Satellite phone

Satellite phone

Overview
A satellite telephone, satellite phone, or satphone is a type of mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

 that connects to orbiting satellite
Satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

s instead of terrestrial cell site
Cell site
A cell site is a term used to describe a site where antennas and electronic communications equipment are placed, usually on a radio mast, tower or other high place, to create a cell in a cellular network...

s. They provide similar functionality to terrestrial mobile telephones; voice
Voice
Voice may refer to:* Human voice* Voice control or voice activation* Writer's voice* Voice acting* Voice vote* Voice message-In film:* Voice , a 2005 South Korean film* The Voice , a 2010 Turkish horror film directed by Ümit Ünal...

, short messaging service and low-bandwidth internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 access are supported through most systems.

Depending on the architecture of a particular system, coverage may include the entire Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

, or only specific regions.

The mobile equipment, also known as a terminal, varies widely.
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Encyclopedia
A satellite telephone, satellite phone, or satphone is a type of mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

 that connects to orbiting satellite
Satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

s instead of terrestrial cell site
Cell site
A cell site is a term used to describe a site where antennas and electronic communications equipment are placed, usually on a radio mast, tower or other high place, to create a cell in a cellular network...

s. They provide similar functionality to terrestrial mobile telephones; voice
Voice
Voice may refer to:* Human voice* Voice control or voice activation* Writer's voice* Voice acting* Voice vote* Voice message-In film:* Voice , a 2005 South Korean film* The Voice , a 2010 Turkish horror film directed by Ümit Ünal...

, short messaging service and low-bandwidth internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 access are supported through most systems.

Depending on the architecture of a particular system, coverage may include the entire Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

, or only specific regions.

The mobile equipment, also known as a terminal, varies widely. Early satellite phone handsets had a size and weight comparable to that of a late-1980s or early-1990s mobile phone
Motorola DynaTAC
DynaTAC is a series of cellular telephones manufactured by Motorola, Inc. from 1983 to 1994. With several different models, plus newer models under the Classic and Ultra Classic names, it was the first line of cell phones commercially produced by Motorola, with the first member of the DynaTAC...

, but usually with a large retractable antenna
Antenna (radio)
An antenna is an electrical device which converts electric currents into radio waves, and vice versa. It is usually used with a radio transmitter or radio receiver...

. More recent satellite phones are similar in size to a regular mobile phone while some prototype
Prototype
A prototype is an early sample or model built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from.The word prototype derives from the Greek πρωτότυπον , "primitive form", neutral of πρωτότυπος , "original, primitive", from πρῶτος , "first" and τύπος ,...

 satellite phones have no distinguishable difference from an ordinary smartphone
Smartphone
A smartphone is a high-end mobile phone built on a mobile computing platform, with more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone. The first smartphones were devices that mainly combined the functions of a personal digital assistant and a mobile phone or camera...

. Satphones are popular on expeditions into remote areas where terrestrial cellular service is unavailable.

A fixed installation, such as one used aboard a ship, may include large, rugged, rack-mounted electronics, and a steerable microwave
Microwave
Microwaves, a subset of radio waves, have wavelengths ranging from as long as one meter to as short as one millimeter, or equivalently, with frequencies between 300 MHz and 300 GHz. This broad definition includes both UHF and EHF , and various sources use different boundaries...

 antenna on the mast that automatically tracks the overhead satellites. Smaller installations using VoIP over a two-way satellite broadband service such as BGAN
BGAN
The Broadband Global Area Network is a global Satellite Internet Network with telephony using portable terminals. The terminals are normally used to connect a laptop computer to broadband Internet in remote locations, although as long as line-of-sight to the satellite exists, the terminal can be...

 or VSAT bring the costs within the reach of leisure vessel owners. Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 service satellite phones have notoriously poor reception indoors, though it may be possible to get a consistent signal near a window or in the top floor of a building if the roof is sufficiently thin. The phones have connectors for external antennas that can be installed in vehicles and buildings. The systems also allow for the use of repeaters, much like terrestrial mobile phone systems.

Geosynchronous satellites


Some satellite phones use satellites in geostationary orbit
Geostationary orbit
A geostationary orbit is a geosynchronous orbit directly above the Earth's equator , with a period equal to the Earth's rotational period and an orbital eccentricity of approximately zero. An object in a geostationary orbit appears motionless, at a fixed position in the sky, to ground observers...

, which are meant to remain in a fixed position in the sky. These systems can maintain near-continuous global coverage with only three or four satellites, reducing the launch costs. The satellites used for these systems are very heavy (approx. 5000 kg) and expensive to build and launch. The satellites sit at an altitude of about 35000 kilometres (21,748 mi); a noticeable delay is present while making a phone call or using data services due to the large distance from users. The amount of bandwidth available on these systems is substantially higher than that of the Low Earth Orbit
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

 (LEO) systems; all three active systems provide portable satellite Internet using laptop-sized terminals with speeds ranging from 60 to 512 kbits per second (kbps).

Another disadvantage of geostationary satellite systems is that in many areas—even where a large amount of open sky is present—the line-of-sight between the phone and the satellite is broken by obstacles such as steep hills and forest. The user will need to find an area with line-of-sight before using the phone. This is not the case with LEO services: even if the signal is blocked by an obstacle, one can wait a few minutes until another satellite passes overhead, but a moving LEO may drop a call when line of sight is lost.
  • ACeS
    ACeS
    ACeS is a regional satellite telecommunications company based in Jakarta, Indonesia. It offers GSM-like satellite telephony services to Asian market. The coverage area includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, China and India. The company operates the Garuda 1...

    : This small regional operator provides voice and data services in East Asia
    East Asia
    East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

     using a single satellite.
  • Inmarsat
    Inmarsat
    Inmarsat plc is a British satellite telecommunications company, offering global, mobile services. It provides telephony and data services to users worldwide, via portable or mobile terminals which communicate to ground stations through eleven geostationary telecommunications satellites...

    : The oldest satellite phone operator, founded in 1979. It originally provided large fixed installations for ship
    Ship
    Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

    s, but has recently entered the market of hand-held phones in a joint venture with ACeS. The company operates eleven satellites. Coverage is available on most of the Earth, except polar regions.
  • Thuraya
    Thuraya
    Thuraya , the Arabic name of the Pleiades, is a regional satellite phone provider. Its coverage area is most of Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia....

    : A system based in the UAE. Three satellites are currently in service that provide coverage to most of Eurasia
    Eurasia
    Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

    , Africa
    Africa
    Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

     and Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    . There is some degree of coverage overlap between adjacent satellites within the network.
  • MSAT
    MSAT
    MSAT, short for Mobile Satellite, is a satellite-based mobile telephony service developed by the National Research Council of Canada. Supported by a number of companies in the US and Canada, MSAT hosts a number of services, including the broadcast of CDGPS signals...

     / SkyTerra: An American satellite phone company that uses equipment similar to Inmarsat
    Inmarsat
    Inmarsat plc is a British satellite telecommunications company, offering global, mobile services. It provides telephony and data services to users worldwide, via portable or mobile terminals which communicate to ground stations through eleven geostationary telecommunications satellites...

    , but plans to launch a service using hand-held devices in the Americas
    Americas
    The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

     similar to Thuraya's
    Thuraya
    Thuraya , the Arabic name of the Pleiades, is a regional satellite phone provider. Its coverage area is most of Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia....

    .
  • Terrestar: Satellite phone system for North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

  • ICO Global Communications: A satellite phone company which has launched a single geosynchronous satellite which is not yet active.

Low Earth orbit


LEO
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

 telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

s utilizes LEO (low Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 orbit
Orbit
In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of an object around a point in space, for example the orbit of a planet around the center of a star system, such as the Solar System...

