Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Technology
Reload this Page >

Iridium GO....thoughts?

Iridium GO....thoughts?

Old Apr 23, 14, 7:46 pm
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Amex Centurion
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
Some real world experiences here:

http://www.snowandmud.com/spot-satel...e-38580-2.html

Looks like Yukon won't be an issue.
Thank you thank you Scott.

I will read through those comments.

Now to find a Canadian retailer to sell me the Imarsat unit. The only have the older model (roadpost.ca). I guess I can purchase the unit from the USA and just by the SIM card and airtime from Canada.

Does it matter where I but the SIM card and prepaid time? Since satellite service is global, would it matter if I bough the SIM and airtime in the US versus Canada?
FastSRT8 is offline  
Old Apr 23, 14, 11:25 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Colorado Springs
Programs: No single airline or hotel chain is of much use to me anymore.
Posts: 2,729
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
Completely not true. So many services rely on the satellites that are used here that it is so far from "inevitable" that they will go away. The only determining factor that will make a network "go away" is financial (see TerreStar, a network that never made any financial sense). There is no room for more than 2 or maybe 3 networks.

The Inmarsat satellites used for the iSatPhone are amazingly important to aviation, maritime and defense that they are around for good. The Iridium network powers 1000's of private jet phone services, defense and more. They ain't going anywhere. Both networks are profitable, and for someone to come along and take those frequencies away for LTE makes no sense at all, there are plenty of other spots spectrum can be found for this.
I didn't say "go away" I said much of the spectrum will be refarmed for terrestrial purposes and the existing platforms will be shaken up in that.

This is not abstract thinking, GlobalStar has proposed terrestrial LTE on both their 1.6GHz and 2.4GHz spectrum and is currently before the FCC advocating for expanding Wi-Fi into their 2.4GHz spectrum.

To say that this isn't going to happen is like saying that 850MHz AMPS wouldn't be refarmed. There is still 850MHz cellular service but it is being employed in a much more profitable manner. Dish has already tried to buy spectrum from Inmarsat. Who themselves contemplated terrestrial use of their European spectrum for inflight internet.
Error 601 is online now  
Old Apr 23, 14, 11:30 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Colorado Springs
Programs: No single airline or hotel chain is of much use to me anymore.
Posts: 2,729
Originally Posted by FastSRT8 View Post
Wait... in layman terms, are you saying satellite phone service will be phased out?!
No, just that the hardware you buy today might not have a long useful life ahead of it. Although I suspect GlobalStar will probably completely go away.
Error 601 is online now  
Old Apr 24, 14, 7:28 am
  #19  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 37,486
Originally Posted by Error 601 View Post
I didn't say "go away" I said much of the spectrum will be refarmed for terrestrial purposes and the existing platforms will be shaken up in that.

This is not abstract thinking, GlobalStar has proposed terrestrial LTE on both their 1.6GHz and 2.4GHz spectrum and is currently before the FCC advocating for expanding Wi-Fi into their 2.4GHz spectrum.

To say that this isn't going to happen is like saying that 850MHz AMPS wouldn't be refarmed. There is still 850MHz cellular service but it is being employed in a much more profitable manner. Dish has already tried to buy spectrum from Inmarsat. Who themselves contemplated terrestrial use of their European spectrum for inflight internet.
Refarming the spectrum currently used by a satellite provider IS the same is "going away". You can't take away their assigned and in-use spectrum and keep them in business at the same time.

What you bring up is currently unused spectrum, which doesn't apply to any of the discussion of equipment we're having here. Sure, some currently unused spectrum might end up in terrestrial LTE, but the systems in use today will not change. The investments made in the equipment are staggering - think every single jet that uses Inmarsat, every cruise ship, small boat with an iSATPHone etc... Nobody will take away the Iridium spectrum and turn it into LTE until the Iridium network gives up and shuts down. And with the launch of Iridium NEXT, they too are not going away.

Don't try and scare people into thinking their investment in a satellite phone is worthless because of theoretical future scenarios. The two systems I recommended (Iridium and Inmarsat) are going to be around for a long time. And you'll notice that I did not recommend Globalstar.
ScottC is offline  
Old Apr 24, 14, 7:30 am
  #20  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 37,486
Originally Posted by FastSRT8 View Post
Thank you thank you Scott.

