Satellite Phones as Back Up Communication – Things to Consider

If your agency, EOC or Command Center relies on more than one phone line for communication, then there would be the need for more than one back up satellite phone to fulfill your communication demands in an emergency. During emergencies when satellite phones are most likely to be needed, communication demands increase. Logically, the larger the facility the more back up lines would be needed to meet the demand. It is important to make sure your back up plan is scaled accordingly. Here are a couple of things to consider.

Satellite Phone Back-Up Basics
Of course, you can buy several satellite phones, put them in a drawer and pull them out for emergencies.  The problem with any satellite phone is that it must be outdoors and able to reliably "see” the satellite to function. During emergencies, going outside to make or receive a phone call is usually not practical. The solution is to put the phone in a docking station connected to external antenna. The external antenna allows the phone to work indoors and the docking station keeps the phone powered up and charged, ready for service. 
With most docking stations you can plug in and use regular analog phones or standard cordless phones to make and receive calls. Those phones can be located anywhere in your facility, so your satellite phones/docks don’t have to be located where the calling takes place.  This configuration also allows you to have more than one wired or wireless phone attached to each dock, providing multiple extensions.  The docking station can also be plugged into your office PBX or phone switch allowing that satellite phone to show up as an extension on any phones, or phones, in your facility. This configuration would allow multiple people to have access to the satellite phone.  With any of these configurations, a phone/dock it is still just a single line, so when one person is using it, no other calls can come in or go out. 
Multiple Line Solutions
Adequately prepared facilities will have multiple satellite phones installed in the facility to meet anticipated volume. This mean multiple phones in docking stations or multiple Comm Center units like the ASE MC08 or MC05 which replace the phone/dock combination. Each unit installed will have to have its own antenna and cable. While this adds a level of complexity to the installation, it also adds a level of redundancy.  As an alternative, the Iridium Pilot is a single unit consisting of one antenna and modem, but provides 3 separate satellite phone line and a data connection.
Managing Multiple Lines:
Each satellite phone line in your back up contingency will have its own unique phone number, but for simplicity you may only want to give out one emergency contact number.  A little know feature of the satellite phone system is the ability to "roll the phone” from one line to another. With the proper set up, you can give out one emergency contact number for your facility. When someone calls that number, if that line is busy, the call would automatically roll to the next available line, allowing the call to be completed.  The 2nd, 3rd and 4th etc. line in the group would still be available for direct dial using their assigned phone number.  

For more details please contact us with brief details of your requirements.

Created On  5 Feb 2018 12:07 in GeneralIridium Satellite Phones  -  Permalink

Iridium Go Firmware Update

Iridium Go Firmware Update
A new firmware release, version 1.5.2, is now available for the Iridium GO!®. This release includes the following user experience enhancements:
  • Improved internet connection speeds.
  • Addition of time to periodic tracking messages.
  • Various other minor improvements.
While this release is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that the upgrade be performed as soon as possible to enable the best end user experience.
The 1.5.2 firmware and the accompanying release notes and firmware upgrade instructions may be found at

Units dispatched from G-Comm after the 24th September will have this update automatically included. 

If you would like G-Comm to perform your update for you we can do so for a modest charge. You will need to return your device to us. Cost would be £30.00 + VAT including return postage. Please get in touch if you would like to take advantage of this offer. 

Created On  25 Sep 2017 10:44 in Iridium Go!  -  Permalink

9575 Extreme Firmware Recall

Firmware release HL17001 for the Iridium Extreme® is being pulled back from use. Any handsets that have been updated to HL17001 should have Firmware Release HL15002 loaded in its place. When HL17001 is loaded onto an Iridium Extreme with hardware build AB02 (at the end of the Part Number on the IMEI label), the device ceases to work properly, never finding the network.

You can download Firmware Release HL15002 by clicking here

The Firmware upgrades for the Iridium 9555 and Iridium 9575 PTT units are not effected. 
Created On  25 Aug 2017 9:49 in Iridium Satellite Phones  -  Permalink

Iridium Firmware Upgrades

Iridium have announced new Firmware for their 9555 and 9575 (PTT) handheld satellite phone devices. Whilst these are not compulsory upgrades they do provide the following improvements:

Issue ID  Description
4364 Improved accuracy of reporting when SMS storage on the SIM has reached capacity.
6070 Updated startup splash screen to display a NEXT constellation satellite.
5678 Improved handset upgrade: added support for Windows 10; required drivers are now installed automatically; and the upgrade itself is faster in some situations.
3451 Added functionality to allow short codes to be stored in the phonebook, used from the phonebook, and dialed directly.
6824 Improved the translations for some non-English menu languages and added Kurdish (Sorani) as a new language option.
1726 Improved responsiveness to power button press to turn the handset off.
6223 Improved reporting of signal strength on the user interface and the AT interface.
5903 Fixed an issue where a remote DTMF button press could unmute a local handset.
6045 Use of SBD services is now permitted when no SIM card is present in the handset.
6866 Fixed an issue where Location Based Services would not work correctly after a power cycle with the charger connected. (9575 only)
5498 Fixed issue where a redialed SOS call would show "Calling %s" instead of the correct number. (PTT only)
6828 Added an alert to notify the user that the antenna should be extended when placing a push-to-talk call. (PTT only)
5284 Various minor user interface improvements in push-to-talk mode. (PTT only)
5452 Removed delay that could occur in some situations after a user initiates the switch to push-to-talk mode from the menu option. (PTT only)
5535 Fixed an issue where AT commands could not be used after switching between push-to-talk and telephony modes. (PTT only)
6852 Improved screen signal strength indications to more quickly reflect the signal strength seen by the handset when in push-to-talk mode. (PTT only)

If you wish to upgrade your firmware please download the appropriate file below.

Iridium 9555
Iridium 9575 PTT

Please note the upgrade for the standard Iridium Extreme 9575 has been withdrawn - if you have previously installed upgrade HL17001 and your phone is not working please reinstall firmware HL15002 by downloading this file

Created On  2 May 2017 10:55 in Iridium Satellite Phones  -  Permalink

Iridium Direct Internet 3 for 9555 and 9575 Internet Use

Iridium have just announced new software to use when using the Iridium 9555 and 9575 satellite phones as a modem to connect your laptop to the internet. 

Previous software will cease to work from the 31st October 2016 so if you use this software on your laptop you will need to uninstall it and then visit Download the appropriate version of Iridium Direct Internet 3 Installer and the User Manuals (2 downloads) and install on your device. 

Windows 10 does not yet support Iridium devices so it will not work for that Operating System.  We expect that Windows 10 will be supported within the next 6 months (Q2 2017). 

Benefits for users

The new Steelhead solution greatly improves the acceleration performance of Direct Internet.
  • Time for data transfers is compressed even further, especially for larger files.
  • Binary data may be transmitted – this was not possible with Slipstream.
  • Browsing is made faster although it depends on the site (how much compression is possible).
Created On  29 Sep 2016 15:55 in Iridium Satellite PhonesGeneral  -  Permalink

Iridium Go Presentation

Iridium Go Presentation We were invited to the Cruise Association Blue Water seminar to discuss the Iridium Go device. 

If you would like a PDF copy of the talk you can download it here - All you need to know about the Iridium Go

Please note - the information provided in this presentation was accurate on the 20th August 2016. Changes to the device and pricing may have occurred since then. Please contact us for updated details 

Created On  21 Aug 2016 0:30 in Iridium Go!  -  Permalink