Top 15 Satellite Phone Manufacturers & Phone Models
A SATELLITE PHONE, satellite phone, or satphone is a type of mobile phone that connects to orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell sites. They provide similar functionality to terrestrial mobile telephones; voice, short messaging service and low-bandwidth internet access are supported through most systems.
Depending on the architecture of a particular system, coverage may include the entire Earth, or only specific regions. The mobile equipment, also known as a terminal, varies widely. Early satellite phone handsets had a size and weight comparable to that of a late-1980s or early-1990s mobile phone, but usually with a large retractable antenna. More recent satellite phones are similar in size to a regular mobile phone while some prototype satellite phones have no distinguishable difference from an ordinary smartphone. Satphones are popular on expeditions into remote areas where terrestrial cellular service is unavailable.
A fixed installation, such as one used aboard a ship, may include large, rugged, rack-mounted electronics, and a steerable microwave antenna on the mast that automatically tracks the overhead satellites. Smaller installations using VoIP over a two-way satellite broadband service such as BGAN or VSAT bring the costs within the reach of leisure vessel owners. Internet service satellite phones have notoriously poor reception indoors, though it may be possible to get a consistent signal near a window or in the top floor of a building if the roof is sufficiently thin. The phones have connectors for external antennas that can be installed in vehicles and buildings. The systems also allow for the use of repeaters, much like terrestrial mobile phone systems.
Satellite Phone News, Reviews & Resources
- GLOBALSTAR - since 1991. "Be Heard."
- GLOBALSTAR GSP-1600 - provides easy access to satellite voice and data services, including Internet and e-mail access, voicemail, incoming SMS, and position location. A complete accessory range allows for installation in vehicles, vessels and portable docking kits.
- GLOBALSTAR GSP-1700 - a light and feature-rich mobile satellite phone, the GSP-1700 helps you stay connected virtually anywhere.
- GLOBALSTAR GSP-2900 - provides convenient fixed access to satellite voice and data services, including Internet, e-mail and voicemail.
- inmarsat IsatPhone Link - "A low-cost, fixed-line satellite phone service for people based in rural or remote areas outside of cellular coverage and deployable anywhere in the world." Designed for indoor or outdoor use, you can set up IsatPhone Link within minutes to provide crystal-clear and reliable telephone calling. Also ideal for emergency and back-up communications.
- FleetPhone - "Our low-cost, maritime satellite phone service is designed for use when you're beyond the range of land-based networks."
- IsatPhone Pro - "A low-cost, handheld satellite phone that enables you to make calls anywhere around the globe – and comes with voicemail, text and email messaging, and GPS location data."
- IsatPhone 2 - "Designed to work with the most reliable satellite communications network in the world."
- IRIDIUM - since 1987. "Everywhere.".
- IRIDIUM 9555 - "The tough handset chosen by tough customers." Not only the smallest phone Iridium has ever made, it’s also the most powerful. Engineered to withstand the world’s toughest environments.
- IRIDIUM 9555 A - "Rugged and reliable, the Iridium 9505A is small and lightweight enough to be carried in a backpack and very easy to use. It helps users keep in touch even while on the move, everywhere on the planet."
- IRIDIUM 9555 A US - features a solid as-molded design with hardened keypad, rubber overmold grip, and removeable articulating antenna for use in the toughest environments.
- Iridium Extreme - "The smarter, tougher satellite phone." The first phone to combine location awareness and SOS.
- Iridium Extreme PTT - "Fast. Simple. Global." Push-to-talk as it was meant to be.
- THURAYA - since 1997. "Stay Close." All models
- Thuraya SatSleeve - "SatSleeve for iPhone." TRANSFORM YOUR IPHONE INTO A SATELLITE SMARTPHONE. The perfect blend of mobility and simplicity, the Thuraya SatSleeve is the smartest, fastest and simplest way to transform your iPhone into a satellite smartphone. An industry first, the Thuraya SatSleeve provides access to phone calls, emails, instant messages and popular social media apps in satellite mode, across 161 countries across Thuraya’s coverage network.
- THURAYA XT - "One of the most successful satellite phones of all time." The world’s toughest satellite phone for use in the most challenging environments.
- Thuraya XT-DUAL - "Delivering GSM and satellite capabilities in a single phone." Operates efficiently both within the reach of any GSM network and when connected to the Thuraya satellite network - providing the highest flexibility to shift between available networks wherever you are.
- Thuraya XT-LITE - "Simple. Reliable. Affordable." Best value. Satellite calls and text messages.
- Thuraya XT-PRO - "The world’s most advanced satellite phone." Biggest display in industry (2.4 inch). Selectable navigation systems; GPS, BeiDou & Glonass. Up to 9 hours talk-time & 100 hours standby time. In-built SOS button. Jet water, & dust resistant, shock proof.