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

Iridium GO....thoughts?

Iridium GO....thoughts?

Old Apr 26, 14, 7:19 pm
  #31  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 37,486
Originally Posted by FastSRT8 View Post
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.
Of course he'd say that - they are all on commission to sell these, and since they are not actually out in the wild yet, there are no reviews for him to base his recommendation on.

Again, you are looking at a satellite hotspot that will do up to 2.4kbps. Those speeds are beyond challenging - even in the early 90's most people were on speeds higher than that. The only upside I can see is that it will support Iridium Next once that launches, which will bring much faster speeds.

What EXACTLY are you looking to do, and where do you plan to do it? Is this just for emergencies, or are you looking to do more with it? The Go! is not really suitable for true emergencies.

If you need "real" data, you may even be looking at a nice cheap used BGAN terminal like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hughes-9201-...item1e897d7633
ScottC is offline  
Old Apr 27, 14, 2:08 am
  #32  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Amex Centurion
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
Of course he'd say that - they are all on commission to sell these, and since they are not actually out in the wild yet, there are no reviews for him to base his recommendation on.

Again, you are looking at a satellite hotspot that will do up to 2.4kbps. Those speeds are beyond challenging - even in the early 90's most people were on speeds higher than that. The only upside I can see is that it will support Iridium Next once that launches, which will bring much faster speeds.

What EXACTLY are you looking to do, and where do you plan to do it? Is this just for emergencies, or are you looking to do more with it? The Go! is not really suitable for true emergencies.

If you need "real" data, you may even be looking at a nice cheap used BGAN terminal like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hughes-9201-...item1e897d7633
Scott, I won't be going to any serious treks off the beaten path. What I am looking for is to have a backup piece of equipment which would allow me to connect via email,text and voice in an emergency.

I know the Iridium network is the 'best' in terms of speed of connection and coverage.

What will the new Next system bring besides speed of data for the GO? Will the current handsets benefit from the Next system or is the Next systems only for the GO units?

I guess the GO appeals as it seems to be an all in one unit that allows one's smartphone to act like an Iridium extreme handset.
FastSRT8 is offline  
Old Apr 27, 14, 4:17 pm
  #33  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 37,486
Originally Posted by FastSRT8 View Post
Scott, I won't be going to any serious treks off the beaten path. What I am looking for is to have a backup piece of equipment which would allow me to connect via email,text and voice in an emergency.

I know the Iridium network is the 'best' in terms of speed of connection and coverage.

What will the new Next system bring besides speed of data for the GO? Will the current handsets benefit from the Next system or is the Next systems only for the GO units?

I guess the GO appeals as it seems to be an all in one unit that allows one's smartphone to act like an Iridium extreme handset.
As far as I know, the Go is the first unit that will support NEXT once it is up and running. That said, as with most satellite launches, their date of 2015 is probably too ambitious.

I simply can't recommend the Go because I have not had a chance to test it, hopefully someone will have a full (real world) review of it soon.
ScottC is offline  
Old Apr 27, 14, 5:03 pm
  #34  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Amex Centurion
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
As far as I know, the Go is the first unit that will support NEXT once it is up and running. That said, as with most satellite launches, their date of 2015 is probably too ambitious.

I simply can't recommend the Go because I have not had a chance to test it, hopefully someone will have a full (real world) review of it soon.
Hmmm sounds like the new NEXT system would introduce a whole new range of handsets from Iridium as well.

Interesting times!

I guess I should 'wait' for the first reviews to come out then make my decision.
FastSRT8 is offline  
Old Apr 28, 14, 10:57 pm
  #35  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Amex Centurion
Posts: 150
So... the next obvious question is... has anyone with a personal satellite phone try and successfully make a call while in flight on a commercial jet?
FastSRT8 is offline  
Old Apr 29, 14, 12:28 am
  #36  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: NY Metro Area
Programs: AA 2MM Yay!, UA MM, Costco General Member
Posts: 44,330
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 7_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/537.51.2 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/7.0 Mobile/11D167 Safari/9537.53)

Originally Posted by FastSRT8
So... the next obvious question is... has anyone with a personal satellite phone try and successfully make a call while in flight on a commercial jet?
That's not so obvious since it isn't allowed. I gave used the ones built into some aircraft.
GadgetFreak is offline  
Old Apr 29, 14, 11:35 am
  #37  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Amex Centurion
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by GadgetFreak View Post
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 7_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/537.51.2 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/7.0 Mobile/11D167 Safari/9537.53)



That's not so obvious since it isn't allowed. I gave used the ones built into some aircraft.
Oh thanks! I thought as it is a sat phone similar to those employed on a plane it would be 'ok' to use.

