Over the years, XGate has teamed up with a number of third-party GRIB retrievers and viewers to help deliver GRIB weather files over satellite connections. Until now, all of these programs (WeatherNet, iNavX, Weather4D, WeatherTrack, etc) have been for Windows, Mac, or iOS.
But we’re happy to announce that there is a great new option for Android: SailGrib!
SailGrib is a GRIB retriever and viewer all in one. Using SailGrib in conjunction with XGate satellite email service will allow you to retrieve GRIB files through email using XGate and then view them right in SailGrib using their Android app.
SailGrib is a handy little app that goes beyond simple GRIB files. Here are a few of the features sailors find most useful:
SailGrib Over Satellite
We’ve already mentioned it, but we’ll do it again - using SailGrib with XGate means that you aren’t tied to land to get your weather files. Using leading-edge compression, XGate allows you to download your GRIB files over satellite connections that are very, very slow by land standards. XGate works with any IP-based satellite phone (which is the vast majority of them) so you can get your weather anywhere you can get satellite reception.
SailGrib "talks" to XGate directly by spooling the GRIB request to the XGate outgoing email queue (through SMTP).
Fully Featured Weather Info
The weather information that comes through with SailGrib is pretty extensive: colored wind barbs, isobars with low and high values highlighted, precipitation map (rain and snow), cloud cover map, air temperature map, significant wave height map, mean wave direction and period arrows, and CAPE map.
You can also loop through time, allowing you to see weather movement and make decisions based on mobile patterns.
SailGrib can retrieve worldwide oceanic and European tidal currents, making it a truly robust resource for weather information around the world.
You can see SailGrib in the Google Play store here.
SailGrib Weather Routing calculates the fastest sailing route to your destination with a powerful method based on the isochrones method. An isochrone is a curve representing the points that a sailboat can reach in a given time. This curve depends primarily on the forecasted wind and currents plus the boat speed for that wind. The boat speed is derived from polar curves that represent the speed of the boat for a given wind speed and angle. We optimize the route calculating all the effects of the current on your boat as long as a current GRIB file is loaded.
All the calculations are done directly on your device, so you don’t need to consume any satellite airtime to get your sailing route.
SailGrib WR Features
Once you get your GRIB files into SailGrib WR, you can create the route to your destination on a map as well as by adding waypoints along your route.
- Set parameters by hand or automatically to specifically calibrate your passage.
- Specify upwind and downwind speed limits for low and strong winds
- Specify a minimum upwind angle for comfort while cruising
- Specify a night efficiency loss
- For cruisers, use mixed routing: decide when to start the engine and specify your motoring speed.
- Create a KML file and a GPX file of the best route
- Create an Excel file of your roadbook
- Choose to display best route courses, isochrones, isochrone segments on the map
- Go through time and overlay the boat with the weather forecast.
You can see the SailGrib WR app in the Google Play store here.
With satellite broadband terminals like Iridium Pilot, Inmarsat FleetBroadband, and VSAT Mini-V3, satellite internet access is possible - and affordable! - while at sea. But satellite being satellite, it’s not like you’re paying $50 a month for unlimited broadband. Satellite is still pricey enough that you probably don’t want to go buck wild with your satellite airtime plan.
And while you may be imminently aware of how much each MB costs, what happens if you invite a guest for the weekend? Or if you have crew or passengers onboard? You don’t want them opening up Skype, downloading Windows updates, or watching YouTube on your satellite airtime tab.
With that in mind, here are 7 ways to share your marine satellite internet (or simply use it yourself) without breaking the bank.
Password Protect Your WiFi
This one seems so simple that you’d be surprised how many people simply don’t password-protect their WiFi routers. If you’re using RedPort Optimizer you can easily set a password on the router. This way you won’t have that sketchy sailor in the slip next to you using up your airtime without you wanting, and it also allows you to selectively choose who can access your internet. This is the first step to sharing your marine satellite internet - make sure you’re in charge of who you’re sharing with by password-protecting your satellite WiFi.
Use Prepaid Voice Calling Cards When Available
This is the only way to completely separate out your family/guests/friends/crew airtime consumption from your own airtime bill. Prepaid voice calling cards allow people to purchase their own airtime. Your guests can pick up your satellite phone, enter in their PIN-code for their prepaid minutes and then go to town - on their bill, not yours.
The catch here is that these types of PIN-codes for prepaid calling only exist with the Iridium Pilot. Iridium Pilot GoChat Cards are used with Iridium Pilot (you must have an active postpaid Iridium OpenPort plan in place in order for your guests or crew to use GoChat cards).
Have Guests or Crew Sign up for Their Own XGate Account
It’s very simple to purchase individual XGate satellite email accounts. You can direct your guests or crew to pick out the subscription length that works before them and then they simply have to WiFi connect to your satellite broadband unit (you will need an Optimizer or Optimizer Crew for this). This doesn’t remove you completely from paying for their airtime usage, since all the email they do will consume your satellite airtime. But since XGate compresses email up to 95% of its original size, this is a very low-risk way for your to share your satellite internet and not run too much of a risk of high airtime bills because of their consumption. (That being said, make sure to ask your crew/guests not to send or receive gigantic attachments. XGate's BigMail will catch a lot of these, but a tech savvy crewmember or guest could get around these controls).
Use Optimizer Crew to Limit Access to the Internet (PIN-codes)
Optimizer Crew is like the Optimizer, but beefed up and full of features the regular Optimizer doesn’t provide. One of the great features of Optimizer Crew is the ability to create free PIN-codes (or access codes) that you can then give or sell to guests or crew. A PIN-code might, for example, limit your guest to 5 MB of data usage until they’re kicked off the network. This way you can control how much access your guests or crew have to the internet while allowing them the freedom to do whatever they want with those 5 MB (although you can set filters on the router itself - say, by blocking all access to YouTube, for example).
Use Optimizer Crew to Throttle Their Bandwidth
When you create PIN-codes on Optimizer Crew you not only set a data limit (5 MB, 10 MB, etc) you can throttle the bandwidth, too. This means that the internet will go slower for them, which will limit what they can do over it (perhaps completely eliminating their ability to use data-hungry services such as Skype, for example). This also assures that you’ll have bandwidth available for your needs.
Use Optimizer Crew to Implement Ship-wide Compression
One of the add-on services for Optimizer Crew is ship-wide compression. This means that anyone accessing the internet to do anything will benefit from RedPort compression that will speed up connections (and decrease airtime costs) by a factor of 3 to 5.
Using VoIP (When Applicable)
For large-scale installations like Inmarsat FleetBroadband 500s on an “all you can eat” plan, or large VSAT installations, using RedPort VoIP services can significantly drive down airtime costs for voice calls. Typical VoIP protocols use 50 kb per minute. RedPort VoIP services uses 6 kb per minute. In terms of data consumption, this means that typical VoIP protocols give you 2 minutes of talk time per MB, whereas RedPort VoIP services get you 20 minutes of talk time per MB.
We Can Help
If you need some advice about how to best save your airtime dollars while sharing your satellite broadband internet at sea, please don't hesitate to get in contact with us. From single cruisers to cruise ships - we have the experience and know-how to advise you on the best, and most affordable, option for your particular needs.
Satellite connectivity is great if you’re offshore and wanting to chat with friends back home - but when satellite communications really shine is in emergency situations where there are no other options available.
This is why emergency response and preparedness are a large part of the satellite communications industry - and for good reason. If phone lines go down in an emergency, how else are rescue teams able to communicate with headquarters or each other?
With winter fast upon us, here are the top satellite phones and airtime plans for emergency responders.
BGAN units are often used in team headquarters or war-zones for dependable broadband satellite internet and good voice quality. BGAN units range in price from around $2,000 to $27,000 and are designed for use in land-mobile situations.
Depends on the unit. For smaller BGAN units (Explorer 701, Hughes 9202, etc) the unit itself is portable inside a handy carrying case, although you need to factor in the attached handset in order to make calls. Imagine carrying around a clunky iPad and hooking a physical telephone handset to it - this is sort of what the experience of using a BGAN is like.
By far the most expensive, but the only option that allows for broadband satellite internet, as well.
BGAN has affordable postpaid plans (starting at around $55 a month with a 12 month contract) and really excellent prepaid options. We especially love the 2-year validity periods on BGAN prepaid airtime.
Learn more about BGAN.
4) Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro
The IsatPhone Pro is a popular satellite handset with affordable ongoing airtime options. It’s portable, it’s inexpensive, and it typically has good voice quality. Being one of the least expensive satellite handsets has its downsides though - it’s not well-suited for doing data and may not be as long-lived as some of the other options (ie: budget for repairs and replacements).
Portable with good battery life.
One of the least expensive handsets (currently around $585)
IsatPhone has affordable postpaid plans starting at around $40 a month. IsatPhone Pro also has prepaid options available, but because of tight validity periods for low minute purchases, it’s not great for emergency relief purposes. We typically see users go with postpaid plans so they don’t have to worry about running out of minutes when an emergency happens.
Learn more about IsatPhone Pro.
3) BYOD Devices (Globalstar Sat-Fi, Iridium GO!, RedPort Aurora)
We put BYOD ("Bring Your Own Device") at number three because this category of devices is so new there hasn’t yet been a big uptake from any part of the market. That being said, the Globalstar Sat-Fi, Iridium GO!, and the RedPort Aurora can be fantastic tools for emergency response teams and we’re already seeing the beginnings of them being put into action in the real world. All three of these devices allow you to make satellite phone calls with a cellphone, which means that multiple users can connect through the device to make satellite phone calls without actually need to carry a satellite phone on their person. These units also support a PBX with between 5-8 users which means that users can call each other as long as they’re all connected to the WiFi.
Iridium GO! is a portable unit, the Sat-Fi and Aurora would need to be installed permanently in either a vehicle or building.
From $875 to $1,599 depending on the unit.
Lots of options with all of the carriers, but we tend to see most emergency responders using a basic postpaid plan so that they have minutes available at any time and don’t have to worry about adding minutes to prepaid cards.
FREE GUIDE: Learn more about BYOD devices with our free guide to the new generation of "Bring Your Own Device" satellite WiFi units.
Learn more about the Globalstar Sat-Fi.
Learn more about the RedPort Aurora.
Learn more about the Iridium GO!.
2) Globalstar GSP-1700
For emergency responders in the United States, the Globalstar GSP-1700 is a popular, reliable phone that offers inexpensive airtime rates, a very inexpensive handset ($499), and great voice quality. One of the major draws of the GSP-1700 is the fact that Globalstar assigns you a US phone number, making it easy for headquarters to make inexpensive calls to personnel in the field without running into problems calling an international satellite phone number.
Very portable. The GSP-1700 is like a clunky cellphone from the early 2000s - ie, by satellite standards very small and light.
Globalstar just introduced prepaid airtime and, potentially useful for emergency responders: shared prepaid airtime. But most of our customers needing satellite phones for emergency backup will go with one of Globalstar’s standard postpaid plans. These start at $39.99 a month.
Learn more about the Globalstar GSP-1700.
1) Iridium Extreme or Iridium 9555
Iridium handsets remain the most popular choice for emergency responders needing satellite connectivity. Why? They’re reliable, they work anywhere on the planet, and the handsets, while more expensive than other options, are extremely hardy.
Very portable, long battery life.
Starting at $1,195.
While Iridium offers prepaid options, you tend to run into the same problem as with IsatPhone prepaid - validity periods can trip you up. Most of our Iridium emergency responder customers go with postpaid. For $50 a month, you have the comfort of knowing you always have minutes at the drop of a hat.
Learn about the Iridium Extreme and the Iridium 9555.
Got questions? Need large volumes of equipment? Just aren’t sure where to start? Feel free to get in contact with us. We’re here to help.
The End of the IsatPhone Pro?
Indeed, the popular satellite handset from Inmarsat will be discontinued in the near future.
IsatPhone Pro satellite phones will continue to work with the Inmarsat satellite array, but they will stop being supported by Inmarsat after a brief phasing out period. This means that firmware fixes will stop arriving at some point in the near future.
The good news? You can still use your current IsatPhone Pro without worrying that Inmarsat will stop service to it.
The bad news? Firmware updates may be slow to come (or non-existant), which can make doing data sessions more difficult going forward.
What Can You Do?
Is there anything you need to do? If you already have an IsatPhone Pro you can hang tight. Your phone will continue to function and you can continue to purchase airtime for it. As time goes by, it may be more and more difficult to get the satellite phone to connect to new computer equipment and devices, but for phone calls you should be able to use the IsatPhone Pro for a long time yet.
If you're looking for a satellite phone and were thinking of the IsatPhone Pro, we would probably steer you away from purchasing one now. There are other handheld options out there.
Alternatives to the IsatPhone Pro Satellite Phone
The 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.
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.
Third 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 just announced a photo contest for Iridium GO! with a special grand prize: an Iridium GO! and 400 minutes of airtime. Here's what Iridium has to say:
Iridium is inviting its Facebook and Twitter users around the world to send photos of remote locations where they have used or will use an Iridium GO!
It’s easy to enter. Join us for the ride!
Think back to a situation where you were out of range of communication and needed to keep in touch with those back home. Iridium GO! is the world’s first ever global connection for voice and data communications, that lets you use your very own smartphone device. Texting, calling and accessing your favorite apps is now made possible with the new portable, rugged and compact Iridium GO!
This is an opportunity to win your very own Iridium GO! How do you enter? Simply show us “Everywhere You GO”!
How to Enter
Snap – What far off locations have you travelled outside cellular coverage and used an Iridium GO! to stay connected? Where will you travel next and plan to bring along an Iridium GO!? Take us on a trip with you! We want to see photos of remote locations and hear how an Iridium GO! was or will be used on your journey.
Post – Visit the My Iridium Facebook page from October 15th to November 28th, and upload your photo with your email address and a brief explanation of where the photo was taken. Tell us how Iridium GO! helped you stay connected with friends and family. Traveling somewhere soon? Tell us about the location and how beneficial it would be to have an Iridium GO!. Provide details for more chances to win!
Win – Weekly prizes consist of Iridium travel packs. The grand prize is a brand new Iridium GO! plus 400 minutes of airtime!
Share – Receive additional entries for the grand prize for every ‘like’ and ‘share’ your photo receives. Make sure to use the #EverywhereYouGO hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to increase your visibility into our contest.
That’s all there is to it. Now show us #EverywhereYouGO!
GMN is proud to announce brand-new Iridium satellite phone savings bundles for three of the most popular Iridium-based satellite phones and terminals. Our savings bundles give you everything you need to stay in touch and get the access you need to email, web, weather and social media - all at affordable prices, saving time and money. This month, we bring you three new savings bundles, all using the Iridium network, so you know that they’ll work anywhere you can see the sky. Choose from the new Iridium GO!, RedPort Aurora Iridium WiFi Terminal or Iridium Pilot Satellite Broadband terminal.
Iridium GO! Savings Bundle
Save $150! The Iridium GO! Satellite Phone and WiFi Hotspot now comes bundled with 200 minutes of Iridium prepaid minutes (with double data minutes!) and 3 months of XGate satellite email service so you can use the Iridium GO! with your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers. The Iridium GO! Savings Bundle includes:
- Iridium GO! Satellite Phone WiFi Hotspot
- Iridium GO! Protective Cover
- Iridium GO! USB Cable
- Iridium GO! Internal Battery
- Iridium GO! International AC Plug Kit with 4 Adapters
- Iridium GO! DC Adapter
- Iridium GO! Prepaid Airtime: 200 Minutes (with Double Data Minutes!)
- 3 Months of XGate Satellite Email Service
- XGate New Account Activation Fee (WAIVED!)
Learn more about the Iridium GO! Savings Bundle here.
RedPort Aurora Savings Bundle
Save $539! RedPort Aurora Iridium WiFi Terminal is bundled with airtime, email, and a handy 12V adapter. Aurora works with Iridium's flexible satellite airtime plans and data rates and offers you easy installation and use anywhere on the planet. Aurora is an all-in-one satellite WiFi phone that allows you to make satellite phone calls with your smartphone, send compression email, do GPS tracking, and more.
The RedPort Aurora Savings Bundle Includes:
- RedPort Aurora
- Aurora 12V DC to 48V Power Converter
- 75 Minutes of Iridium Prepaid Worldwide Airtime (with 2 Month Validity)
- Iridium Airtime $50 Activation Fee (WAIVED!)
- 3 Months of XGate Satellite Email Service
- XGate New Account Activation Fee (WAIVED!)
Learn more about the RedPort Aurora Savings Bundle here.
Iridium Pilot Savings Bundle
Save $300! Iridium Pilot Terminals provide access to reliable, affordable satellite broadband service using the Iridium OpenPort network. Access satellite broadband data service, and affordable postpaid and prepaid voice service from anywhere in the world.
The Iridium Pilot Savings Bundle Includes:
- Iridium Pilot Terminal with 20 m Antenna Cable
- Iridium Pilot BDU (Below-decks Unit)
- 2 Iridium Pilot Handsets
- Optimizer Satellite WiFi Hotspot and Firewall
- Free SIM Card for Iridium OpenPort Postpaid Airtime
- Two 45-minute Virtual GoChat Prepaid Voice Airtime Cards
- 12 Months of XGate Satellite Email Service
- 12 Months of XWeb Compression Web-browsing Service
- XGate New Account Activation (WAIVED!)
Learn more about the Iridium Pilot Savings Bundle here.
Other Iridium Savings Bundles
Although they're not new, they still make up some of the best-selling items at GMN. The Iridium 9555 Savings Bundle and the Iridium Extreme Savings Bundle combine popular Iridium handsets with satellite airtime, compression email, and a RedPort Optimizer satellite WiFi hotspot so that you can stay connected wherever you are on the planet.
See all GMN savings bundles here.
Not sure which satellite equipment and airtime is right for you? Feel free to sign up for a free satellite communications consultation. We'll help you walk through your options and figure out which satellite phone best fits your needs.
Inmarsat recently announced a change in its BGAN Link policy to specifically help NGOs and aid workers in the countries affected by Ebola.
BGAN Link A Popular Satellite Airtime Choice for NGOs
BGAN Link plans are affordable satellite broadband plans that were designed to provide satellite broadband internet to remote areas. The trick with BGAN Link plans, however, is that they have "fixed location" mobility restrictions on them. IE: you cannot move the BGAN unit around without Inmarsat cancelling your Link plan. BGAN Link units cannot move outside of a small geographic area as they were created for fixed land-based sites, not for mobile satellite internet. (There are plenty of options for BGAN mobile satellite internet, but they tend to be more expensive).
In response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, however, Inmarsat has lifted the "fixed location" mobility restriction on BGAN Link plans being used in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. If the outbreak spreads further than those countries, Inmarsat has committed to continuing to open the geographic areas of the BGAN Link plan users to allow them mobility to combat Ebola.
Complete mobility will be enabled on BGAN Link 3 and 12 Month plans in the countries currently affected by the Ebola outbreak.
This also applies to qualifying BGAN Link plans activated within the next six months - between now and the 31 March 2015 - and will expire when the plan subscribed to expires, or by the 31 March 2016, whichever comes first.
Remote Satellite Internet Connectivity with BGAN Link
We're glad to see Inmarsat jumping in to do what it can to help aid and NGO workers in West Africa. If you or your organization needs a BGAN unit and an airtime plan to support your work in rural and remote parts of the planet, please contact us to ask about how BGAN Link could work for you.
Iridium Introduces New Postpaid Satellite Airtime
As of September 1st, Iridium has a brand-new postpaid satellite airtime plan. They've reformulated their standard basic plan to include 10 minutes of satellite airtime and 10 SMS per month.
Why is this a big deal? It means that Iridium users with phones like Iridium Extreme and Iridium 9555 now have a better option for emergency or extremely low-use airtime, with the convenience of 10 minutes built-in to the plan per month (and at no extra cost over what the airtime cost before).
Postpaid airtime is when you sign up for a flat monthly fee in a yearly contract. Sometimes carriers will call this a subscription. Sometimes it's called "pay as you go." Postpaid plans have a 12 month commitment.
(For a more comprehensive look at the differences between prepaid and postpaid airtime, take a look at this blog post).
There are some definite advantages to postpaid satellite airtime over prepaid satellite airtime. Notably:
- Airtime always available. Because you pay for minutes as you use them (in this case, at the rate of $1.17 per minute after you've used the first 10 included in your monthly bundle), you will never reach a limit on your minutes, run out of them, or need to reload.
- No validity period. Same idea goes for the validity period. Since prepaid satellite airtime has definite validity periods for minutes, you lose them if you don't use them up or reload them within an exact time window. Didn't reload fast enough? They're gone. With postpaid you never have to worry about expiring minutes.
- Smaller upfront cost. With prepaid minutes, you need to pay for all your minutes upfront. For postpaid airtime, you pay as you go, which usually means that your bill at any one time is much lower than what you pay in one go for prepaid airtime.
- Better per-minute rate. Iridium prepaid per-minute rates depend on the amount of airtime you're buying, but tend to be in the $1.44 range. With postpaid airtime, you pay $1.17 per minute.
Iridium's postpaid basic plan works with the following satellite phones and terminals:
Iridium 9505a, 9505, and 9500
Guide Details How To Bring Your Own Device (Smartphone, Tablet Or Computer) To Access Satellite Voice, Email, Web, Weather, Social Media And Blogging Services
Maryville, TN (PRWEB) August 19, 2014
GMN, the leader in advancing satellite data speeds and services, today announced the release of a new Satellite BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) guide that covers everything needed to use a smartphone, tablet or laptop via a satellite connection, providing seamless coverage far beyond cellular. Satellite BYOD has come of age in 2014 with the availability of new satellite BYOD terminals including the Iridium GO!; Globalstar Sat-Fi; Thuraya SatSleeve, Inmarsat IsatHub; RedPort Optimizer and RedPort Aurora.
“GMN ignited the satellite BYOD revolution several years ago with the launch of the RedPort Optimizer, letting virtually any satellite phone work with the mobile devices people already have and love. Connect to the BYOD device via your own equipment to make calls, do email, post to social media, check the weather, and even web browse, depending on the unit,” said Dr. Luis Soltero, CTO of GMN. “This new generation of satellite BYOD devices gives people important and varied options. GMN created this clear comparison document to simplify the selection process and help people understand which equipment best meets their needs.”
“BYOD: The Bring Your Own Device Satellite Revolution” covers everything a user needs to know to understand this new way of connecting with the world, including:
- What is satellite BYOD
- Satellite BYOD advantages
- Satellite BYOD pros and cons
- How does satellite BYOD work?
- Satellite BYOD terminals
- Satellite BYOD applications
- Satellite BYOD airtime
- Satellite BYOD user groups
- Satellite BYOD comparison charts
- Satellite BYOD users
“Whether you are a single sailor wanting to use your iPad for navigation at sea, a crew member needing to check email from home, or on the bridge and using your smartphone for intra-crew communication on a ship, BYOD has options for you,” continued Dr. Soltero.
Satellite consumers, retailers and service providers can download the satellite BYOD guide at no charge by visiting http://web.globalmarinenet.com/byod-satellite-wifi-equipment/.
About Global Marine Networks, LLC
Global Marine Networks (GMN), the leaders 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 satellite 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 network management solutions are sold by GMN under the RedPort Global brand name athttp://www.redportglobal.com and as white-label solutions for the world’s premier satellite data service providers.
GMN has numerous awards and certifications for technical innovation and holds pending patents on its products. For more information on how GMN is Making Airtime Count™ – whether ship to shore, or in remote or emergency communications environments visit http://www.globalmarinenet.com.
Inmarsat has quietly announced IsatPhone burn rate and price increases for both prepaid and postpaid airtime.
We've contacted our GMN customers about the increases (haven't heard from us? Please let us know).
We had heard about this awhile back, but now it's certain: your IsatPhone airtime is going up.
The tricky thing here is that Inmarsat isn't grandfathering in any existing minutes or plans. That's right. It doesn't matter if you bought your airtime back when airtime was even less expensive than it is now: your airtime is going up.
How IsatPhone Pro Prepaid Airtime Will Change
For prepaid customers, what changes is not the price you paid (that's not going to change) but what Inmarsat calls the burn rate.
Right now the burn rate for IsatPhone Pros is 1 unit = 1 minute of talk time. Buying a 25 unit prepaid airtime card means that you get 25 minute of talk time. Easy, right?
Starting September 1st, the burn rate is going to go from 1 unit = 1 minute to 1.3 units = 1 minute. So that same 25 unit prepaid airtime card is going to get you 19 minutes of talk time, instead of the 25 minutes you get right now.
How IsatPhone Pro Postpaid Airtime Will Change
IsatPhone Pro postpaid airtime isn't going to have a burn-rate increase...but prices are going up. Inmarsat is also discontinuing their postpaid humanitarian plans.
Price changes are expected to be as follows (subject to change):
IsatPhone Pro Standard Plan
Current price: $33.95 per month
New price: $39.99 per month
IsatPhone Pro Allowance 20
Current price: $39.95
New price: $46.99 per month
IsatPhone Pro Allowance 60
Current price: $61.95
New price: No change
What Can You Do To Avoid the Price Increases?
There is an option available to avoid the airtime price increases and burn-rate increases:
- Use all your airtime before September 1st.
We’re experts at satellite airtime and can help make sure you have the right plan. For more information about the specific plans and rates offered by the carriers, feel free to get in contact with us.