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Old 22-08-2014, 08:56   #1
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Best Satellite Provider

I see over on the contest thread and the SSCA equipment survey that Iridium is the hands-down favorites sat phone/service.

My cursory research shows that Inmarsat is a much better deal: Globestar's coverage is lacking, Iridium covers everything (including extremely high latitudes that I don't plan on voyaging to) but at a premium and Inmarsat covers anywhere I'd want to go at the best price.

I would think others would come to the same conclusion. So, what am I missing?
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Old 22-08-2014, 10:13   #2
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Re: Best satellite provider

... you might run into 'connecting/pointing problems' with Inmarsat (geostationary satellites) if the boat is rolling (at least if we are talking about handhelds). Iridium is much more forgiving in this respect.

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Carsten
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Old 22-08-2014, 10:52   #3
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Re: Best Satellite Provider

I'm happy with my Inmarsat handheld (isatphonepro) for calling and texting. Even on my rolling 34ft'r I never had a problem with these services. Used it daily on a trans-atlantic and many other passages the last years.

Data is a different story...
It can work more or less ok but most of the times it's incredible slow or just doesn't work at all.

Talked to many cruisers who own this isatphone pro and nobody was happy with the data connection.
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Old 22-08-2014, 14:39   #4
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Re: Best Satellite Provider

As the title says, the best, hands down is Ocens. No "A" in their name, it is ocens.net if you want to check them out. I have been using them for about 7 years for deliveries from Hawaii and the South Pacific along with one from Lake Union to San Diego. October is another Oahu to San Diego run and I'll be using their services. Great support, fantastic software packages and rate plans. I use a pay as you go plan where I'm billed on my C/C at the end of the month. The reason is twofold, you don't run out of minutes if you bought too little and there are no left over minutes at the end of the trip. Who is going to use 23 minutes of sat time while in port? If you rent, the rates are very good as well.
Check them out, they are based in Seattle.

Lynn A. Stokes
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Eastern Pacific Yacht Delivery Service
Morro Bay, Ca.
805-471-0593
stokesla@earthlink.net
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Old 22-08-2014, 15:29   #5
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Re: Best Satellite Provider

I cant see the benefit of a postpaid plan. Seems its $50/month with just 10 minutes airtime included. With he setup cost of $100 thats $700/year for 120 minutes. Instead you could buy a years card with 500 minutes for $700 or 200 minutes for $500.
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Old 22-08-2014, 15:39   #6
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Re: Best Satellite Provider

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregts View Post
I'm happy with my Inmarsat handheld (isatphonepro) for calling and texting. Even on my rolling 34ft'r I never had a problem with these services. Used it daily on a trans-atlantic and many other passages the last years.

Data is a different story...
It can work more or less ok but most of the times it's incredible slow or just doesn't work at all.

Talked to many cruisers who own this isatphone pro and nobody was happy with the data connection.
Guess I'm the exception then. I've been happy with the data connection with my Isatphone pro. Only use it for GRIB files, but it's always worked fine for me.

People I've talked to with Iridium phones have complained about frequent call drop outs, which hasn't been a problem for us. My understanding is that the Iridium satellites have to hand over calls fairly frequently as they drop below the horizon, which can lead to drop outs, while the geosynchronous Inmarsat satellites stay connected.

Anyway, it's working well for us. Call costs are pretty reasonable too.
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