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Mobile satellite phones are for the perfect choice for those who play
or work in remote places on the planet. Handheld phones from
Iridium and Globalstar enable you to stay in touch (through phone
calls or text messaging) with the office, or friends and family
anywhere your work or adventures take you. And when combined
with other satellite equipment, phones can provide voice in addition
to data communications.

Thanks to the remarkable development of terrestrial mobile phone
networks in recent years, we can now talk on the phone almost
anywhere as we go about our daily activities. However, it is not
yet possible to use mobile phones in every corner of the country.

For example, you cannot use mobile phones in remote mountain
areas or on isolated areas lacking base stations for terrestrial
mobile systems. In such areas, mobile satellite phones are useful.
Using satellite radio relay facilities, mobile satellite phone systems
cover wide areas; furthermore, these systems do not suffer from
degradation of service in times of disaster, as is the case with
terrestrial systems when base stations are damaged.

Currently, two types of mobile satellite phone systems are
available: Iridium and Globalstar, which use a multitude of low
earth orbit satellites. Also there are ACeS (Indonesia) and
Thuraya (UAE),which use one or two Geo-stationary satellites.
The former reduces the size of ground terminals by reducing
the distance between the ground and satellites, while the latter
reduces the size of these terminals by using large satellite
mounted reflector antennas. Although a Geo-stationary satellite
system covers smaller areas compared to an orbital satellite
system, service can be initiated with only one Geo stationary
satellite in position.

The handset type terminal can be used for voice
communications in the same manner as terrestrial mobile
phones (i.e., held to the userís ear). The PDA type
terminal is intended to add the functions of an electronic
organizer or a pocket computer to the satellite phone and can
be used in voice or data communications. In combination with
a satellite dish approx. 50 cm in diameter, the PDA terminal
can also serve as a base station.

These prototype terminals operate on six AA or AAA batteries.
Mobile satellite phones are not very convenient to carry due
to the inevitably large rod antennas on their bodies. These
antennas are continually enhanced by incorporating small, flat
patch antennas into their bodies. Further, using a prototype
phone terminal in combination with a small commercial GPS
receiver, it is possible to send its location information to a base
station for PC map display. This function is intended for use in
emergency communications in disaster-stricken areas, where
mobile satellite phones are particularly useful. These prototype
terminals use frequencies allocated to mobile satellite
communications: 2.5 GHz (reception) and 2.65 GHz (transmission).

Mobile satellite phones are sweeping across the nation. More
and more businesses, consumers and governments are
starting to realize the benefits of portable satellite services
over traditional service providers. They create a powerful and
cost-effective means of relaying information to and from
remote teams or mobile units working in areas not yet
covered by conventional cellular networks. These mobile
systems allow to communicate with bandwidth that cannot be
provided over cellular networks. From exacting military
requirements to the recreational traveler, mobile systems
meet our needs wherever we are.

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