) satellite
Satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

 technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

. The advantages include providing world
World
World is a common name for the whole of human civilization, specifically human experience, history, or the human condition in general, worldwide, i.e. anywhere on Earth....

wide wireless coverage with no gaps. LEO satellites orbit the earth in high speed
Speed
In kinematics, the speed of an object is the magnitude of its velocity ; it is thus a scalar quantity. The average speed of an object in an interval of time is the distance traveled by the object divided by the duration of the interval; the instantaneous speed is the limit of the average speed as...

, low altitude
Altitude
Altitude or height is defined based on the context in which it is used . As a general definition, altitude is a distance measurement, usually in the vertical or "up" direction, between a reference datum and a point or object. The reference datum also often varies according to the context...

 orbits with an orbital time of 70–100 minute
Minute
A minute is a unit of measurement of time or of angle. The minute is a unit of time equal to 1/60th of an hour or 60 seconds. In the UTC time scale, a minute on rare occasions has 59 or 61 seconds; see leap second. The minute is not an SI unit; however, it is accepted for use with SI units...

s, an altitude of 640 to 1120 kilometers (400 to 700 miles), and provide coverage cells of about (at a 100-minute orbital period) 2800 km in radius (about 1740 mi). Since the satellites are not geosynchronous
Geosynchronous orbit
A geosynchronous orbit is an orbit around the Earth with an orbital period that matches the Earth's sidereal rotation period...

, they must fly complete orbits. At least one satellite must have line-of-sight to every coverage area at all times to guarantee coverage. Depending on the positions of both the satellite and terminal, a usable pass of an individual LEO satellite will typically last 4–15 minutes on average; thus, a constellation of satellites is required to maintain coverage (as is done with Iridium, Globalstar, GPS
Global Positioning System
The Global Positioning System is a space-based global navigation satellite system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites...

, and others).

Two such systems, both based in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 started in the late 1990s but soon went into bankruptcy after failing to gain enough subscribers to fund launch costs. They are now operated by new owners who bought the asset
Asset
In financial accounting, assets are economic resources. Anything tangible or intangible that is capable of being owned or controlled to produce value and that is held to have positive economic value is considered an asset...

s for a fraction of their original cost, and are now both planning to launch replacement constellations supporting higher bandwidth. Data speeds for current networks are between 2200 bit/s and 9600 bit/s using a satellite handset.
  • Globalstar
    Globalstar
    Globalstar is a low Earth orbit satellite constellation for satellite phone and low-speed data communications, somewhat similar to the Iridium satellite constellation and Orbcomm satellite systems.-History:...

    : A network covering most of the world's landmass using 44 active satellites; however many areas are left without coverage since a satellite must be in range of an earth station. Satellites fly in an inclined orbit
    Inclined orbit
    A satellite is said to occupy an inclined orbit around the Earth if the orbit exhibits an angle other than zero degrees with the equatorial plane. This angle is called the orbit's inclination...

     of 52 degrees, so polar regions cannot be covered. The network went into limited commercial service at the end of 1999 .
  • Iridium: A network operating 66 satellites in a polar orbit
    Polar orbit
    A polar orbit is an orbit in which a satellite passes above or nearly above both poles of the body being orbited on each revolution. It therefore has an inclination of 90 degrees to the equator...

     that claims coverage everywhere on Earth. Commercial service started in November 1998 and fell into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 1999. In 2001, service was re-established by Iridium Satellite LLC. Radio cross-links are used between satellites to relay data to the nearest satellite with a connection to an earth station.

Tracking


LEO systems have the ability to track a mobile unit's location using doppler shift
Doppler effect
The Doppler effect , named after Austrian physicist Christian Doppler who proposed it in 1842 in Prague, is the change in frequency of a wave for an observer moving relative to the source of the wave. It is commonly heard when a vehicle sounding a siren or horn approaches, passes, and recedes from...

 calculations from the satellite. However, this method can be inaccurate by tens of kilometers. On some Iridium hardware the coordinates can be extracted using AT commands, while recent Globalstar handsets will display them on the screen.