Best not to then I guess.
FastSRT8 is offline  
Old Apr 29, 14, 12:10 pm
  #38  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 37,486
Originally Posted by FastSRT8 View Post
Oh thanks! I thought as it is a sat phone similar to those employed on a plane it would be 'ok' to use.

Best not to then I guess.
I'll admit to using the old Iridium pager on flights, and as long as region was setup correctly, it would work, but it had to be right next to the window. The DeLorme InReach does NOT work in-flight as it never manages to get a GPS fix and it won't do anything without one.
ScottC is offline  
Old Apr 29, 14, 2:02 pm
  #39  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Amex Centurion
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
I'll admit to using the old Iridium pager on flights, and as long as region was setup correctly, it would work, but it had to be right next to the window. The DeLorme InReach does NOT work in-flight as it never manages to get a GPS fix and it won't do anything without one.
Thanks Scott.

That is kind of what I wanted to try.... purely out of curiosity. I read on the 'web' that the newer Iridium phones should be able to work right through the skin of the aircraft. Aparently the signal waves can penetrate the plane skin.

Don't know though as I don't have a phone to try.
FastSRT8 is offline  
Old May 3, 14, 4:56 am
  #40  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Colorado Springs
Programs: No single airline or hotel chain is of much use to me anymore.
Posts: 2,731
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
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.
Your language is driving me crazy, neither are going to be "out of service" but the existing platforms are changing and an inconsequentially small install base of endpoints isn't going to be a tremendous impediment to change. For example, most users of the Inmarsat Mini-M are getting cut-off at the end of this year.
Error 601 is offline  
Old May 3, 14, 5:49 am
  #41  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Monaco
Posts: 317
Originally Posted by FastSRT8 View Post
So... the next obvious question is... has anyone with a personal satellite phone try and successfully make a call while in flight on a commercial jet?
Yes, with Iridium calling from an aircraft cabin works perfectly ok, especially with the standard car cable antenna put close to the window (although I didn't manage to put it on the roof, like in my car )

My advice on this whole question: rent the sat phone (from an online expediter; or if you have a shop nearby) according to your needs.

Or if you really, really want to buy one, buy Iridium.

I own a Thuraya dual sat phone, meaning I can call GSM and satellite with my same everyday SIM card. Perfect as a safety backup, especially in Africa, Asia, Europe, but not in the Americas and Atlantic (cruise ships!), and sat calls are expensive! I successfully made calls from East Siberia and even Japan pointing the antenna almost horizontally towards the satellite above Somalia. (There's an interesting sat sleeve for the iPhone)

I often travel to remote places with a friend who owns an Iridium. When he buys a bigger pre-paid card, the cost per call is so low that we use his Iridium for all outgoing calls all the time. Very convenient. But cards expire quickly. And call parties don't see the number they know from you.

Just now, I was at the North Pole (Trip Report here). Together with Antarctica, these are the two areas where only Iridium works. So I rented one. Paid around US$ 100 for 1 week, including a lot of calls - to tell people where I just was .

Last edited by LuxuryRogue; May 3, 14 at 6:09 am Reason: added sat sleeve for iPhone
LuxuryRogue is offline  
Old May 3, 14, 3:55 pm
  #42  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Amex Centurion
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by LuxuryRogue View Post
Yes, with Iridium calling from an aircraft cabin works perfectly ok, especially with the standard car cable antenna put close to the window (although I didn't manage to put it on the roof, like in my car )

My advice on this whole question: rent the sat phone (from an online expediter; or if you have a shop nearby) according to your needs.

Or if you really, really want to buy one, buy Iridium.

I own a Thuraya dual sat phone, meaning I can call GSM and satellite with my same everyday SIM card. Perfect as a safety backup, especially in Africa, Asia, Europe, but not in the Americas and Atlantic (cruise ships!), and sat calls are expensive! I successfully made calls from East Siberia and even Japan pointing the antenna almost horizontally towards the satellite above Somalia. (There's an interesting sat sleeve for the iPhone)

I often travel to remote places with a friend who owns an Iridium. When he buys a bigger pre-paid card, the cost per call is so low that we use his Iridium for all outgoing calls all the time. Very convenient. But cards expire quickly. And call parties don't see the number they know from you.

Just now, I was at the North Pole (Trip Report here). Together with Antarctica, these are the two areas where only Iridium works. So I rented one. Paid around US$ 100 for 1 week, including a lot of calls - to tell people where I just was .
Thanks! Awesome.

I will keep this in mind.
FastSRT8 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: