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New Long Range WiFi Extender System Simplifies Marina WiFi Connectivity

  
  
  

Long Range WiFi Extender SystemIntroducing the RedPort Halo long range WiFi extender system - brand new from RedPort!

With the RedPort Halo System you can capture long distance WiFi from up to 7 miles away in perfect conditions. RedPort Halo users routinely capture signal from several miles away and are able to boost the WiFi connection back to their location. 

The RedPort Halo system has the most powerful WiFi antenna under US and European law, and pairs with the RedPort Optimizer to create a single hub for all of your communication needs. For marine WiFi extension, the RedPort Halo system allows you to connect to long range marina WiFi accesspoints while providing a single onboard hotspot for your WiFi, satellite, GSM, and NMEA connections. 

The Complete RedPort Halo System

The RedPort Halo system is comprised of the following components:

  • Long Range WiFi Extender Antenna
  • RedPort Optimizer WiFi Hotspot and Firewall

The complete system costs $349. If you already have a RedPort Optimizer, you can add the WiFi antenna by itself for only $199. 

You can purchase the system in our online store here.

RedPort Halo Video Series - What It Is, How To Set It Up, and How To Use It

The Halo System is easy to install, easy to use, and provides excellent long range WiFi extension and boosting to help you stay connected - even from miles away.

 

RedPort Halo Optimized Internet

You can quickly enable or disable the firewall on the RedPort Halo system. Using the firewall in conjunction with RedPort optimization services like XGate and XWeb means that you can get incredibly powerful compression and acceleration of your Internet connection. 

XWeb compression web-browsing accelerates your web-browsing by a factor of 3 to 5, which means that what could be a slow marina WiFI (being clogged up by many different users) becomes a fast connection optimized just for you. 

XGate compression email was designed to make satellite connections go faster. With the ability to compress emails up to 95% of their original size, XGate makes your email usage as optimized as is possible. 

Need Advice on Satellite Phones or WiFi Extenders?

We're here to help with your satellite communication needs. Request a free satellite communications consultation today to get a custom recommendation for satcomms just for you. 

IsatPhone Pro and IsatPhone 2: New Firmware Available Now!

  
  
  

Inmarsat has released new firmware for both IsatPhone 2 and IsatPhone Pro and are available for download from Inmarsat's support section: 

Support and Downloads for IsatPhone Pro

Support and Downloads for IsatPhone 2

The firmware for IsatPhone Pro (version 5.8.0) supersedes the previous update from July 2014. For anyone using 5.3.0 or higher this is a recommended upgrade. This means that the firmware is important but not critical for use with the GSPS service, including the network and the handset itself. 

But if your IsatPhone Pro is using version 5.3.0 or earlier this firmware is considered mandatory in order to avoid the phone becoming non-operational. 

The firmware for IsatPhone 2 (01.05.00) supersedes the previous update from October 2014. This is a recommended firmware update which means that the firmware is important but not critical to the continued functioning of the phone or service. 

Life After IsatPhone Pro?

Did you know that the Inmarsat announced that the IsatPhone Pro will be end-of-lifed? In the immediate this doesn't have a big effect on IsatPhone Pro users (see above for proof that the handset is still being supported with firmware updates) but IsatPhone Pro users may want to consider upgrading their equipment in the near future.

Alternatives to the IsatPhone Pro Satellite Phone

isatphone 2The first alternative that comes to mind is the IsatPhone 2. This is the natural successor to the IsatPhone Pro and works very similarly. If you are looking for voice connectivity with relatively good airtime rates, this is a good option. 

Iridium GO!Second would be an Iridium handheld satellite phone like the Iridium 9555 or Iridium Extreme. If you don't mind a bit more peripheral setup, you could go with the Iridium GO! Iridium airtime tends to be a bit more expensive than Inmarsat IsatPhone airtime, but not exponentially so. Iridium also has worldwide coverage, so you don't run into some of the signal issues Inmarsat users have in the far north and south. 

Globalstar GSP-1700Third is a Globalstar handheld like the GSP-1700. This is the least-expensive handheld satellite phone option on the market (currently at less than $500) and Globalstar airtime is very inexpensive. 

Need Advice on Satellite Phones?

We're here to help with your satellite communication needs. Request a free satellite communications consultation today to get a custom recommendation for satcomms just for you. 

Iridium Pilot Satellite Airtime Budget for Cruising

  
  
  

One of the questions we often get asked is what Iridium Pilot airtime plan is best for low-usage cruising? 

Because Iridium Pilot has an incredible array of airtime options available, it's often difficult to determine what plan would work best for basic cruising needs, including:

  • Downloading GRIB files
  • Sending and receiving textual emails
  • Making satellite phone calls

A customer of ours recently asked what a rough estimate would be for 2 GRIB files a day, around 4 to 5 textual emails, and 5 minutes of voice calls per day. With that kind of usage in mind (and if you are doing "low data usage" on a Pilot, this will apply to you, too) here are three options that would work well and not bust the bank.

(Note: if you're thinking, well why not just get an inexpensive handheld satellite phone? Keep in mind that the Pilot offers immense savings for ongoing use. The same usage we have here to calculate costs with Iridium Pilot airtime would cost around $420 per month with a handheld satellite phone)

Iridium Pilot Cruising Airtime Budget

Iridium Pilot Value PlansValue Plan at 32kbps
GRIB file costs about $0.05 cents each
Batch of textual emails costs about $0.25 cents (possibly less)
Using Prepaid GoChat Cards for Voice: $0.62 per minute
Monthly Cost: $39 access fee plus around $100 for data and voice
---------------------------
Total: Approximately $139 per month

Pros: The cheapest base-price and you don't pay for data you may not use. 
Cons: Emergency web-browsing at $12.42 per MB would be very painful for your airtime bill. 

Iridium Pilot 10MB Airtime Plan10MB Custom Bundle Plan at 32kbps
There is 10 MB of data with this plan and no voice
All of the estimated GRIB and email usage will easily fit within 10 MB per month
Using Prepaid GoChat Cards for Voice: $0.62 per minute
Monthly Cost: $99.36 access fee (with 10MB included) plus around $93 for voice 
---------------------------
Total: Approximately $192.36 per month

Pros: More breathing room with the data allotment. 
Cons: Overage data is still very expensive ($10.25 per MB), but less likely to happen as you have those 10 MB to use per month

Iridium Pilot Combo Plan BCombo Plan B at 128 kbps
This plan provides you a monthly allowance to be used for either voice or data. If it were to be used exclusively for data you would have 12MB. If you were to use it exclusively for voice you would have 200 minutes. Voice is deducted at $0.62 per minute and data is deducted at $10.12 per MB.
--------------------------------------
Total: $121.44 per month

Pros: This plan works best for Iridium Pilot low-usage needs and offers the best overage fees if you happen to go over your allotment for the month. Because this plan only operates at 128kbps you also get the fastest speeds without paying more. 
Cons: Highest monthly commitment of the three options.

Iridium Pilot: Affordable Marine Satellite Broadband

Free Guide to Marine Satellite InternetOn the fence with the Iridium Pilot? Check out our free guide to Affordable Marine Satellite Broadband. This guide looks at the different options for marine satellite Internet with a particular focus on the Iridium Pilot as the most cost-effective solution for cruisers. 

You can get the free guide to marine satellite broadband here

Need Advice on Satellite Communications?

We're here to help with your satellite communication needs. Request a free satellite communications consultation today to get a custom recommendation for satcomms just for you. 

Inmarsat Announces Free GEOS Emergency SOS Service for IsatPhone 2

  
  
  

Inmarsat IsatPhone 2Inmarsat just announced that new and existing IsatPhone 2 users can have free use of GEOS emergency response (SOS) service as long as they have an active postpaid airtime plan

Not surprisingly, SOS functionality is of big importance to satellite phone users and many satellite phone manufacturers have incorporated a SOS button into the design of the phone itself. Now IsatPhone 2 users can use the handy "one-press assistance button" on the handheld phone to connect directly with GEOS. 

GEOS's IERCC (International Emergency Response Coordination Center) is headquartered in Houston, TX and is staffed 24/7, 365 days a year. 

Once the button is pressed on the IsatPhone 2, a message is automatically triggered that sends the user's GPS coordinates to the GEOS center. GEOS will contact the user directly and establish the nature of the emergency before then contacting the appropriate authorities for help or rescue, depending on the user's region and what type of emergency is at hand. 

