April 18th, 2010

IsatPhone Pro

Posted by Ben in Communications, Gear, Satphones

Inmarsat have announced a new handheld satphone seemingly designed to compete with Thuraya’s handheld offerings, such as the Thuraya XT and other such robust weather and dust resistant devices.

The IsatPhone Pro offers features such as satellite telephony, voicemail, text/email messaging, GPS location data, a claimed up to 8 hours talk time and up to 100 hours standby time, Bluetooth, and worldwide coverage.

Bear in mind that both Inmarsat and Thuraya’s handheld models are geared for voice, not data, capability. Inmarsat says the IsatPhone Pro will not initially offer a real data connection, although it does say it can receive SMS and short emails on the phone itself, and that “a circuit-switched data service at 2.4kbps is expected to be available … by Q1 2011”. The Thuraya XT on the other hand does offer data capability but only at the still-relatively-slow 15/60 kbps upload/download.

So if you’re looking for a robust and weatherproof satphone (both are IP54 rated) to use for voice calls in remote areas, then these models look good. If however, you’re looking for a satphone to use for photo transmission and/or general internet use, then you will probably want to be looking at a BGAN instead, which are capable of up to 492kbps (send and receive).

A full brochure of the IsatPhone Pro is available to download here as is a Q&A document


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