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M SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 3: Satellite Texting

by Rex Sanders

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Article Summary:

The first two-way satellite text-only device (TSTD) was the Magellan GSC-100 introduced in 1998. The GSC-100 was a market failure, and sales and production stopped a few years later. In 2011, many lighter, second-generation TSTDs came to market, including the BriarTek CerberLink and the DeLorme inReach.

All second-generation TSTDs use the Iridium satellite system described in Part 1 of this series. TSTDs are typically lighter and cheaper than the satellite phones described in Part 2. All the information in this series comes from vendor web sites and online reviews, except for the "Personal experience" sections.

TSTDs are different from one-way satellite text-only devices like the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger. TSTDs can both send and receive text messages, including confirmation that your message got through.

All TSTDs include GPS receivers, and can send your position on demand or on schedule in tracking mode, or in a text message.

The market has further specialized into two kinds of TSTDs:

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