Mar 26, 2013 at 8:24 pm #1300942
@maiaLocale: Rocky Mountains
Companion forum thread to:Mar 26, 2013 at 10:57 pm #1970010
After I submitted this article, Globalstar stopped selling their unlimited voice plan at $40 per month. Now Globalstar sells the usual complex airtime plans found with most satellite phones. $39.99 per month includes 80 minutes, and $0.99 per minute over that. See http://www.globalstar.com for details.
Also, two of Globalstar's new satellites launched in February 2013 are in service, further reducing time coverage gaps through the day. Globalstar is on schedule to return to full service by Summer 2013.Mar 27, 2013 at 5:10 am #1970038
Thumbs up for tackling a well awaited subject – it seems 2way Sat phones will soon be something we all carry on more serious or solo attempts (i do :)
Also – the approach of aggregating reviews is IMO pretty clever
Regarding the Thuraya and excluding phones that are not focused on the USA – that doesnt make sense to me….
many people on this website do not live in the US…and even the ones who do travel outside the US from time to time.
In other countries prices/rates/availability and legal issues might be completely different
I have used Thuraya successfully a couple of times in Europe and would seriously consider it for areas like EU, Africa, Middle and near East and Arabia
MikeMar 27, 2013 at 9:00 am #1970107
I got the idea for aggregating reviews from other review sites like consumersearch.com. It's a lot of work!
To cover the rest of the world would have required over twice as much work, chasing down specs, prices, rates, availability, legal issues, and reviews, across 195 countries, for many more devices. Adding Thuraya alone would double the number of sat phone models.
BPL might welcome articles covering sat phones and texting devices for non-USA areas.
— RexMar 27, 2013 at 10:29 am #1970145
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
But I really wanted to spend my time out in the wilderness playing Angry Birds!
:-)Mar 29, 2013 at 10:09 am #1970812
Will you be covering the new DeLorme InReach SE in part three of your piece? I think it comes out next week and I am very curious about it from its description.
RobertMar 30, 2013 at 10:21 pm #1971263
I do not cover the DeLorme InReach SE in Part 3. It's not available, it hasn't been officially announced by DeLorme, and detailed rumors about it appeared after Part 3 was in production.
Based on what some dealers have posted on their web sites, I discuss the DeLorme InReach SE in this thread: http://tinyurl.com/cy8ofha. In short, "looks very promising."
When the DeLorme InReach SE is officially announced, I'll add more comments to the thread on Part 3.
I've been playing with high-tech gadgets for many decades, and learned that rumors can be misleading, and press releases must be taken with a grain of salt.
— RexMar 31, 2013 at 8:17 pm #1971552
Of course, within hours of my previous post, DeLorme released all the specs for the inReach SE:
"Now accepting pre-orders. Expected ship date is mid to late April"
And I've started a more appropriate discussion for this device:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=75378May 18, 2013 at 7:04 pm #1987417
Looks identical to the existing Globalstar GSP-1700 satellite phone, with the same specifications, features, selling price, and airtime plans.
[Edit]The Spot Global Phone is black. The GSP-1700 is available only in red, copper, or silver.
The Spot Global Phone is available at many major retailers.
— RexJun 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm #1994802
Globalstar provides a call times tool http://calltimes.globalstar.com/ for predicting when you can make calls for a specific location, up to 3 days in advance.
Globalstar now says the tool will be discontinued soon, because "Globalstar believes it has reached industry standards for satellite connectivity in its areas of coverage"
Using my home town and the still-available tool, over the next 66.6 hours, there are 88 interruptions in service, totaling 6.7 hours, averaging 4.6 minutes long, with an average call window of 45 minutes. 24 of those call windows are less than 10 minutes long.
I've never heard of the "industry standards" to which Globalstar refers, but I expect better call reliability from a satellite phone.
— RexJun 8, 2013 at 10:47 pm #1994803
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
That would be pretty good for sending and receiving text messagesJun 8, 2013 at 11:17 pm #1994807
"That would be pretty good for sending and receiving text messages"
Except Globalstar phones can only receive text messages (sent from a web page). They cannot send text messages at all.
— RexJun 9, 2013 at 8:09 am #1994872
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I'de like to be able to send a message saying everything ok, and then receive a message acknowledging my message and saying everything's ok at home, and then turn off unitJun 9, 2013 at 9:18 am #1994897
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
If wanting to send text messages the Inmarast Isat phone pro works well, I have also never had my issues making phone calls with it.Oct 30, 2013 at 10:20 pm #2039708
As of August 28, 2013, a complete constellation of Globalstar second-generation satellites is fully operational:
This means Globalstar phones and Spot Global phones should work anytime you have a clear view of most of the sky, and you are in the Globalstar coverage area.
The problems with the old satellites did not affect Spot devices, and the new satellites will not improve Spot performance.
(also posted in the Part 1 thread for completeness)
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