Locations banning satellite phones


In some countries, possession of a satellite phone is illegal. Their signals will usually bypass local telecoms systems, hindering censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 and wiretapping attempts. These countries tend to score low on the Democracy index
Democracy Index
The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit that claims to measure the state of democracy in 167 countries, of which 166 are sovereign states and 165 are UN member states...

, with the exception of India, so a ban can be the result of the state's desire for mass surveillance
Mass surveillance
Mass surveillance is the pervasive surveillance of an entire population, or a substantial fraction thereof.Modern governments today commonly perform mass surveillance of their citizens, explaining that they believe that it is necessary to protect them from dangerous groups such as terrorists,...

 or that it lacks the technology to intercept satellite phone traffic.
  • North Korea
    North Korea
    The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

  • India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     - Proper permission required
  • Burma


Satellite phones are legal in most countries and are not disfavoured by many governments. In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, residents of remote areas may apply for a government subsidy
Subsidy
A subsidy is an assistance paid to a business or economic sector. Most subsidies are made by the government to producers or distributors in an industry to prevent the decline of that industry or an increase in the prices of its products or simply to encourage it to hire more labor A subsidy (also...

 for a satellite phone.

One-way services


Some satellite phone networks provide a one-way paging channel to alert users in poor coverage areas of an incoming call. When the alert is received on the satellite phone it must be taken to an area with better coverage before the call can be accepted.

Globalstar provides a one-way data uplink service, typically used for asset tracking.

Iridium operates a one-way pager
Pager
A pager is a simple personal telecommunications device for short messages. A one-way numeric pager can only receive a message consisting of a few digits, typically a phone number that the user is then requested to call...

 service as well as the call alert feature.

Cost of a satellite phone



While it is possible to obtain used handsets for the Thuraya, Iridium, and Globalstar networks for approximately , the newest handsets are quite expensive. The Iridium 9505A, released in 2001, sold in March 2010 for over $1,000 USD new. Since satellite phones are purpose-built for one particular network and cannot be switched to other networks, the price of handsets varies with network performance. If a satellite phone provider encounters trouble with its network, handset prices will fall, then increase once new satellites are launched. Similarly, handset prices will increase when calling rates are reduced.

Among the most expensive satellite phones are BGAN
BGAN
The Broadband Global Area Network is a global Satellite Internet Network with telephony using portable terminals. The terminals are normally used to connect a laptop computer to broadband Internet in remote locations, although as long as line-of-sight to the satellite exists, the terminal can be...

 terminals, often costing several thousand US dollars. These phones provide broadband Internet and voice communications. Satellite phones are sometimes subsidised by the provider if one signs a post-paid contract but subsidies are usually only a few hundred US dollars or less.

Since most satellite phones are built under license or the manufacturing of handsets is contracted out to OEMs
Original Equipment Manufacturer
An original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, manufactures products or components that are purchased by a company and retailed under that purchasing company's brand name. OEM refers to the company that originally manufactured the product. When referring to automotive parts, OEM designates a...

, operators have a large influence over the selling price. Satellite networks operate under proprietary closed standards, making it difficult for manufacturers to independently make handsets.

Virtual country codes



Satellite phones are usually issued with numbers in a special country calling code.

Inmarsat
Inmarsat
Inmarsat plc is a British satellite telecommunications company, offering global, mobile services. It provides telephony and data services to users worldwide, via portable or mobile terminals which communicate to ground stations through eleven geostationary telecommunications satellites...

 satellite phones are issued with codes +870. In the past additional country codes have been allocated to different satellites but the codes +871 to +874 have been phased out at the end of 2008 leaving Inmarsat users with the same country code regardless of which satellite their terminal is registered with.

