SATTRANS Iridium 9555 Office Docking Station certified

We are glad to announce that SATTRANS Iridium 9555 Office Docking Station has been successfully tested and approved by Iridium Communications Inc. for commercial use in connection with the Iridium satellite communications system. The Iridium 9555 Office Docking Station enables Iridium subscribers to use Iridium 9555 satellite phones indoors, where the satellite coverage is not normally available. Any office, home, shelter or similar indoor area can be quickly set up with the docking solution to ensure that the Iridium phone will be connected to the satellite network.

Features:

  • Two-mode operation of calls – The docking station provides users with two alternatives of maintaining voice calls over the satellite phone: 1) hands-free mode via the built-in speaker and microphone, 2) private mode via optional handset or earset.
  • Data capable via built-in data port (mini-USB) – The docking station allows users to connect the satellite phone to a computer and use all standard Iridium data services, Direct Internet 3 software as well as third-party software and hardware add-on solutions such as OCENS Mail and XWeb, Vizada’s Skyfile, DigiGone Secure Chat and others.
  • Standard antenna port – The port enables connecting a variety of commercially available Iridium antennae.
  • Charges phone battery – The charging function keeps the satellite phone operational without the need to remove the phone from the docking station and thus disconnecting from the satellite network.
  • The desktop stand – The stand will help organize and conveniently place the docking station with the phone on desks or any flat surface
  • Easy installation and portability – The product is easy to install and extremely portable, making it possible to move and install at different locations if necessary.

The rigorous certification process completed by Iridium included testing of all standard features of the Iridium phone and services while installed in the 9555 office docking station: voice calling, dial-up data and RUDICS, text messaging (SMS) and short-burst data (SBD).

SATTRANS’ other docking solutions for Iridium include Vehicle & Marine Docking Station for Iridium 9505A and 9555 satellite phones.

Inmarsat FleetBroadband vs Iridium OpenPort

FleetBroadand 150 vs Iridium OpenPort

Panbo – The Marine Electronics Blog has an excellent post comparing Inmarsat FleetBroadband and Iridium OpenPort equipment and services in real time boating conditions. These two mobile satellite solutions, offering high-speed Internet and voice services, are relatively new on the marine market that makes this review even more valuable. Panbo’s authors has been using both systems on one boat sailing from Northeast US to New Zealand and provided detailed accounts on speed of data transfer, voice quality, service up-time, power usage and use of data compression software.

With the price tag of around $5,000 (installation and airtime not included), both FleetBroadband (150-series) and OpenPort can be an affordable but robust option to satisfy communication requirements and tighter budgets of smaller leisure boats and fishing operators.

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Iridium selects Thales Alenia to build its satellites

IridiumNEXT satellite by Thales Alenia

It looks like Iridium’s CEO Matt Desch wasn’t just going to ring the NASDAQ bell for no good reason. Iridium Communications has just announced its selection of the vendor for building of its 81 satellites for the next-generation satellite network, aka IridiumNEXT. After almost two years of consideration, Thales Alenia, a French-Italian aerospace conglomerate, has been selected over the US-based Lockheed Martin Corp. Both companies arguably build great satellites (Lockheed Martin is reported to have participated in creating the  current Iridium satellite fleet), but this deal might have been decided by the French government agreeing to guarantee 95% of the $1.8 billion credit facility required to complete the project.

The plan is to have the first launch in the first quarter of 2015 with total 81 satellites to be built: 66 operating satellites, 6 spare units in orbit for rapid deployment and 9 spares on the ground. The selection of the launch company is yet to be announced.

More information from PRNewsWire.com

Analysis by Tim Farrar (TMF Associates)

Iridium vs Thuraya explained (video)

This short video created by Satcomms, in a funny fashion, compares two latest satellite phones from two key competing mobile satellite operators: Thuraya and Iridium. The Iridium 9555 handset, of course, scores big in critical network features: the global coverage and the speediness of network registration and establishing calls. The Thuraya XT phone is richer in phone features, such as a bright color screen and GPS functionality.

The authors failed to mention that Thuraya XT phone has a better protection from harsh environment, and more importantly — Thuraya phones support up to 25 times faster data transfer via satellite compared to Iridium.

By the way, since the XT phone is “satellite only”, it will not work “in the States” with a cellular network as implied in the video. One will need the Thuraya SG-2520 SAT/GSM hybrid phone to accomplish this task.

Test your satellite phone

The annual “Test Your Satellite Phone” week by Iridium is running from May 23 to 28. With the hurricane season approaching fast, all Iridium subscribers are encouraged to make sure their Iridium satellite phones are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.

  • Verify your batteries are in good condition and fully charged,
  • Make sure your Iridium account is active by calling the free testing number 00-1-480-752-5105 from your Iridium phone,
  • Also check your prepaid balance by calling 2888,
  • Review operating procedures for making and receiving satellite calls.

How to use Twitter from Iridium satellite phone

More and more often we hear from professional travelers about being able to update their Twitter accounts during their travels.  After all, you can use Twitter not only to promote their travels and good causes, but also keep friends, fans and the world updated about your adventures from the very place they happen. So we have compiled a short manual on how to use Iridium satellite phones for “tweeting”:

Step 1 – Before you travel

Before you depart for your trip, visit Twittermail.com and allow this website to access your existing Twitter account. You will be given a unique email address (xxxxxx@twittermail.com) which you will use to send your Twitter updates from the satellite phone.

You might want to test the set-up before your trip, so turn on your satellite phone, go outside and register it in the Iridium network and proceed to Step 2. (Don’t have the phone yet? Get one at MySatPhone.com.)

Step 2 – During your travel

Send an email message from your Iridium phone to the Twittermail.com email address. Here is how to do this:

  • Create a new text message (SMS) on your Iridium phone.
  • Enter the following in the message body: your Twittermail address[space]Twitter message. For example, “xxxxxx@twittermail.com I am on the top of the mountain, the view is awesome!” Don’t forget about the 140-symbol limit for any Twitter update.
  • When asked for the recipient phone number, enter *2. Proceed to sending the message. You’re done — your message should appear on your Twitter page within minutes.

Good luck!