What is Satellite Phones?
A satellite telephone, satellite phone, or satphone is a type of mobile phone that connects to orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell sites. Depending on the architecture of a particular system, coverage may include the entire Earth or only specific regions.
ideally, these phones enable communication anywhere around the world irrespective of location whereas normal cell phones require proper terrestrial network coverage to enable communication.
Due to cost and other reasons such as government regulations on use, satellite phones are utilized primarily where there is no access to a telephone or cellular network.
How it Works?
A typical satellite phone network consist of components. These are Satellite network, The ground stations and Subscriber products(The satellite phones and data units)
- Satellite phone provide a solution for communication when all other forms of communication are disrupted or limited in cases like earthquakes, floods etc.
- The coverage area of a satellite greatly exceeds that of a terrestrial system.
- Transmission cost of a satellite is independent of the distance from the center of the coverage area.
- Satellite to satellite communication is very precise.
- Higher bandwidth are available for use.
Advantages of satellite phones
- Wide network coverage
- Uniform performance irrespective of location
- Uniformity in phone number
- No installation/setup required
- Highly useful in disaster response
Disadvantages of satellite phones
- High cost of the phone as well as call cost
- Large antenna size
- Delay in voice communication conversations, particularly when using networks based on geosynchronous orbits.
- Low data bandwidths for internet access etc.
- Local government regulations may also prevent one from using satellite phones without prior permission.
Manufacturers of satellite phone
The mobile equipment, also known as a terminal, varies widely. Early satellite phone handsets had a size and weight comparable to that of a late 1980s or early 1990s mobile phone, but usually with a large retractable antenna.
More recent satellite phones are similar in size to a regular mobile phone. Satphones are popular on expeditions into remote areas where terrestrial cellular service is unavailable.