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!

Iridium reports growth in 2Q 2009

Iridium Satellite LLC released its operating and financial results for the 2nd quarter 2009. Although the number of subscribers rose by healthy 23.9% to 347,000 (compared to the same period of 2008), the revenue remained flat, growing  by just 1.2% to $82.7 million. Still, the net income jumped by more than 50% to $28.6 million, which is quite impressive.

By attracting new subscribers and releasing new products and services (such as the Iridium 9555 handset and the OpenPort maritime communications system) in the last several quarters, Iridium is going to be well positioned to enjoy recovery in the global economic climate.

Thuraya XT satellite phone introduced

Thuraya XT Satellite Phone

Thuraya will soon update its line of satellite phones. The current SG-2520 and SO-2510 handsets will be joined by the new rugged Thuraya XT handset, which is promised to be “the only satellite phone in the world to meet the industry’s highest criteria for splash and dust resistance and shock proofing”.

Here is some technical stuff:
System: Thuraya SAT only (no GSM like in SG-2520)
Dimensions: 128 x 53 x 26.5mm
Weight: 193 g
Display: 2” / 262K colors
GmPRS (always-on data): 60/15 kbps (Down/Up)
Fax and Data: 9.6 kbps
Battery Life: Talk time up to 6 hours and standby time up to 80 hours
PC compatibility: Windows Vista, XP/2000, NT
External Interfaces: Data Cable (UDC) with USB connector.
Retail price:: ~$1,000

How successful the new phone is going to be is unclear, since it doesn’t really offer any new features except for its rugged case. But new handsets in the mobile satellite industry are rarity, so we are always pleased to see one on the market.