When it comes to satellite network providers, there are plenty that vie for attention in the satellite communications industry. Indeed, GTC offers many products that run on some of the world’s most popular networks, including Thuraya and Globalstar, however, the Inmarsat and Iridium networks are arguably the world’s most popular thanks to their broad product ranges and global-to-near-global reaches.

Coverage Areas

  • Inmarsat

Inmarsat, a geosynchronous (GEO) network, is one of the most robust satellite networks currently in operation. With a dozen satellites currently orbiting earth, Inmarsat has a global reach except the polar regions. As a GEO network, Inmarsat allows for data connectivity as well as voice and PTT communication.

  • Iridium

Iridium is a powerful Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network that achieves 100% global coverage. Iridium delivers voice and digital capabilities and offers a versatile suite of products to make sure its users enjoy consistent and reliable connectivity, no matter where they are.

Device Types

Inmarsat offers a fantastic range of Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) internet terminals that can be taken to remote parts of the world or installed on vehicles or boats including commercial fishing vessels or leisure cruisers. These powerful terminals range in data speeds and sizes, but allow for at-sea communication, internet browsing, email sends and receives, and voice calls from regions where traditional cellular coverage wouldn’t normally reach.

The truly global Iridium network offers satellite phones, PTT radio solutions, and WiFi hotspots to keep users connected from any location on earth. The Iridium Extreme® satellite phone, for example, is one of the most powerful satellite phones on the market today, and comes with built-in GPS and SOS capabilities. While the Iridium GO! hotspot turns your smartphone or tablet into a global communications device capable of making reliable voice calls and data connections anywhere in the world.

Airtime Plans

There are clear variations with each network’s service plans, however, Inmarsat service plans are generally cheaper than Iridium. Inmarsat’s service is great for open spaces but struggles in deep canyons or at the bottom of tall mountains. Iridium service plans are a little more pricey but offer 100% global coverage and work well in built-up areas.

Conclusion

With a wider range of products and a truly global reach, an Iridium solution is the one for you if you can afford the pricier service plans and products. However, if what you are looking for is a robust and portable satellite broadband terminal solution, then Inmarsat offers plenty of different options in this department. Each network is far reaching in coverage, so unless you are planning on travelling to a polar region, then it is down to product type and affordability on which network you choose.

As always, our team of experts is here to help. So, if you need any advice about our satellite networks, contact us via:

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