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  1. Ryan Harden
  2. Communication
  3. Thursday, 03 January 2019
  4.  Subscribe via email
So we wanted to try a satellite system to see if that would work for our communication needs. I mean, it has global coverage right? Well... sorta. First, these things are crazy expensive. Like, $1,500-$2,000 so that's the biggest drawback. Second, the data plan is regional... so you still have limits on where your plan will work. 3rd, in the trees, these things don't work well, if at all.

20181004_085611.jpg

When you load the screen up, it looks like you took a trip back to 1998. The green screen and black pixels are old school. Boot up time wasn't bad but that's about the best thing in this lineup. We did try the external antennas, but coverage was still spotty at best. The speakers were terrible too but we later found out our rental units had bad speakers in them. At $1,800 these things need to sound like pure gold IMHO.

We tried these on the trails, valleys, highway, etc. Sometimes they worked, other times they didn't. I liked the push to talk feature, that was cool, but overall this is a way overpriced type of communication that just didn't fit.

The website https://www.iridium.com/products/iridium-extreme-ptt/ make them look like the best thing since sliced bread, props to the marketing team, but overall... these were a fail.

Now, that doesn't mean satellite is dead? No. It means this company doesn't really stand a chance against what's on the horizon. Why do I say this? Because SpaceX is entering the game with their Starlink system. The FCC approved some 7500 of their satellites to hit orbit soonish.

Here's Elon explaining how that is going to change global comms.


So overall, right now sat phones are not the answer, but that may change in 10 years.
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