Inmarsat GSPS or Global Satellite Phone Service is rapidly becoming the standard handheld satellite phone for users operating between 50° N and 50° S latitude.
Inmarsat uses geostationary equatorial satellites to provide near global coverage except in the polar regions. Inmarsat GSPS offers voice calling, short messaging (SMS), email-to-text, and 2400 bps data.
The IsatPhone 2 also has several important safety tools. A Personal Assistance Button lets the user quickly transmit a short message to a preset emergency contact showing them the phone's most recent GPS fix location.
An automatic breadcrumb trail of GPS location reports can be sent as often as every 5 minutes. A Tracking LED on the phone's LCD screen indicates whether tracking is active. A Tracking Button on the side of the phone lets you easily toggle tracking on and off.
Though the IsatPhone 2 has a relatively slow 2400 bps (best case) data speed, it can be used effectively for email and photo sharing by using the optional Optimizer Hotspot (see our review).
The IsatPhone 2 handheld satellite phone is intended for outdoor use where it has a clear line of sight to the sky. In-building and in-vehicle applications require a docking stations with an external antenna. The IsatDock 2 PRO and IsatDock 2 MARINE have a variety of features including a privacy handset, speaker phone with mute button, Bluetooth support, data call support, and an RJ-11 phone port for use with conventional phone equipment. The marine version of the docking station has a water resistant translucent screen that protects the satellite phone while it is docked. Various antennas are available:
Solar Charging Solutions: The IsatPhone series phones are USB re-chargeable. Outfitter Satellite offers several solar charging solutions depending on your application.
Our 6-Watt and 10-Watt back-pack mountable solar chargers charge an internal Li-Ion battery while you walk down the trail. You can recharge your satellite phone or other small USB-chargeable electronics later at your convenience -- even at night -- using the stored charge. The 10-Watt version also has a 12 Volt DC output for accessories with car chargers.
The Inmarsat GSPS coverage area uses three Inmarsat I-4 satellites. Outfitter Satellite recommends Inmarsat GSPS service for users operating between 50° N and 50° S latitude. Unfortunately, as you travel north of 50° N (or south of 50° S latitude), the Inmarsat satellites tend to be closer to the horizon and the possibility of terrain masking from vertical obstructions such as mountains or trees increases. It is the responsibility of the user to consider this issue before traveling to any given location. Outfitter Satellite's staff can provide you with the elevation angle above the horizon and the azimuthal "compass" angle for the I-4 satellite if you will provide us with the GPS position where you intend to use the satellite.