6

Have phone, will travel: Inmarsat services

6.1   Background

The use of satellite phones has become an integral part of newsgathering, not only for the broadcast market, but also for the newspaper industry. The term ‘satellite phone’ encompasses devices not only used for voice communications, but also for data. The name denotes a device which is essentially portable and offers ‘dial-on-demand’ access, with no pre-booking of satellite capacity as is generally found with conventional satellite communication systems. A number of systems are currently available – Inmarsat, Thuraya, Iridium and Globalstar – but some offer only voice communications, and Thuraya is a data only service.

The most widely used satellite phone system in electronic newsgathering ...

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