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How do satphones really work?

A satellite telephone is a type of mobile phone that connects to orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell sites. The Iridium sat phones that we rent and sell have an architecture that allows for coverage of the entire Earth. This entire earth coverage is made possible by satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) which have less of a delay, due to the fact that they are orbiting much closer to the earth than traditional geosynchronous satellites. These satellites orbit with the earth and "hand off" their information onto other LEO's in the sky, making your communication a possibility.
Man in the bush on satellite phone
We also provide a low-cost alternative for fixed or mobile applications with the MSAT satphone. This satphone uses a satellite in geosynchronous orbit, which means that they remain in a fixed position in outer space at all times, providing continuous global coverage due to their high vantage point. Satellites built for geosynchronous orbit weigh about 5000kg making them very expensive to build and launch. They sit at an approximate altitude of 35,000 km; which is why there is a momentary delay when talking to someone. Your signal has to travel from your phone, to the satellite (35,000 km up) and then back down to whomever you're trying to communicate with (35,000 km down) at lightning speed!

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For customers within their 6 month expiration period that want to retain their remaining minutes and add more:



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Forget your password?

If you’ve been blocked because you’ve forgotten your password, call 1-800-207-5759 N.O.C. (Network Operations Center) for a release code.

Please ask the representative at N.O.C. to walk you through the sequence.

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