks, speak to the staff at International Satellite Services Inc. today.

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.