GEOS SOS Service FREE for IsatPhone 2 Postpaid Users

All postpaid IsatPhone 2 customers have access to this service for free as a new feature of their postpaid service. Inmarsat will begin including documentation on how to use the service and set it up with all new IsatPhone 2 phones shipped, but any existing IsatPhone 2 customer with an active postpaid account can register for this service now.

Register for free GEOS SOS satellite service here: www.geosalliance.com/inmarsat

What If I Have Prepaid Airtime for My IsatPhone 2 Satellite Phone?

If you have prepaid airtime for your IsatPhone 2 you can still sign up for GEOS service, but there will be an annual fee for the service. 

Need Advice on Satellite Phones?

We're here to help with your satellite communication needs. Request a free satellite communications consultation today to get a custom recommendation for satcomms just for you. 

Free GRIB Software Now Offered As Part of XGate Satellite Data Service

  
  
  

XGate Satellite Data Service Now Offers FREE GRIB Weather Software and An Integrated GRIB Viewer At No Extra Cost

Now, with just a few clicks, XGate users can easily see weather forecast visualizations so they can make critical decisions based on weather patterns, and be confident on the water or in remote areas.


XGate Satellite Weather on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows

There are many different options for getting weather over satellite, but the easiest is using the brand new built-in weather feature within XGate satellite data service. This compression data service allows you to send and receive email over very narrow bandwidth satellite devices (like a satellite phone).

The new weather feature in XGate has two different functions:

iOS and Android

From within the XGate app in iOS and Android, there is a full-featured weather forecast section that allows you to see the weather forecast and meteorological information about a chosen location. 

Mac and PC

From within the XGate program on Mac and PC, there is a new GRIB file retrieval and viewer built directly into XGate. You can choose your location on a map and request and view weather information for that location (wind direction and speed, primary wave heigh, wave period, and wave direction, and convective precipitation). 

Powerful GRIB File Weather Viewer

XGate GRIB Weather File Downloads

The GRIB file viewer that is now integrated in XGate is based on GRIBPlot - an easy-to-use GRIB viewer that also retrieves GRIB files through XGate's compression email service. GRIBPlot has many features for viewing GRIB files, including:

  • Layers
  • Contour Data
  • Vector Lines
  • Bitmap Data
  • Zoom
  • Animate 

With the built-in GRIB viewer you can retrieve GRIB files by pointing the cursor over the geographical area where you would like weather information for and then clicking the "Email" button. This will send a request to your XGate outbox. When you're ready to download your GRIB file, you do a session in XGate, wait a minute or two, and then do another session to retrieve the GRIB file. 

Learn More

free GRIB filesXGate uses Global Marine Network's popular GRIB retrieval system and can retrieve the following information for GRIB files:

  • Wind
  • Wave
  • Pressure
  • Precipitation

The GRIB robot also has a batch mode to schedule GRIB files to be delivered to you daily. 

You can learn about the GMN GRIB Service here.

XGate is a prepaid subscription service with service lengths from as little as 7 days to up to 2 years. You can learn more about XGate herearn More About XGate


Press Release: RedPort Adds GRIB Weather Software To XGate Satellite Data Services

  
  
  

Windows and Mac software lets XGate users select, download and view marine weather forecasts using the GRIB format over narrow bandwidth satellite and cellular networks.

Maryville, TN (PRWEB) March 02, 2015

RedPort Global, the leader in advancing satellite data and VoIP services, today announced the addition of integrated GRIB software with its XGate suite of satellite data services. XGate is the world’s leading independent satellite data acceleration service letting people easily and affordably access accelerated email, web, weather software, social media and blogging wherever they go. This announcement follows on the heels of the addition of NOAA weather forecasts to the iOS and Android versions of XGate.

“GRIB weather files are the standard for downloading weather forecasts over a satellite link, but until now satellite users have been using multiple applications to get and view weather forecasts.” said Dr. Luis Soltero, CTO of RedPort Global. “Now, with just a few clicks, XGate users can easily see weather forecast visualizations so they can make critical decisions based on weather patterns, and be confident on the water or in remote areas.”

