Satellite Phones: 10 questions revealing the most about them

What is a satellite phone? Satellite phones are mysterious devices for the most people. As a result, the power of their functionalities is sometimes mistaken with the one smartphones allow. There are several crucial differences between the two. In fact, satphones are more complex devices, made for a specific use in peculiar conditions. Here are 10 questions that reveal the most about them. Did you know already some of these?

Who invented satellite phones?

Satphones inventor’s name is unknown. As a result, the Soviet Union is credited as the ground-breaker when it comes to satellite technology, having launched the first satellite in 1957. Two years before the United States did it.

How do satellite phones work?

The technology behind these devices – as the name suggests – clearly involves orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell sites. How? The phone signal is transmitted to a satellite and then back to earth.

What are satphones used for?

Satphones connect to orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell towers. Although their functionality might be similar to terrestrial mobile phones, they offer voice, message service and also internet access in remote areas.

How secure are satellite phones?

In order to prevent overhearing, the modern satellite phone networks encrypt voice traffic. In spite of that, because of new eavesdropping technologies, sat phones are not used for high-security applications.

Why are satellite phones expensive?

Launching and maintenance of orbiting satellites involve always up-to-date technologies. Furthermore, mobile satellite equipment and cellular phones enjoy a different scale of users, with the second one having a bigger market.

Are satphones traceable?

Yes, they are. Satphones emit signal, which is traceable. What is not easy to determine is the exactly position of the device, unless we were talking about bidirectional geolocation terminals.

How many satellite phones are there?

As stated by the Euroconsult, the number of sat phones held by people worldwide increases constantly. As a result, around 3.8M units have been sold around the globe to date, with this market willing to grow at a further 7% by 2024.

What countries are prohibited?

In Burma, Cuba, India and North Korea, the use of a satellite equipment is considered illegal. However, there are exceptions for some satellite services and within areas under specific jurisdiction.

Why are not all satellite phones?

Why aren’t we relying on satellites for all our phone signals? There might be many reasons. Most noteworthy is the limited watts of power of cell phones compared to sat phones’, the latter having more power to reach a satellite.

Are satellite phones the future?

First of all, satphones are the present. More and more people feel the need to rely on satellite technologies to make sure their stay in the most remote areas of the world comprise of a strong signal in communications. If you want to know more about mobile satellite communications, subscribe for free to our newsletter.

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