Low earth orbit systems including some of the defunct ones have been allocated number ranges in the International Telecommunications Union's Global Mobile Satellite System
Global Mobile Satellite System
The Global Mobile Satellite System is a general term referring to the selection of satellite phone providers available to private customers...

 virtual country code +881. Iridium satellite phones are issued with codes +881 6 and +881 7. Globalstar
Globalstar
Globalstar is a low Earth orbit satellite constellation for satellite phone and low-speed data communications, somewhat similar to the Iridium satellite constellation and Orbcomm satellite systems.-History:...

, although allocated +881 8 and +881 9 use U.S. telephone numbers
North American Numbering Plan
The North American Numbering Plan is an integrated telephone numbering plan administered by Neustar which encompasses 24 countries and territories, including the United States and its territories, Canada, Bermuda, and 16 nations of the Caribbean...

 except for service resellers located in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 which use the +881 range.

Smaller regional satellite phone networks are allocated numbers in the +882 code designated for "international networks
International Networks (country code)
International Networks is the name given by the International Telecommunications Union to country calling codes 882 and 883, and serves as a catch-all for telephone services not dedicated to a single country...

" which is not used exclusively for satellite phone networks.

Calling cost


The cost of making voice calls from a satellite phone varies from around $0.15 to $2 per minute, while calling them from landline
Landline
A landline was originally an overland telegraph wire, as opposed to an undersea cable. Currently, landline refers to a telephone line which travels through a solid medium, either metal wire or optical fibre, as distinguished from a mobile cellular line, where transmission is via radio waves...

s and regular mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

s is more expensive. Costs for data transmissions (particularly broadband data) can be much higher. Rates from landlines and mobile phones range from $3 to $14 per minute with Iridium, Thuraya and INMARSAT being some of the most expensive networks to call. The receiver of the call pays nothing, unless he is being called via a special reverse-charge service.

Making calls between different satellite phone networks is often similarly expensive, with calling rates of up to $15 per minute.

Calls from satellite phones to landlines are usually around $0.80 to $1.50 per minute unless special offers are used. Such promotions are usually bound to a particular geographic area where traffic is low.

Most satellite phone networks have pre-paid plans, with vouchers ranging from $100 to $5,000.

Use in disaster response



Most mobile telephone networks operate close to capacity during normal times, and large spikes in call volumes caused by widespread emergencies often overload the systems when they are needed most. Examples reported in the media where this has occurred include the September 11 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

, the 2006 Hawaii earthquake
2006 Hawaii earthquake
The 2006 Hawaii earthquake was an offshore earthquake occurring southwest from Puakō and north of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, just offshore of the Kona Airport, on Sunday October 15, 2006 at 7:07:49 AM local time . It measured 6.7 on the moment magnitude scale, and was located at , at a depth of...

, the 2003 Northeast blackouts
Northeast Blackout of 2003
The Northeast blackout of 2003 was a widespread power outage that occurred throughout parts of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Ontario, Canada on Thursday, August 14, 2003, just before 4:10 p.m....

, Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, the 2007 Minnesota bridge collapse, the 2010 Chile earthquake
2010 Chile earthquake
The 2010 Chile earthquake occurred off the coast of central Chile on Saturday, 27 February 2010, at 03:34 local time , having a magnitude of 8.8 on the moment magnitude scale, with intense shaking lasting for about three minutes. It ranks as the sixth largest earthquake ever to be recorded by a...

 and the Dawson College shooting
Dawson College shooting
The Dawson College shooting occurred on September 13, 2006 at Dawson College, a CEGEP in Westmount near downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The perpetrator, Kimveer Gill, began shooting outside the de Maisonneuve Boulevard entrance to the school, and moved towards the atrium by the cafeteria on the...

. Reporters and journalists have also been using satellite phones to communicate and report on events in war zones such as Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

.

Terrestrial cell antennas and networks can be damaged by natural disasters. Satellite telephony can avoid this problem and be useful during natural disasters.
Satellite phone networks themselves are prone to congestion as satellites and spot beams cover a large area with relatively few voice channels.

See also

  • Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN)
  • Satellite internet
  • Telecommunications

External links