XGate GRIB Software is a basic weather program, included at no additional cost, that has the features many boaters will need to get started with GRIB weather forecasts. Users can select, download and view GRIB files including wind, wave, surface pressure and precipitation. Additionally, the software can display other GRIB data the user has obtained from other sources. XGate weather software is designed as an excellent entry point into using GRIB files.

xgate weather integration

Other XGate services include: 

Accelerated Email – Email service offers up to 20 times acceleration versus uncompressed speeds, saving up to 85% on satellite airtime

Accelerated Web Browsing – Compression uses a web proxy service to provide users with 3-5 times average web acceleration, while also blocking ads, checking for malicious sites and compressing images.

Mobile Weather Forecasts – XGate mobile weather forecasts delivery up to 7 days of a variety of text-based weather forecasts for iOS and Android users.

Social media – Users can post text and photos to Facebook and Twitter over satellite and cellular narrowband devices

Blogging – Users get free access to a Sailblogs premium basic account to help them share their adventures while travelling with their satphone

XGate Mobile Apps Compatible Operating Systems: 

  • Apple iOS devices (iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch)
  • Google Android smartphones and tablets

RedPort XGate is also offered by leading satellite service providers as a white-label solution under other brand names, including: OCENS Mail, Network Innovations Speedmail, Satphonestore.com Satphone.Me, MVS MVSMail, SatLink from BlueCosmo/SatWorx, and XGate for Telecom Italia.

About RedPort Global 
RedPort Global, the leader in advancing satellite data speeds and services, helps Fixed and Mobile Satellite Services providers and their customers by offering the industry’s fastest, most reliable and easy-to-use email, web, and other hardware and software services to maritime, oil and gas, first responder and business continuity users. The company’s products include XGate high-speed satellite email, WeatherNet weather and oceanographic data software, and vessel tracking systems. Ship to shore marine satellite solutions are offered as branded or white-label solutions for the world’s premier satellite data service providers. RedPort Global is a Global Marine Networks brand.

For more information on how RedPort Global is Making Airtime Count™ – whether ship to shore, or in remote or emergency communications environments visit http://www.redportglobal.com 

See the original press release at PRWeb here



Learn More

You can learn more about GRIB files here and you can learn about XGate here.

Iridium Re-Epoch Will Change Time on Handheld Satellite Phones

  
  
  

Iridium will be changing the system time on its satellites on March 3rd, 2015. Iridium calls this "re-epoching." After that point, Iridium handsets (like the Iridium Extreme, Iridium 9555, Iridium 9505a, Iridium 9505, and the Iridium 9500) will display the incorrect system time until users enter in a string of numbers. 

You can reset the system time on your satellite phone to reflect the correct time by entering a quick string of numbers into your handset. 

  • If you are reading this and it is not yet March 3rd, 2015, don't do anything to your handset. You won't see an incorrect time until after March 3rd. 
  • If you are reading this and it is already past March 3rd, 2015, please follow the instructions below. 

Note: There will be no impact to handset functionality other than system time display. 

Iridium 9555 System Time ChangeHow to Reset the System Time on Your Iridium Handheld Satellite Phone

At this time, the following instructions only apply to Iridium 9555 and Iridium 9575: 

1) After the Iridium Time Re-Epoch Occurs (March 3, 2015) you can reset the time on your Iridium 9555 or Iridium 9575. 

2) Dial *#99#2014051114235500# on an Iridium 9555 or Iridium Extreme (9575) satellite phone

3) Press the green key

4) Then power off/on.

Resetting the System Time on an Older Iridium Handheld Satellite Phone

Iridium 9500, 9505, and 9505A customers will need to set the updated time and date from their phone menu. The extended phone set-up menu must be set to "On" (see page 137 of Iridium 9505A user guide, page 149 of the Iridium 9500 user guide, or page 139 of the Iridium 9505 user guide), then follow these instructions to set time and date: 

1. Follow the steps in "Getting to Phone Setup..." to get to "Set Time and Date," and then press OK to select. 

2. Press MENU to choose "Set Home Time + Date" or "Set Away Time + Date," and then press OK. You will see "Enter Home Time or Enter Away Time" and the time currently set.

