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Old 30-06-2008, 04:26   #31
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Does anyone know more about white-space devices that Microsoft, Google, Dell, HP and others are developing? What little I know is that once the US converts to digital in 2009, the analog spectrum could be used for a long distance form of wi-fi. I don't know what that could mean to offshore sailors, but it seems it could be viable.

The White Open Spaces - washingtonpost.com
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Old 30-06-2008, 10:07   #32
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"a long distance form of wi-fi." The lead there seems to be WiMax, which can deploy now but no one wants to pay for it. Last time I heard, I think it was Sprint (or T-Moible?) and one of their competitors swearing they'd be the firstest and bestest and never ally, but then they figured out the job is too expensive, the economy is down (gentle word for it) and they're deploying a shared system later this year. In theory.

IIRC Google did not win any spectrum share but part of it will be set aside, as per their plan, for services that don't require vendor-specific hardware, in a new cell phone type service--not necessarily data. Given this economy? I wouldn't hold my breath to see what comes out, or when.
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Old 30-06-2008, 13:36   #33
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Beau-
What has to be done once a satellite it launched, that takes so long it will be four or five quarters from launch time until it actually is available for use? I would have expected a couple of days, a couple of weeks, but over a year in orbit before it can be used??
Right now there are two functional I4 (4th generation) satellites in geosynchronous orbit - one is currently positioned over South America to give coverage to North and South America, and the other is over the Indian Ocean, to cover Europe, Africa and most of Asia. The gaping hole in coverage is over the Pacific - Japan, most of Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

Once the newest I4 satellite has gone through all its system tests, the arduous task of repositioning the first two birds begins. In order to achieve global coverage, the Indian bird will be repositioned above Africa to cover the Atlantic, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, the South American bird will be repositioned over the Eastern Pacific, extending its coverage to Hawaii, and the new satellite will cover Asia and the Pacific Rim. Remember that it takes 3 satellites at geosynchronous orbit in order to give global coverage. Take a look at the Wikipedia link above for an appreciation for just how far a satellite has to move - remember that 1 degree of longitude on the earth's surface at the equator is 60 nm, and that becomes almost 400 nm miles at 22,240 miles up!

Because small thruster adjustments have to be made over the 15 some-odd year lifespan of each one in order to maintain position, I'm sure there's lot's of planning that goes into moving them to new orbital positions. I'm not a rocket scientist, but it's a good guess that the birds do a series of deceleration burns to slow them down so they drop to a lower orbit, and then another acceleration burn to bump them back up, moving them in a zig-zag pattern over the equator till they reach their new positions.

Now if I can somehow fiscally justify a new SwiftBroadband-capable satcom terminal for Beausoleil!
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Old 30-06-2008, 15:36   #34
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I can appreciate that rocket science isn't easy. But what you are talking about is deployment, the physical act of lobbing them up there. That part IS fairly easy, now that computers fit in pockets and computation is readily done. Unless someone is using some real cheap-ass rockets that are so unreliable they can't plan a delivery point--I can't see that it takes a year to reposition anything. Remember, during that year there is zero income from that bird--making it damned expensive to move one that slowly. Remember, this is not the days of Apollo and slide rules! Heck, I'd bet every forum member today owns more computer power than all of NASA did back then.

On the other hand, if you told me "Well, the NSA subsidized the launch on condition that they got a year's private use out of it first" that I could believe.
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Old 30-06-2008, 16:21   #35
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The current plan is to launch it in 3Q2008 and put it into service before the end of 1Q2009.
The 1 year figure is erroneous. 3rd quarter 2008 launch to 1st quarter 2009 service is somewhere between 3 and 9 months.
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Old 30-06-2008, 17:59   #36
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These work in OZ anywhere supposedly where you get Next G coverage (which they reckon is as good as cdma, which is a lie)
BigPond Next G Wireless Broadband USB Mobile Card Images - Wireless




They do work well when you get coverage and are far cheaper than iridium (which I was told by the dealers is being phased out) soon.

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Old 30-06-2008, 18:08   #37
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I was told that these would be the way to go for me as an alternative to Iridium.

Both GSM and satellite roaming

Does'nt do Vanuatu or New Cal, but Asia and Oz no problem

site Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications

coverage map Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications » Coverage Map

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Old 30-06-2008, 20:59   #38
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I have Sprint 3g EVDO it works quite well, I have it plugged into a router, i've used it up and down the coast of florida and I've used it on land all the way up to virginia. i get decent speeds about 1.3mps up and 300kps down.

I'll be canceling with sprint the end of the month because they have also put a 5gb per month cap on, att and verizon has a 5gb cap as well. Alltel has unlimited but they have been bought by Verizon so I dunno where that will go or where I will go for that matter. Prolly att and deal with them when I go over since I have my cell phones with them.
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Old 01-07-2008, 07:43   #39
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I was told that these would be the way to go for me as an alternative to Iridium.

Both GSM and satellite roaming

Does'nt do Vanuatu or New Cal, but Asia and Oz no problem

site Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications

coverage map Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications » Coverage Map

Dave
FYI: Thuraya is one of the service providers reselling Inmarsat Broadband access. Inmarsat doesn't offer service to end-users - they're wholesale providers of satcom services.
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Old 01-07-2008, 21:24   #40
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Right now there are two functional I4 (4th generation) satellites in geosynchronous orbit ......
Thanks for the info, I didn't realise there was so much involved. I just figured they'd wack her smack over the middle of the pacific & she'd be live. I guess this helps to explain why the usage costs are pretty high.


