Satellite Telephone Technology Explained

(Archived in: Technology in Plain English)

Note and Update 2011: Satellite technology is now so advanced that you can use it quite casually with various devices to pinpoint your exact location from cars and boats around the globe, or something as unique as making satellite calls from a group of used snowmobiles in the middle of the Adirondack Snowmobile Trails.

Nicola Kennedy

With recent developments in technology, everything is instant, life becomes more convenient.

Even in the field of communication, there is no need for us to exert too much effort - unlike the past when it took quite a long time for our predecessors to pass a message from one place to another.

But now, it is much easier. Inventors are not content with the modernization of telephones and cellular phones, they still discern for something more innovative. This, then, is Satellite Phone Technology.

So, what is a Satellite Phone?

It refers to a subscription radio service. It is similar to cable television - it provides for a wider range of programming and functions that cannot be found on traditional AM or FM radios.

A satellite phone is a telephone-like device that sends radio signals direct to a satellite, then back to the earth station from where the call can be directed to the so-called 'Public Switched Telephone Network' or the PSTN that serves as a cellular network. The Low Earth Orbiting or the LEO is the most commonly used satellite now. The gateway processes make everything possible because even if the person is in the middle of nowhere, he can still access to the satellite phone network, by using compatible satellite phones.

Satellite phones are used globally but the only exemption is it cannot work indoors. Bear in mind that, there is a necessity for a clear line of sight from telephone to satellite to utilize the satellite telephone system. The more open the space you are in, the better the reception. This is why satellite phones are used extensively in the desert. The weather condition also affects the performance of the system. Satellite phones have limited bandwidth.

Second, you must also know the areas covered by the Satellite Phones. While it is true that you will have a global coverage for your satellite phones but you have to consider certain limitations. Some of the countries that are excluded from the coverage of its network are: South Korea, North Sri Lanka, Hungary and Poland.

But if you work, live or travel on specific areas that are outside the coverage of your cellular phones or even a landline, then a satellite phone is essential for you to keep in touch with the rest of the world. Unlike other GSM phones, satellite phones are more independent when it comes to the location.

If you think that a satellite telephone may be useful to you, there are several excellent online resources for further information.

Nicola Kennedy publishes articles and reports and provides news, views and information about communications and Satellite Telephones at Satellite Telephones Information.

This article may be reprinted in full so long as the resource box and the live links are included intact. All rights reserved. Copyright

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