Unlike cell phones, the typical image of the satellite phone is that of a large-sized phone reminiscent of early car phones with a large antenna protruding from its rubbery bulk. As technology improves, however, the satellite phone has also become smaller and offers an increasing number of features that are similar to the typical components of popular smart cellular phones on the market.
Used primarily by people who venture into remote areas where cell phone coverage has not yet penetrated, as well as by military and security personnel due not only to its durability but also its encryption capacities, the satellite phone now offers a host of services to businesses and individuals, as well. A fledgling market for phones that rely upon the Iridium satellite constellation was reinvigorated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when land lines and conventional cell phones and smart phones were rendered useless for months. The use of the satellite phone for rescue operations and by other service agencies became obvious, and the demand by individuals and otherwise unrelated businesses increased rapidly.
As the phone became smaller and less weighty, the features that they are capable of offering increase. Not only do most satellite phones offer extreme, military standard durability for extreme weather conditions and usage, but they also offer components that add to mobility, such as retractable antennae, the capacity to be used in a hands-free, headset mode, USB ports for both secure and non-secure information transfer, and plug-in capabilities for numerous accessories.
In today’s market, the satellite phone also not only offers global coverage at a flat fee, but also many of the features that smart phones offer in the cellular market, such as texting, SMS and email, internet access, speakerphone, internal address books, and other popular features. Many satellite phones also offer asset and fleet tracking services, as well as advanced encryption technology, designed for use by military and government users.
The key advantage of a smart phone that links with satellite networks is the ability to use the phone under the most extreme circumstances, whether in a remote area of the world, at sea, or during natural disasters in which other methods of communication have become unreliable or are not functioning. A satellite phone provides a secure connection no matter where you are on the earth’s terrain and is weather resistant, making it the optimum tool both for use by military and rescue groups as well as by hikers, mountain climbers, adventurers, media reporters, world travelers, and people who work in high-risk occupations such as on oil rigs or forestry services.