Satellite phones: Communications at sea

The importance of satellite communications cannot be denied. Particularly at sea, its importance surges quite a few notches high. In earlier times, communications during an ocean journey was something that was considered to be highly impossible. However, in the modern times, technological advent has turned the impossible to possible and people can stay connected while they are flying in the air or traveling through the sea.

Talking specifically about the maritime sector, maritime equipment has enabled people traveling on yachts or ships to remain connected through phone calls and sending messages. In some cases, they may also get internet access with the help of such equipment that is used on leisure boats. Satellite communication is important for the working of such equipment as it acts as a medium for signals to travel. Hence, it will not be wrong to state that without satellite communication, the working of such equipment is not possible.

When you are traveling through the ocean, your personal communications are possible due to small portable maritime equipment now. These devices and services are widely used by a number of charter companies or specialists that offer yacht delivery services.

Among these companies is Delivery Captain, our partner company, which has earned great recognition as a premium yacht delivery service across the globe. They have hired highly qualified skippers and crew members who are at the helm of safely transporting the boats and yachts from one part of the ocean to the other.

At Verasat, we reached out to the representative of Delivery Captain and discussed the technology they use crossing the oceans and how they provide exemplary services:

How do you prepare for ocean crossing?

We thoroughly plan our journey considering all the conditions that our crew can face. Right from boat protection to crew safety, each factor is taken into consideration during the preparation phase to ensure a successful crossing. We believe that each crossing is new and offers a unique experience; thus, we prepare ourselves fully for making the move.

What is the process you follow for Ocean Passage Planning?

We follow a comprehensive and detailed process to ensure yacht are transported to the destination in a safe manner. Boats are first checked for any scratches and faults before they are wrapped and made ready for their journey.

Why satellite communications are so important for you?

Our main objective is to guarantee our customers the selection of a highly qualified and professional crew team together with the support of an effective, immediate, and operative 24/7 customer service. All our boat transfers are followed by our office technical service support via satellite communication. This service is monitored both with the application of fixed satellite communication devices to signal the position of the boat at any time and/or with a satellite phone. The satellite communication devices are all compatible with the major operating systems available on the market i.e. tablet, smartphone, and PC. This and much more ensures that our technical office support service becomes more effective and safe, to ensure a smooth delivery both for the safety of the crew team and your boat.

What devices and services could you recommend for personal communications at sea?

Here are some of the latest products and services that have made it easy for people to communicate even if they are miles away from the land, depending on what are your main priority. I will not speak here about radio communications or Fleet Broadband installations that might already be installed in your boat… the good news in this industry is that we have now economic, small, “easy to install” equipment with affordable flexible pricing such as:

Inmarsat SAILOR “Fleet One”

This compact plug & play equipment is most suitable for small boats that need an internet connection, the maximum speed of this device is up to 100 kbps. It comes with an antenna, receiver, and phone. Prepaid services are available. You can activate the prepaid card just for your travel time, no need to pay monthly fees anymore.

Iridium GO

It is a portable satellite access point that gives connection to your smart devices i.e. phones and tablets. The drawback of this device is its slow speed. Iridium Go does not allow navigating or use WhatsApp for example. The strongest point of Iridium go are the special unlimited economic data plan for email connection, voice and SMS services; you can receive the grip files with this device.

Satellite phones

For satellite phones, I will not say anything new. The basic services and emergencies can be covered by these satellite phones i.e. Inmarsat Isatphone 2, Iridium 9555 or the new terminal Iridium PTT (push to talk, that offer you the “radio by satellite” service).

Satway Pro

I used the application “Satway” to receive the SMS messages from my family and colleagues to my Iridium. It is a nice invention for maritime users; the SMS arrives! Satway Pro it’s a step forward of easy messaging system with a group of people. The voice message option is also nice when you don’t want to tape your SMS.