In regards to my previous post, I also looked at mpds, but the Fleet33 seemed to also have the same issue as the Sailor 250 (not getting good reception way up north or way down south (ps. not talking about the poles)).


For me personally, I think its easier to reduce the amount of expensive stuff on the boat & forget about the “full time” working on the water part (not to mention I'll be spending too much time trying to make sure I don't roll over on the way to the Horn ). Given I'll probably only need to access a handful of site's (& email lists), I think it'll be easier to hack some code & use some unix tools to get me the http data I need (parse the text & links from the rest of the fatty html, then bz2 it)[1] - even with very limited bandwidth (2.4kbps iridium).

Edit: [1] this will be using a remote unix box as a proxy.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:05   #41
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They do work well when you get coverage and are far cheaper than iridium (which I was told by the dealers is being phased out) soon.
G'day Dave,

Am not aware of Iridium phasing out their satellite's soon (maybe someone can correct me with a citation). I do know that in 2003 they put their 2nd generation satellite network plans on hold. However, when comparing other provider's speeds, Iridium (2.4kbps) is pretty slow[1].

Hopefully with the launch of the 3rd Inmarsat bird (as mentioned by others in this thread), the prices might come down (extra competition) for Iridium air time.

PS. I agree that the 3G does not currently have the coverage as the former CDMA (& may never do), re: Telstra BS.

[1] you can channel bond multiple units to increase bandwidth, but then you're paying for more equipment & airtime. Edit: it is also the only current global provider (that I know of), with exception to sailmail.

Iridium (satellite) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:28   #42
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Hopefully with the launch of the 3rd Inmarsat bird (as mentioned by others in this thread), the prices might come down (extra competition) for Iridium air time.
Actually, I doubt this will be the case. Supply versus demand. While you'd think that an increase in the number of satellite systems would increase the supply, therefore prices drop - but right now, Inmarsat is the only game in town when it comes to bandwidth (up to 432kb/s) and true global coverage. Iridium and Globalstar were audacious attempts, but they did not anticipate the growing demand for data services in remote areas. They hitched their pony to voice, and are suffering for it.

The old Boeing Connexxion data service is gone - replaced by Boeing Broadband Satellite Network (BBSN) offering service only to government users. So the only broadband game in town is Inmarsat, and they're suffering from too much demand.

You'd think that when it came down to bidding for service when transponder bandwidth is tight that governments would be able to outbid the private sector, but CNN, FoxNews, BBC seem to be winning out. Right now, a certain customer in a "newsworthy" area is having a hard time getting Inmarsat airtime, and is having to adjust operations around those limitations...

And where does that rank us cruising sailors? Ever hear the old saying - "lower than snake dung in a wagon rut"?
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:36   #43
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Actually, I doubt this will be the case. Supply versus demand. ......
Hello again sir & thankyou for the further info.

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a certain customer in a "newsworthy" area is having a hard time getting Inmarsat airtime
I'd believe it. That platform makes very good sense for remote compressed video.


Talking about Seatel here (but in regards to your point), I've read about super yachts cancelling their accounts (due to cost by their crew), only to rediscover when they try to re-open a new account (by a new owner at a later date), that there's no available airtime.

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Iridium and Globalstar were audacious attempts, but they did not anticipate the growing demand for data services in remote areas.
Well, they better do something soon. I think the new pactor modems can go upto 5kbps (using Hoffman encoding) vs iridium 2.4kbps.


Quote:
And where does that rank us cruising sailors? Ever hear the old saying - "lower than snake dung in a wagon rut"?
Nope, but I do understand your point


In my current business, I compile & license code (& file the odd patent). Like I previously wrote, I'll most probably write my own solution (& use other bits of opensource code). I should have no prob receiving the data I require (as I posted before) so I can keep myself in the loop of the happenings in my industry etc.

As for the large amounts of data (e.g. new rpm's, distro's etc), I can always get a mate to burn a dvd & fedex it to me, or I can go to an internet cafe etc.

Although the limited bandwidth is an initial pain to think of, I kinda look at it more like a challenge (i.e. how can I do something differently through a very small pipe). I don't think its difficult, its really just a matter of “thinking outside the box”. Have even got a couple of idea's of how to login & access my online bank statements (even though it's bloated html/js/css/xml etc), receive/send compressed low dpi fax images (via remote *nix fax server vs iridium fax over its voice) etc.
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Old 02-07-2008, 22:18   #44
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G'day Dave,

Am not aware of Iridium phasing out their satellite's soon
Interesting.

I got this from an Iridium dealer when we went in to buy another insanely expensive block of airtime for my last Vanuatu delivery.

I was inquiring about an Iridium or a better alternative for when the newie goes in, which is when he gave me the heads up on the Thuraya.

Though not as robust, it is far more affordable and as the new vessel will be cruised in Northern Oz and Asia, well suited with the switching from mobile to satellite depending on coverage.

I hate the iridium as every time i've done a Bris-Newcal-Vanuatu run the phone spent more time dropping out during calls than actually working with most calls very scratchy and distorted (yeah, I know it goes to space and back, but thats not that far).

For the cost involved I would expect better.

Maybe its just that area that has issues.

(Now if only I could get those cans and string to work over 1000nm)

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Old 02-07-2008, 22:42   #45
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I got this from an Iridium dealer when we went in to buy another insanely expensive block of airtime for my last Vanuatu delivery.
Thanks for the info.

I can't find any mention (online) of Iridium planning to drop their service. Also, the US military has a large usage investment in it.

I'm not saying that they're not going to make some major changes etc, I just think its a bit strange that they'd drop their service.
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