For those working in areas where the land based hardwire and cellular networks are unreliable, patchy or non-existant satellite phones have become a powerful solution. They are invaluable in remote areas, providing reliable communications. In some regions of the world satellite phones can often offer a cheaper option to cellular GSM phone networks in roaming mode.
Satellite phones differ from mobiles in that they require a clear, direct sight line to the satellite. Satphones operate at their best when they are used outside and have a clear view of the sky, with as little obstruction as possible, such as trees, buildings or mountains.
Which type of land mobile communications system is best for you is not as difficult as it may seem. There are a limited number of networks, covering the world and regions and equipment options are varied. They include phones, which are not unlike standard cellphones and BGAN, broadband antennas, which will connect your laptop to the Internet and can handle voice calls and video streaming as well as videoconferencing. You can also convert your personal mobile phone to connect to the world via satellite with the use of a sleeve antenna. Your iPhone simply slides into a cradle, hardly bigger than the phone itself, and provides the app and antenna to connect you to the world wherever you are.
Inmarsat Land and Maritime
Inmarsat was the world's first global mobile satellite communications operation to offer reliable global coverage to the marine industry. It remains the only satellite network to offer a wide, mature range of services to the maritime, aviation and land-mobile users. Inmarsat's global network serves a wide range of industries on land, sea and in the air.
Inmarsat was established, by International treaty, in 1979 focused on the maritime industry and became a limited company in 1999. It has grown and matured from serving 800 ships in 1980's to providing fax, phone and data services to over 240,000 ships, vehicles, aircraft and portable terminals and 1000's more users are added every month. The network comprises a constellation of geostationary satellites, with coverage across the world.
Telemar (UK) is an Inmarsat Platinum Service Provider with the knowledge and resources to provide exceptional service and support worldwide.
Iridium Satellite Constellation
Iridium's Satellite phone Networkgives a truly global coverage, pole-to-pole. 66 Low-earth orbiting satellites make up the Iridium network, with voice and data services to all areas of the world. A wide range of industries, governmental and non-governmental organisations, including forestry, construction, mining, oil, gas and exploration, use and rely on Iridium services.
Iridium launched commercial global satellite communications services on March 28, 2001 with enhanced products and services. Iridium satellite service enhancements include improved voice quality and simplified pricing plans. Soon after launch, Iridium satellite expanded the service portfolio to include data services. See Product & Services pages for more details.
Iridium total global, pole-to-pole, coverage.
Note: Iridium services are disabled in North Korea due to US trade embargo.
We advise you to contact the Embassy or Trade Commission before travelling to any destination.
Thuraya Regional Satellite Network
Thuraya was established in 2001 to provide affordable high quality voice and data communications via satellite in areas of high population, where GSM services were non-existent patchy and inadequate. The areas covered by Thuraya include North and Central Africa, the Middle East, India, Central Asia and Europe. Thuraya satphones provided the first truly pocket sized satellite phones, using the very latest technology. They offer excellent voice quality and competitive airtime rates, with prepaid or post paid facilities.
The Thuraya satellite phone network is an advanced geo-synchronous mobile satellite system providing access to specific regions. It offers the facility for high quality voice, voice mail and SMS, together with an in built GPS. Thuraya's Data/fax facilities are available through the optional data kit with speeds obtainable up to 9600bps which means reliable email and web browsing.