3. Press OK to accept the displayed time.

or

Enter the time in 24-hour format, and then press OK. You will see "Enter Home Date or Enter Away Time" and the date currently set.

4. Press OK to accept the displayed date. You will see "Completed."

or

Enter the date in day(dd)-month(mm)-year(yy) form and then press OK. You will see "Completed."

5. Press and hold C to exit the menu. 

Still Need Help?

We'd be happy to recommend the perfect satellite communications equipment and airtime for your needs. You can get a free satellite communications consultation or just give us a ring at +1.877.379.8723 (US/CA) or +1.865.379.8723 (Intl) - we're here to help!


iridium satellite phones blog ctaIridium Satellite Phone AirtimeAurora Iridium Satellite WiFi Terminal

Trade in AxcessPoint and Upgrade to Optimizer for 50% Off

  
  
  

 Optimizer 50% Off Rebate

For a limited time, trade-in your Iridium AxcessPoint device and get Optimizer for 50% off the retail price. 

Iridium is discontinuing their Iridium AxcessPoint device. While this won't immediately affect AxcessPoint and AxcessPoint Mail & Web users, it does mean that in the future there won't be software updates or hardware service for AxcessPoint. If you upgrade your satellite phone or upgrade your computer or mobile device, the service may not work at all for you. 

RedPort Optimizer vs AxcessPoint - Is it Worth Upgrading?

Optimizer WiFi HotspotAside from the fact that Optimizer is a rapidly growing, Iridium-certified product with no end in sight and excellent support to back it up, there are some tangible benefits to using Optimizer over the AxcessPoint. 

  • When using its external battery, the Optimizer's battery lasts more than 10 times longer than AxcessPoint's. 
  • Optimizer has a faster processor, which speeds up connections, updates, and bootup. 
  • Optimizer has a longer WiFi range.
  • Optimizer has much better cross-platform integration. 

And that's just the hardware. What about the software? 

XGate or Iridium Mail & Web

XGate Satellite Email ServiceOptimizer has traditionally only worked with XGate satellite email service (or one of the RedPort Optimizer-compatible services like Satphone.me, SpeedMail, and OCENS Mail, among others). Now, Iridium AxcessPoint Mail & Web users can use Iridium's free email program - now called Iridium Mail & Web - with the Optimizer. 

Keep in mind, however, that Iridium Mail & Web only works with smartphones and tablets. Iridium's version that works with laptops and computers (called AxcessPoint Mail & Web) will be discontinued along with the AxcessPoint device.

XGate may be a better choice for many users because Iridium Mail & Web, along with only working on smartphones and tablets, will only work while using Iridium satellite airtime. XGate allows you to use any internet connection you may have, saving time and money. 

Regardless of whether you use XGate or Iridium Mail & Web, you have the flexibility to use the compression email program that works best for you, all in tandem with Optimizer's world-class firewall.  

50% Off Optimizer?

Here's how it works: you purchase RedPort Optimizer for full retail price and then send us back your AxcessPoint device. When we receive your AxcessPoint (along with this form) we will refund $75 back to the credit card you used to purchase Optimizer. (If you purchased Optimizer from another certified RedPort dealer, please contact them for instructions). 

That's it! Easy peasy.

This promotion isn't going to last long, so make sure to upgrade now. 

XGate Satellite Email Named One of Best Satellite Communications Apps

  
  
  

XGate Satellite EmailXGate satellite email service was named by Global Telesat Communications as one of the best apps for satellite communications. 

XGate is state-of-the-art data compression software that delivers email, weather, web, and social media - right over your satellite phone. XGate is carrier-independent which means that you can use it with any satellite carrier using an IP-based satellite device (ie: the vast majority of them). 

Global Telesat Communications said this about XGate:

"XGate is the easy way to access email through a satellite connection.  The app compresses the data sent and received offering up to 85% savings on satellite airtime expenses.  It also blocks out other unnecessary data use by the phone to avoid a large bill at the end of your trip!"

XGate is the leading independent satellite data service with thousands of people all over the world currently using XGate to keep connected over satellite. 

Although Global Telesat Communications specifically mentions the iOS and Android versions of XGate, XGate is also available for PC and Mac. Once you have an XGate account you can use XGate on any device you have - no need to pay more to use different or multiple devices. 

