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Old 29-10-2011, 09:39   #1
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Inmarsat GSPS iSatPhone Pro Satellite Phone ?

anyone using this phone for data or is it voice only? i have not been able to find anything about data in their adverts. thanks
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Old 30-11-2011, 09:11   #2
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Re: Inmarsat GSPS iSatPhone Pro Satellite Phone ?

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anyone using this phone for data or is it voice only? i have not been able to find anything about data in their adverts. thanks
The quoted data rates are Iridium: 9.6kbs and Isat: 2.4 kbs. So while the Isat looks like a read deal for voice, its slower rate appears to make it much less of a deal for data. I have not yet run into anyone firsthand who has used it for data to hear how it actually works - the data service is recent - switched on in March this year.

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Old 30-11-2011, 09:30   #3
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Re: Inmarsat GSPS iSatPhone Pro Satellite Phone ?

I just read in a report you have to aim the Isatphone "at the satellite" - is this true? Possible on a small, rolling vessel (/liferaft)?
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Old 30-11-2011, 12:48   #4
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Re: Inmarsat GSPS iSatPhone Pro Satellite Phone ?

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I just read in a report you have to aim the Isatphone "at the satellite" - is this true? Possible on a small, rolling vessel (/liferaft)?
It does not need to be pointed very exactly - just in the general direction. The current 3 sats are stationary over the equator. The closer to directly under them you are the better your signal will be. As your position moves away, you can get a better signal tipping your antenna toward the sat's position. Below is the coverage map of the 3 sats.

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Old 30-11-2011, 16:59   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger

The quoted data rates are Iridium: 9.6kbs and Isat: 2.4 kbs. So while the Isat looks like a read deal for voice, its slower rate appears to make it much less of a deal for data. I have not yet run into anyone firsthand who has used it for data to hear how it actually works - the data service is recent - switched on in March this year.
No iridium is 2400 baud, that 9600 figure is after compression which of course is nothing of the sort. Actually iridium in my experience can be even slower.

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Old 30-11-2011, 18:01   #6
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Re: Inmarsat GSPS iSatPhone Pro Satellite Phone ?

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No iridium is 2400 baud, that 9600 figure is after compression
You are correct! So iridium is faster than Isatphone if you don't have a compression service (because iridium has a compression method built into their "direct connect"), but probably the same if you do have one (like XGate).
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Old 30-11-2011, 19:41   #7
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Re: Inmarsat GSPS iSatPhone Pro Satellite Phone ?

The isatphone is a pretty good small unit... and especially inexpensive... the only problem is that it really doesn't work well while moving. So if you plan on making calls at sea underway, might not be the best bet.
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Old 30-11-2011, 20:00   #8
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Re: Inmarsat GSPS iSatPhone Pro Satellite Phone ?

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... the only problem is that it really doesn't work well while moving. So if you plan on making calls at sea underway . . .
interesting. Please tell us more. Like, where were you trying to use it underway? No connect at all, or drop-outs, or just poor voice quality? Can you compare its actual performance underway to iridium?
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Old 30-11-2011, 22:14   #9
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See this comparison between the isatphone and iridium: http://www.gardlinecomms.us/blog/201...ro-comparison/

Look under other considerations.
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Old 30-11-2011, 23:52   #10
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I used an Isatphone recently from Hong Hong Kong to Singapore.

Objective was to have it for a) emergency voice b) weather gribs and c) sail blogs.

B and c really via a compressing email service by xgate/globalmarine net.

Isatphone over iridium as it was less than half price for the handset and better for minutes.

Could not connect at nav station when underway but could from steps to cockpit or cockpit up to 20 knot winds. We did experience a blow for 3 days, above 30 knots and I could make a connection due to movement.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:09   #11
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As an longtime iridium user. I wish I had an isatphone. Similar data speeds but much better tariff plans on Inmarsat, especially standing charges. Hopefully with increased competition iridium will develop some flexibility.

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Old 01-12-2011, 07:11   #12
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Re: Inmarsat GSPS iSatPhone Pro Satellite Phone ?

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Could not connect at nav station when underway but could from steps to cockpit or cockpit up to 20 knot winds. We did experience a blow for 3 days, above 30 knots and I could make a connection due to movement.
I would not really expect the isat to work from inside the boat at the nav station. Iridium will generally not work like that either using the phone's antenna - you usually need to use an extension antenna placed outside (either a hockey puck or the full marine antenna) to get a decent signal.

On movement, I am guessing you left out a 'not' from your post (eg you meant to write 'I could not make a connection due to movement') is that correct? With iridium, we have never had boat movement prevent connection.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:49   #13
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Re: Inmarsat GSPS iSatPhone Pro Satellite Phone ?

I work with a Satellite phone dealer and just wanted to offer some friendly input based on our experiences and our customers'. The data on the IsatPhone is, as stated, extremely slow. With a strong connection, just trying to load the google homepage timed out. This phone is NOT designed for surfing the web. With 3rd party compression software (like UUPlus or Ocens) you can send/receive text based emails and download grib files. We had a customer try to go to a website to find weather info, and this failed as the webpage was too large to download with such slow speeds (2.4kbps). Keep in mind that dial up is only 56k.

The Iridium phone is about the same for data. Really no advantage to either one as far as data goes, because it's going to be bad no matter what.

As for the comment about the phone not working well while moving, this doesn't sound right. The way the Inmarsat network is, once you are locked onto the satellite, unless something comes between you and the satellite, you should not drop a call. This is superior to Iridium because the Iridium satellites are constantly moving, so if you are locked onto a satellite and it drops over the horizon, then you will drop the call/lose connection and your phone will have to connect to another satellite. It is very common for the Iridium phones to drop calls, although it is not impossible to make a lengthy (45min+) phone call.

No satellite phone will work from within the cabin/indoors without some kind of external antenna. It goes off a "line of sight" technology, as in if your phone can't "see" the satellite, then there is no connection. Even tinted glass can block this signal.

I hope this helps!
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:09   #14
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Re: Inmarsat GSPS iSatPhone Pro Satellite Phone ?

I have just returned from a trip to wreck reef about 200nm east of Ausralian east coast and I had the isatpro placed under the spray doger and pluged in to 12 volt the whole time we were away and used a bluetooth ear piece. We were able to walk around or be down below while talking on the phone. I had service the whole time even in very rough conditions and the calls made were very clear. At 78 cents per minute I love this phone.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:43   #15
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Re: Inmarsat GSPS iSatPhone Pro Satellite Phone ?

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No satellite phone will work from within the cabin/indoors without some kind of external antenna. It goes off a "line of sight" technology, as in if your phone can't "see" the satellite, then there is no connection. Even tinted glass can block this signal.
I use my ancient Motorola 9500 Iridium for voice while sitting at my chart table. No external antenna. Usually I get exactly the same number of 'bars' whether inside or outside.

I do take the phone outside to make data calls because transfer rates seem higher
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