I will read through those comments.

Now to find a Canadian retailer to sell me the Imarsat unit. The only have the older model (roadpost.ca). I guess I can purchase the unit from the USA and just by the SIM card and airtime from Canada.

Does it matter where I but the SIM card and prepaid time? Since satellite service is global, would it matter if I bough the SIM and airtime in the US versus Canada?
I've purchased equipment and minutes/sim cards abroad without any issues.
ScottC is offline  
Old Apr 24, 14, 10:34 am
  #21  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Amex Centurion
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
I've purchased equipment and minutes/sim cards abroad without any issues.
Were you able to reload the SIM card over the internet as well? If so, I may look for a retailer in Oregon where its tax free.
FastSRT8 is offline  
Old Apr 24, 14, 12:06 pm
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Amex Centurion
Posts: 150
Iridium seems to have a 'local' US number in Arizona where users can call and split the cost of connecting with the satellite phone holder to keep calling in costs low. There is also an online website to send text messages.

Does this exist for Inmarsat?

This would be a huge consideration for my purchase.
FastSRT8 is offline  
Old Apr 24, 14, 1:16 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Colorado Springs
Programs: No single airline or hotel chain is of much use to me anymore.
Posts: 2,729
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
Refarming the spectrum currently used by a satellite provider IS the same is "going away". You can't take away their assigned and in-use spectrum and keep them in business at the same time.
Of course you can't operate a terrestrial network while concurrently bombarding the same frequency from space. But that also isn't what I said. I said "much of the spectrum will be refarmed for terrestrial purposes"

What you bring up is currently unused spectrum, which doesn't apply to any of the discussion of equipment we're having here.
Also not true.

but the systems in use today will not change.
That is ridiculous, they already are changing.

Don't try and scare people into thinking their investment in a satellite phone is worthless because of theoretical future scenarios. The two systems I recommended (Iridium and Inmarsat) are going to be around for a long time. And you'll notice that I did not recommend Globalstar.
This is not theoretical and I still didn't say they're going away.

Large contiguous blocks of spectrum are very valuable. Look at the evolution in capacity of the 850mhz band from the FDMA analog days to the present. The same spectrum being used in much the same way today on either WCDMA/HSPA or LTE yields enormous capacity on the same spectrum that once accommodated only a handful of concurrent calls. But, if you go into the Verizon store and try to activate your old StarTAC 7797 you're going to be out of luck.

The same efficiencies can be realized with satellite phones, except there isn't the same demand to be unlocked. It just allows, as GlobalStar proposes to consolidate their MSS traffic. The concession that permits Dish to refarm their newly acquired spectrum is seen to have quadrupled their $3B investment. I don't believe for a second that the Iridium and Inmarsat spectrum is sacrosanct. And again Inmarsat both contemplated terrestrial use of their spectrum, negotiated with Dish and rebanded themselves to accommodate LightSquared.

Every satellite platform has at some point been modernized, refarmed and rebanded what would make MSS different?

I would not as an individual invest in this type of hardware today. That is my opinion and I have explained why. There is no reconciling the amount of spectrum these companies possess with their subscriber bases. What do you recall Phil Falcone's intentions for Inmarsat were?
Error 601 is online now  
Old Apr 24, 14, 1:16 pm
  #24  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 37,486
Originally Posted by FastSRT8 View Post
Iridium seems to have a 'local' US number in Arizona where users can call and split the cost of connecting with the satellite phone holder to keep calling in costs low. There is also an online website to send text messages.

Does this exist for Inmarsat?

This would be a huge consideration for my purchase.
Yeah, go through these people:

http://oodalink.satcollect.com/
ScottC is offline  
Old Apr 24, 14, 1:35 pm
  #25  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Amex Centurion
Posts: 150
Error,

Are you saying in your opinion, satellite phone services may be reduced for their valuable bandwidths and as such reliability as what we see it today will be negatively impacted?

What are these terrestrial bands you are referring to? Additional cellphone bands I am assuing?

But the single advantage of a satellite based phone over the tradional cellphone is the global anywhere coverage. How does a terrestrial service compete with this?


Originally Posted by Error 601 View Post
Of course you can't operate a terrestrial network while concurrently bombarding the same frequency from space. But that also isn't what I said. I said "much of the spectrum will be refarmed for terrestrial purposes"



Also not true.