You can read the whole article from Global Telesat Communications here: Our Pick of the Best Satellite Communications Apps

XGate Satellite Email Service

You can read more about XGate here. If you have any questions about XGate or would like advice on the right satellite communications setup for your needs, please get in contact. We're here to help. 

 

 

Vessel Tracking Over Satellite

  
  
  

Satellite GPS Vessel Tracking

Vessel tracking is a huge priority in the marine world. Whether you’re a single sailor who wants to make sure his family can follow his route or a large fleet operator needing real-time position reports from your entire fleet, satellite GPS vessel tracking is integral to knowing where you - and your assets - are in the world. 

There are three satellite GPS trackers that Global Marine Networks offers. Each of these units comes in a marinized, extremely hardy dome with water resistance up to 1 meter. They are mounted on standard threaded 1" antenna mounts although you will need to purchase the antenna mounts separately from a marine supply store. 

All prices quoted here are up to date as of publication, but please check with us to make sure that prices have not been changed. 

XTracker IR

XTracker IRXTracker IR (Iridium) is a robust, dependable and extremely compact tracking device that sends out GPS position reports at pre-programmed intervals from anywhere in the world using proven Iridium satellite technology. Position reports contain date, time, latitude, longitude, and average course and speed over the ground. GPS position reports are recorded, transmitted, and posted on the web in 20 seconds, on average. XTracker’s modest power requirements make it ideal for remote locations where solar panels or batteries are the only source of electricity.

Because the XTracker IR operates on the Iridium satellite network, this tracker offers truly global pole-to-pole coverage. 

MSRP: $1,799
Learn more about the XTracker IR here
Get a quote for XTracker IR by contacting us here

XTracker BR

XTracker BRThis tracker only works if there is a satellite broadband unit on board (VSAT, Fleetbroadband, Iridium Pilot, BGAN, Thuraya IP, and others) and provides position reports from anywhere on the planet. Unit can be connected to a long-life battery to keep the unit self-contained. Because the XTracker BR routes the position reports through your satellite broadband device, the frequency of the position reports can be whatever you want. Hourly? Sure. Every 10 minutes? No problem. Every 30 seconds? Done.

There is no additional charge for XTracker services for increased frequency, although you may incur additional charges on  your satellite airtime bill for the airtime required to send the GPS pings.

MSRP: $329
Learn more about the XTracker BR here
Get a quote for XTracker BR by contacting us here.

XTracker GS

XTracker GSThe RedPort XTracker GS allows you to track your assets and vessels anywhere within the expansive Globalstar Simplex coverage area without even relying on powering cables (although you can power over Ethernet, as well). Tracking can be set to every 5, 10, 30, or 60 minutes. Faster tracking is available (every 2.5 minutes), but it increases the monthly price. The tracking duration on these units has to be set on the tracker itself. It cannot be changed remotely.  

Depending on the type of battery being used, the XTracker GS can last as long as 10 years without changing the battery or needing any kind of upkeep.

MSRP: $299
Learn more about the XTracker GS here
Get a quote for XTracker GS by contacting us here.

How The GPS Vessel Tracking Works

Tracking for all units is provided through RedPort Tracking and consists of a detailed, robust online tracking interface that provides:

  • Real-time Position and Tracking
  • Longitude and latitude info
  • Emergency alarm/ SOS/Movement alarm/ Overspeed alarm/ Border crossing alert.
  • Geo-fence alarm
  • Course and Speed (on web-based tracking site) 
  • Web-based tracking or mobile-phone-based tracking
  • Central Monitoring system (web-base)
  • History of tracking movements
  • Ability to track hundreds of vessels or assets on one web-based monitoring system

Tracking is a monthly charge that encompasses the airtime required to send the satellite pings as well as a small fee for the dedicated web-portal and continuing tracking services.

We recommend going to tracking.redportglobal.com and clicking on the "Live Demo" option. This will give you a view of how the web interface works and what information can be derived from it.

redport tracking screenshots 2 resized 600 

Get a Custom Vessel Tracking Quote

We often work with large vessel operators and would be happy to provide you with a custom quote for tracking solutions needing a volume price. You can contact us here

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