About the Inmarsat Network
An industry leader in satellite communications since 1976, Inmarsat has become a backbone for critical communications and offers satellite devices that have been engineered for field conditions and high-quality nearly-global coverage. For basic voice connectivity and low bandwidth (narrowband) data, the IsatPhone from Inmarsat provides global communications coverage, except in the polar regions.
The Inmarsat network uses three (3) geostationary satellites to provide voice and data communications almost everywhere on earth. Each satellite is equipped with a single spot beam that covers up to one-third of Earth’s surface. Because Inmarsat coverage extends from latitudes of -82° to 82° regardless of longitude, higher latitudes will have lower performance.
Registration to the network requires a clear line of sight to the equator and may not be suitable for use in canyons or mountains. Because the satellite orbit further from earth, network registration times may take a little longer than with competing networks.
With an accessible price point and coverage that spans most of the globe, except the polar regions, the IsatPhone from Inmarsat is a great option for budget-conscious individuals. It’s important to remember that the antenna on Inmarsat devices must have an open view of the sky towards the equator, so they are best used in a stationary position and less suited to walking while talking. Also, the availability of service at the edge of the coverage areas fluctuates, depending on various conditions.
How Inmarsat satellite coverage works?
The Inmarsat constellation consists of 13 satellites in a geosynchronous (GEO) orbit approximately 22,000 miles above the earth. The satellites are positioned to transmit radio beams in two global configurations covering the oceans and major land masses. It is important to note that Inmarsat coverage extends from latitudes of -82° to 82° regardless of longitude, so higher latitudes like the polar regions are not covered.
International travelers: Please research local laws before you travel as some countries don’t permit the use of satellite phones. For travel to India, note that local laws require airtime service be acquired from the local provider BSNL.
Great reasons to choose Inmarsat
- Near global (except Polar Regions)
- Excellent voice quality
- Broadband data (via BGAN)
- Affordable price point
The downside? No coverage in the polar regions, longer network registration times and best used in a stationary position (with the antenna pointed toward the equator).
How to Connect to the Inmarsat Network?
Using an IsatPhone, ensure you are in a stationary position and orient the antenna so it has an unobstructed view of the sky toward the equator.
Use your satellite phone near to tall buildings, trees or mountains that can obstruct the line of sight with satellites in the sky.
Note: The polar regions aren’t covered by the Inmarsat network.