That is ridiculous, they already are changing.



This is not theoretical and I still didn't say they're going away.

Large contiguous blocks of spectrum are very valuable. Look at the evolution in capacity of the 850mhz band from the FDMA analog days to the present. The same spectrum being used in much the same way today on either WCDMA/HSPA or LTE yields enormous capacity on the same spectrum that once accommodated only a handful of concurrent calls. But, if you go into the Verizon store and try to activate your old StarTAC 7797 you're going to be out of luck.

The same efficiencies can be realized with satellite phones, except there isn't the same demand to be unlocked. It just allows, as GlobalStar proposes to consolidate their MSS traffic. The concession that permits Dish to refarm their newly acquired spectrum is seen to have quadrupled their $3B investment. I don't believe for a second that the Iridium and Inmarsat spectrum is sacrosanct. And again Inmarsat both contemplated terrestrial use of their spectrum, negotiated with Dish and rebanded themselves to accommodate LightSquared.

Every satellite platform has at some point been modernized, refarmed and rebanded what would make MSS different?

I would not as an individual invest in this type of hardware today. That is my opinion and I have explained why. There is no reconciling the amount of spectrum these companies possess with their subscriber bases. What do you recall Phil Falcone's intentions for Inmarsat were?
FastSRT8 is offline  
Old Apr 24, 14, 1:58 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Colorado Springs
Programs: No single airline or hotel chain is of much use to me anymore.
Posts: 2,729
All I am saying is changes to the utilization of the spectrum in question will likely make obsolete much of the subscriber hardware in use today. I as an individual wouldn't invest in it.

It isn't a matter of satellite and terrestrial being in competition, unless you're roaming somewhere ridiculously expensive they aren't. It is a question of just how much spectrum should be allocated to the satellite based service and reaching that point might require hardware changes.
Error 601 is online now  
Old Apr 24, 14, 3:21 pm
  #27  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Amex Centurion
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by Error 601 View Post
All I am saying is changes to the utilization of the spectrum in question will likely make obsolete much of the subscriber hardware in use today. I as an individual wouldn't invest in it.

It isn't a matter of satellite and terrestrial being in competition, unless you're roaming somewhere ridiculously expensive they aren't. It is a question of just how much spectrum should be allocated to the satellite based service and reaching that point might require hardware changes.
Ah I get your point.

But then this arguement pretty much applied to all forms of electronic devices.... tape vs CD vs MP3, etc
FastSRT8 is offline  
Old Apr 24, 14, 7:28 pm
  #28  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 37,486
Originally Posted by Error 601 View Post
All I am saying is changes to the utilization of the spectrum in question will likely make obsolete much of the subscriber hardware in use today. I as an individual wouldn't invest in it.
But realistically, how long does a prosumer product like a satellite phone last for? 5 years? Maybe 7? The chance of either Inmarsat or Iridium being out of service in those periods is tiny - hence my trying to put the OP's mind at ease that an investment now will last long enough to get good use out of it.
ScottC is offline  
Old Apr 24, 14, 8:06 pm
  #29  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NY Metro Area
Programs: AA 2MM Yay!, UA MM, Costco General Member
Posts: 44,327
Is it still possible to rent one to try it out where you will be traveling? My wife and I rented one (Iridium) for a trip to Africa. It was fairly reasonably priced as I recall. It might be a goo way to test one.
GadgetFreak is online now  
Old Apr 24, 14, 8:24 pm
  #30  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Amex Centurion
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by GadgetFreak View Post
Is it still possible to rent one to try it out where you will be traveling? My wife and I rented one (Iridium) for a trip to Africa. It was fairly reasonably priced as I recall. It might be a goo way to test one.
Thank you and to all those helping me with this seemingly 'easy' decision!

Those that think buying one is easy, wait til you have to pull the trigger.

I spent some time speaking with a retailer on the phone. It was informative. What he recommended is I wait and try the Iridium GO. He says since pretty much everyone has a smartphone.. and I do, the GO may be what I need.

The go also allows you to use it stand along IF your smartphone happens to be toast. Obviously paired with a smartphone is best but the GO alone is good too.

UGH the decision becomes harder.
FastSRT8 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: