16 Satellite Systems: Communications

Jyrki T. J. Penttinen

16.1 Introduction

Via satellites, it is possible to deliver various types of data, including voice and data of mobile communications, broadcast channels of radio and television, delivery of telemetry, and location based services.

The clear benefit of satellite systems is the large operational area as a single satellite antenna's beam covers whole nations and large areas that are not covered necessarily by any other means of communications.

A satellite telephone, or terminal, is typically a mobile phone that connects to satellites. The functionality of satellite telephones is comparable with that of terrestrial mobile telephones. Thus voice calls as well as a short message service and Internet access are supported through most systems. Depending on the satellite system, the service area offered may cover the whole globe, or part of it.

The benefit of the satellite telephone is that it is designed to work in the most remote locations where no other commercial telecommunications systems are available. The size of early satellite telephones was relatively large, with typically a large retractable antenna, but along with the general development of the telecommunications systems, the size has been approaching to the typical cellular mobile phones which make it a more feasible solution for remote expeditions.

There is also fixed installations available for the satellite telephony, in maritime environment as well as for the ...

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