Forum Index » Editor's Roundtable » SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 2 - Satellite Phones


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Maia
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 2 - Satellite Phones on 03/26/2013 21:24:40 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 2 - Satellite Phones

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Globalstar update on 03/26/2013 23:57:05 MDT Print View

After I submitted this article, Globalstar stopped selling their unlimited voice plan at $40 per month. Now Globalstar sells the usual complex airtime plans found with most satellite phones. $39.99 per month includes 80 minutes, and $0.99 per minute over that. See www.globalstar.com for details.

Also, two of Globalstar's new satellites launched in February 2013 are in service, further reducing time coverage gaps through the day. Globalstar is on schedule to return to full service by Summer 2013.

Michael Cheifetz
(mike_hefetz) - MLife

Locale: Israel
nice summary...but why exclude non US?? on 03/27/2013 06:10:18 MDT Print View

Thumbs up for tackling a well awaited subject - it seems 2way Sat phones will soon be something we all carry on more serious or solo attempts (i do :)

Also - the approach of aggregating reviews is IMO pretty clever

Regarding the Thuraya and excluding phones that are not focused on the USA - that doesnt make sense to me....
many people on this website do not live in the US...and even the ones who do travel outside the US from time to time.
In other countries prices/rates/availability and legal issues might be completely different
I have used Thuraya successfully a couple of times in Europe and would seriously consider it for areas like EU, Africa, Middle and near East and Arabia

Mike

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: nice summary...but why exclude non US?? on 03/27/2013 10:00:37 MDT Print View

MIke,

I got the idea for aggregating reviews from other review sites like consumersearch.com. It's a lot of work!

To cover the rest of the world would have required over twice as much work, chasing down specs, prices, rates, availability, legal issues, and reviews, across 195 countries, for many more devices. Adding Thuraya alone would double the number of sat phone models.

BPL might welcome articles covering sat phones and texting devices for non-USA areas.

-- Rex

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 2 - Satellite Phones on 03/27/2013 11:29:48 MDT Print View

But I really wanted to spend my time out in the wilderness playing Angry Birds!
:-)

Robert Aruldoss
(roberta) - MLife
InReach SE on 03/29/2013 11:09:07 MDT Print View

Rex,

Will you be covering the new DeLorme InReach SE in part three of your piece? I think it comes out next week and I am very curious about it from its description.

Thank you,

http://www.thegpsstore.com/Delorme-inReach-SE.aspx


Robert

Edited by roberta on 03/29/2013 11:10:50 MDT.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: InReach SE on 03/30/2013 23:21:50 MDT Print View

Robert,

I do not cover the DeLorme InReach SE in Part 3. It's not available, it hasn't been officially announced by DeLorme, and detailed rumors about it appeared after Part 3 was in production.

Based on what some dealers have posted on their web sites, I discuss the DeLorme InReach SE in this thread: http://tinyurl.com/cy8ofha. In short, "looks very promising."

When the DeLorme InReach SE is officially announced, I'll add more comments to the thread on Part 3.

I've been playing with high-tech gadgets for many decades, and learned that rumors can be misleading, and press releases must be taken with a grain of salt.

-- Rex

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Re: InReach SE on 03/31/2013 21:17:11 MDT Print View

Of course, within hours of my previous post, DeLorme released all the specs for the inReach SE:

http://inreachdelorme.com/product-info/inreachse.php

"Now accepting pre-orders. Expected ship date is mid to late April"

And I've started a more appropriate discussion for this device:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=75378

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Spot Global Phone announced on 05/18/2013 20:04:21 MDT Print View

Spot Global Phone was announced May 14, 2013, with these specifications.

Looks identical to the existing Globalstar GSP-1700 satellite phone, with the same specifications, features, selling price, and airtime plans.

[Edit]The Spot Global Phone is black. The GSP-1700 is available only in red, copper, or silver.

The Spot Global Phone is available at many major retailers.

-- Rex

Edited by Rex on 05/18/2013 20:09:19 MDT.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Globalstar dropping call times tool soon on 06/08/2013 23:41:13 MDT Print View

Globalstar provides a call times tool http://calltimes.globalstar.com/ for predicting when you can make calls for a specific location, up to 3 days in advance.

Globalstar now says the tool will be discontinued soon, because "Globalstar believes it has reached industry standards for satellite connectivity in its areas of coverage"

Using my home town and the still-available tool, over the next 66.6 hours, there are 88 interruptions in service, totaling 6.7 hours, averaging 4.6 minutes long, with an average call window of 45 minutes. 24 of those call windows are less than 10 minutes long.

I've never heard of the "industry standards" to which Globalstar refers, but I expect better call reliability from a satellite phone.

-- Rex

Edited by Rex on 06/09/2013 00:13:27 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Globlstar dropping call times tool soon on 06/08/2013 23:47:07 MDT Print View

That would be pretty good for sending and receiving text messages

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Re: Globalstar dropping call times tool soon on 06/09/2013 00:17:10 MDT Print View

"That would be pretty good for sending and receiving text messages"

Except Globalstar phones can only receive text messages (sent from a web page). They cannot send text messages at all.

-- Rex

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Globalstar dropping call times tool soon on 06/09/2013 09:09:01 MDT Print View

oh, bummer

I'de like to be able to send a message saying everything ok, and then receive a message acknowledging my message and saying everything's ok at home, and then turn off unit

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Globalstar dropping call times tool soon on 06/09/2013 10:18:08 MDT Print View

If wanting to send text messages the Inmarast Isat phone pro works well, I have also never had my issues making phone calls with it.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Full Globalstar satellite constellation operating on 10/30/2013 23:20:20 MDT Print View

As of August 28, 2013, a complete constellation of Globalstar second-generation satellites is fully operational:

http://www.globalstar.com/en/index.php?cid=7010&pressId=792

This means Globalstar phones and Spot Global phones should work anytime you have a clear view of most of the sky, and you are in the Globalstar coverage area.

The problems with the old satellites did not affect Spot devices, and the new satellites will not improve Spot performance.

-- Rex

(also posted in the Part 1 thread for completeness)