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A satellite phone enables you to make a call to a person anywhere in
the world, even if you are out of local, terrestrial and cellular networks.
Your satellite call will be sent up 33,000 kilometres to orbiting satellites
and then relayed the same distance back to the ground station
gateway, and then routed to your destination. A satellite phone is
extremely handy when travelling the globe as a reliable system to
keep in touch with your business or family. They can also provide
features such as GPS navigation and internet access (depending on
the mobile handset/service provider).

Having a satellite phone close at hand gives peace of mind in the
even that something unexpected occurs. It is important that one is
prepared for times of uncertainty in the event that the existing
terrestrial-based cellular network are disrupted. In such a case, a
satellite phone could be your only connection to the outside world.
During the past few years, satellite phones have been increasingly
used during the aftermath of hurricanes and power outages, providing
a reliable form of emergency communication. The demand for satellite
phones was especially apparent in the aftermath of 9/11 and the
hurricanes that hit Florida in 2004, when all government agencies
became aware of the need for these devices for emergency
communication. During the aftermath of this disaster, the government
purchased hand-held satellite phones and fixed site satellite phones
with the intent of being prepared for an event where the local phone
network was disrupted. This came in 2004 when the hurricanes hit
Florida. In the weeks that followed each hurricane hit, government
agencies, insurance adjusters, and businesses all benefited from their
purchases or rental of satellite phones.

With the price and complexity of the satellite phone service in general
coming down in price all of the time, the technology has reached the
point where it is as easy to operate as a terrestrial-based cellular
phone handset. Another advantage of satellite phones is the
uninterrupted communication that is inherent in the design of the
network. In an emergency situation, a satellite phone is an essential
asset, and the possession of such a device could mean the difference
between life and death when communication is paramount.

The satellite phone allows simple to use voice and data
communication in a hand held device when all other forms of
communication would be disrupted for weeks.
The reason satellite phones work when all other phones have stopped
working is that a satellite phone does not rely on the local telephone
infrastructure to function. When you use a satellite phone the call
goes up to the satellite constellation and is relayed back down a
gateway. The gateway sends the call to its call destination by landline
and cellular networks.

More on Gateways
Gateways are key to the operation of the ground segment of the
Globalstar satellite operation. They consist of:
" Ground Operations Control Centre (GOCC)
" Satellite Operations Control Centre (SOCC)
" Globalstar Data Network (GDN)

Each gateway is owned and operated by the service provider in the
country in which it is located. It is not unusual however for a gateway to
service more than one country. They consist of three or four dish
antennas, a switching station, and remote operating controls. They
receive signals from the LEO satellites, process the calls, and then
route them to the correct gateway, and then to the appropriate
terrestrial network. The gateways integrate with local and regional
telephony and wireless networks via a T1/E1 interface to the existing
PSTN/PLMN systems. It should be noted that all individual signals are
encrypted in order to ensure privacy.

Gateways offer seamless integration with local and regional telephony
and wireless networks. They utilize a standard T1/E1 interface to the
existing PSTN/PLMN systems. Encryption ensures voice and
signalling security for individual transmissions.

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