First things first about Satellite Equipment usage in the North
One of the myths of sat phone usage in Alaska is that it is available 100 percent of the time. While it seems that it should, it is not. Why?
In the case of Globalstar’s constellation its second generation satellites are positioned at a lower latitude using 24 LEO (Low Earth Orbiting) satellites. These satellites talk to each other in what is called a “bent pipe architecture.” Using this system in space and the use of regional gateways Globalstar has far and away better audio for clearer, crisp sound. While there are times and places where the equipment does not immediately work this is because the phone signal can’t see the necessary satellites to make a complete connection.
Speaking of connections, using Globalstar phones you will not have to make multiple stage dialing, meaning that you can dial an area code and number the same as a cellular telephone. Other satphone services require multiple dialing starting with a service access number, then the number you wish to reach.
The Globalstar satellite is simple; Each consists of a communications system of both S and L-band antennas, a trapezoidal body, two solar arrays and each satellite operates at an altitude of 1,414km (approximately 876 miles).
This systems software resides on the ground at regional “Gateways” in Alaska we are lucky as there is a gateway located in Wasilla in the Mat-Su Valley which means that more of the state has clearer stronger audio and digital signals to and from the equipment.
Additionally Globalstar 1700 phones use a new lighter battery that boasts of longer times between re-charging, and shorter times completing a full battery charge. Also there are additional accessories like mini USB ports in the phone for use of the 9600 Wifi units and portable docking kits.
Consider using a Globalstar 1700 phone while travelling long distances on Alaska roads in the winter, or use a SPOT or Trace unit so that friends and family can follow and track your trip from start to destination. These units are small, portable and useful for adventure travel as well.
But first check road weather conditions or aviation weather pack and dress for getting stuck and bring a Globalstar Satellite device…that’s the Alaska way.