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IsatPhone 2 the new Inmarsat satellite phone [Update]

The war is open between the two leading operators worldwide satellite phone. After the announcement of GO! by Iridium (¹), this is IsatPhone 2 by Inmarsat.

Inmarsat will deliver its new mobile satellite phone on March 24 next. IsatPhone 2 target the high end market of satellite telephony. Described as "a fine device combined with a feeling of high quality", it has additional options and more features than the previous model IsatPhone Pro (²), such as GPS tracking, emergency button or the receipt of calls with the folded antenna.

Offered at a higher price than IsatPhone Pro, However, it retains an excellent quality/price ratio. This new phone should appeal to specific users, especially those who seek to replace older satellite phone (implied : another brand). In parallel, the IsatPhone Pro model will continue to be marketed as a satellite phone entry level low cost. Thus with two models, differentiated by price and performance, Inmarsat will target customers in two complementary markets.

Description

Waterproof IP65, IsatPhone 2 differs by a distress call function and, thanks to its built-in GPS, tracking capability via a subscription to a specialty service, as Iridium 9575 Extreme.

It is featured with a more powerful antenna that the first model, that allows a two times faster satellites acquisition (about half a minute), significantly reducing connection costs (³). A high-resolution color screen allows full sunlight use. Its lithium-ion battery provides a high capacity battery life up to 8 hours talk time, 160 hours standby. It is provided with a micro-USB connector to connect a WiFi router Optimizer, an antenna connector, and a Bluetooth interface 2.0 for a headset or other accessory.

Opinion

From the point of view of the open sea boater, for use messaging in order to request weather GRIB files, the main improvement is the ability to connect it directly an external antenna without using an expensive docking station, as for IsatPhone Pro (²).

[Update July 1/07/14] Upon enquiry by the company E - SAT, the antenna connector receives only a passive antenna, but not the autodirectionnelle active antenna which shall be supplied with a docking station. This external antenna is indispensable at sea (and on any mobile support) to lock the geostationary satellite connection if you want to be able to make transfers of data without breaking. Therefore, there is no particular improvement compared to the previous model for receipt of offshore weather files. The IsatPhone2 docking station is not yet available.

It is available in France since a few weeks, already priced in Nauticom website 890 € with SIM card, What positions it at a particularly aggressive price against the Extreme Iridium for use voice.


(¹) Iridium GO! promises log - almost - anywhere
(²) IsatPhone Pro versus Iridium, choose which
(³) IsatPhone Pro versus Iridium (continue)

8 Comments

  1. John Svalander dit:

    Just one thing missing – an easy way to connect to a Mac or iPad

  2. Hutin françois dit:

    An important question seems to me to be whether the unit will operate within the boat without antenna. I bought the first model based on the attractive price but without appeal and without antenna dock and inside the boat, it does not pick up satellites. Obviously, outside it works but the different market players were much silent on this point. So, vigilance on it because antenna and docking station, it doubles the price.
    Cordially
    fh

    1. Francis dit:

      Why I supported in my article on the presence of an external antenna connector on the new device, unlike the previous model.

  3. FullHaya dit:

    We also hope to read your comments before been complemented by the eye of the user that you have been.
    What about the costs of com compared to other solutions on the market ?
    This is identical to the previous model of the brand ?

    1. Francis dit:

      So far no change in rates or terms.

  4. Michel dit:

    Thank you for your articles very interesting and relevant. The significantly lower purchase price and improving the connection time could swing analysis : if you plan to use the phone 1 with an example 500 minutes of calls in the period, with a lower price 500 600 € iridium extreme, IsatPhone not it would be the most cost effective solution ? In fact your analysis use this summer will be very interesting if you have the opportunity !

  5. Fabio dit:

    Salve, are in the process of purchasing the terminal object, but I did not understand if you have the chance’ send and receive email, without connecting it to your computer.
    I hope someone can help me or give me advice about other.
    currently being a maritime use a globalstar, that gave me huge problems, leaving the bottom of the Mediterranean and speak without phone line for several days, and then with connections not all day.
    so I'm opting for another terminal, I hope someone can help.

    1. Francis dit:

      I did not understand if he has the chance 'to send and receive email, without connecting it to your computer

      At, this is impossible. You need to subscribe to a messaging service, then connect the satellite phone to a computer or tablet via a dedicated wifi router. The satellite phone can only make and receive voice and text messages.
      For use with Mac, iPad o iPhone, I created a multimedia tutorial for iBooks in English and French:
      Get Weather Forecast with Satphone at Sea.
      Mi scusi, but it is not translated into Italian.

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