Benefits Of Having A Satellite Phone
Last Updated on July 14, 2021 by Gabriel Goddy
You might have heard of the term, Satellite phones. This phone has a lot of benefits embedded in them. If you’re interested in knowing these benefits, then you must read through this guide with keenness.
What is a satellite phone?
A satellite phone or satphone is a phone that works by connecting to a telecommunications satellite in space. Unlike the mobile phone and the GSM network, its efficiency does not depend on the terrestrial transmission antennas installed by different mobile operators to cover a territory. In the case of a satellite phone, transmitted and received signals pass through satellites placed in orbit around the earth. The distance between Earth’s satellites depends on the position of the satellites in low orbit or geostationary.
In 1989, the world leader in telecommunications at the time; Motorola proposed the first portable telephony system based on telecommunications satellites. This revolutionary idea was not only for navigators and great adventurers but also for certain emergencies, such as a rescue in the open sea or access to an isolated rural area affected by an earthquake or any emergency.
Who invented the satellite phone?
The first satellite phone was launched by Motorola about 30 years ago, in 1989. At that time, the Motorola firm was the world leader in satellite telecommunications. The satellite phone was invented to overcome the limitations of the classic GSM mobile phone: to be able to communicate by the phone in any isolated area of the planet, on land and sea, where there are no terrestrial antennas. A satellite phone is particularly useful in the most isolated regions of the world such as mountains, forests, poles, deserts, and in the middle of the ocean.
How does satellite telephony work?
As its name implies, a satellite phone allows communication through satellites that move around the Earth’s orbit to provide telephone coverage in every corner of the planet.
This means that whenever you are outside and the sky is clear, you will be able to make calls, send or receive text messages or short emails, provide Geolocation data, and more.
These devices depend on a network of powerful satellites that are fixed either above the Equator (Geostationary), or in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO, for its acronym in English).
Geostationary satellites are fixed at a single point on Earth and their orbit is higher than 36,000 kilometers from the planet’s surface, so they can provide the service in a larger area.
Whereas in Low Earth Orbit, satellites are located in different parts of the Earth and fly lower, generally between 400 and 700 kilometers from Earth. The result is greater coverage and better sound quality.
When you make a call, it is transmitted from your phone to the nearest and visible satellite from your position, which after returns the signal to Earth.
Uses of Satellite phone
A satellite phone is designed to work outdoors, mainly where the mobile phone is not operational due to the lack of a network, more often in very isolated places and, to times, in extreme conditions. The satellite phone was born out of a real need in the late 1980s: to create a cell phone capable of receiving and making calls anywhere in the world, even in the most isolated regions not covered by conventional antennas, for example in the heart of the Himalaya mountains, in the middle of the African desert, in the Amazon jungle or the middle of the oceans.
Today there are mainly 3 satellite telephone networks and 2 types of constellations: satellites in low orbit (Iridium) and geostationary orbiting satellites also called geostationary satellites (Inmarsat and Thuraya ). Low-orbiting satellites rotate around Earth at a relatively low altitude, less than 1,000 km from us. On the other hand, satellites in geostationary orbit are much further away, about 36,000 km from the planet.
Satellite phones are also used by first responders, public safety professionals, and organizations that need to stay connected during and after a natural disaster or other widespread communications outage. Satellite phones don’t boast all of the features found in today’s smartphones. Most sat phones don’t have cutting-edge touch screens, high-end camera technology, or apps, but they do work in areas and situations where cellular-connected phones do not.
Each mode of operation has advantages and disadvantages. Low orbit satellites require a more complex architecture and there is a risk of connection interruption during transmission between the satellites when they disappear on the horizon, this means that the coverage is excellent, even in polar and mountainous regions, which do not always This is the case of satellites in geostationary orbit because if a user is in a cave or at the bottom of a valley, the connection will not be possible.
Satellite phones are tools, not toys. Satellite phones need to have a direct line of sight connection to a satellite to successfully connect a call. For a sat phone to work inside a building it must be connected to an external antenna.
For that reason, there are docking stations or repeaters available for most satellite phone models on the market. Satellite phones are easy to use, but they work a little bit different than the cellular phones people are generally used to, so SatPhoneStore provides quick start guides and has a knowledgeable customer care team available seven days per week to help its users get connected.
The cost of operating satellites in geostationary orbit is less, but the distance they are found results in a longer and more limited connection time, this is why that manufacturers create bigger and more powerful satellite phones.
Who uses satellite phones?
A wide variety of people and industries use satellite phones every day.
For adventurers, explorers, hikers, and travelers, a satphone can help them keep in touch with home or be a lifeline enabling a call for help should they get into difficulties.
For industries with remote offices or plants, such as scientific research organizations, or utilities, mining, and oil and gas companies, satellite technology can help workers stay connected to colleagues in other locations, share information, and conduct their business in general.
In the aftermath of a disaster, satphones can help NGOs, charities, and aid organizations coordinate relief efforts, and they can provide an additional form of communications for emergency services operating in remote regions (think Australian outback), or the army and special forces when on military operations.
Advantages To Owning A Satellite Phone
- Contact Family While Travelling
If you own a satellite phone, you can contact your family to let them know that you are safe, no matter where you are. Whether you’re traveling across the country and lose reception when you are making your way through a less populated area or enjoy going on vacation in the backcountry where cell phone service is scarce, a satellite phone is a great way to keep in contact with your family.
You can choose to send a quick text message letting them know you are safe or give them a call at the end of the day. Satellite phones allow you to keep the lines of communication open even when you are outside of normal cell phone range and we all know how important it is to give your loved one peace of mind when you’re away from home.
- Contact Authorities in Case of Emergency or Natural Disaster
In the event of an emergency, cell phone networks will probably cease to work. Whether towers and other equipment are damaged by a natural disaster or cell phone networks become overwhelmed, a satellite phone can come in incredibly handy during an emergency.
For example, if you or a loved one is injured during a hurricane or tornado and your cell phones are not working, how will you contact emergency personnel? If you have a satellite phone, communication should not be a problem. You’ll be able to contact the hospital, 911 operators, or another emergency hotline for help.
- Communicate With Loved Ones During an Emergency
During a natural disaster or another emergency, cell phone networks often become overwhelmed due to the number of people trying to use them all at once. If this ever becomes the case, you can use your satellite phone to contact your family or friends.
For instance, if there is an earthquake in your area and cell phone service is not available, you’ll be able to use your satellite phone to contact your family all over the country, or even the world, to let them know that you are okay.
- Automatically Transmit Your Location During Hunting Trips
If you are someone that likes to go on long hunting trips in the backcountry where there is no cell phone service, a satellite phone can be an important safety tool. Not only will you have a way to contact someone in case of an emergency, but you can also set up your satellite phone to automatically transmit your GPS location at specific intervals.
While no one likes to think about the fact that an accident may happen, occasionally they do. If you cannot use your satellite phone to call for help, it will still automatically send your location to a predetermined number so that a friend, family member, or coworker will always know where you are and can send rescue personnel if necessary.
If you are deciding whether or not you would like to own a satellite phone, consider the advantages and benefits that satellite phone ownership can provide you. Satellite phones always keep the lines of communication open both during emergencies or when you don’t have any cell phone service. They are reliable and are connected to a global network so that as long as you can see the night sky, you should have a signal and be able to instantly connect to your family, friends, coworkers, or emergency personnel.