It's been over half a century since the first telephone satellite was launched into orbit around Earth, and since then, telecommunications have changed dramatically. Satellite phones brought the world closer together and made it a safer place. Whether they were out in oceans or deserts, people were given a means to get in touch with emergency officials, friends, coworkers and their families by utilizing these handheld devices.
Today, the Pew Research Center says that 83 percent of American adults own a cell phone, and because of that, it may seem as though satellite phones have become outdated. That, however, simply isn't true.
The reality is that while both are handy mobile devices, satellite phones and cellular phones are very different from each other.
The primary discrepancy between the two is how they transfer data. Cell phones only work when they are within a tower's "cell," or transmission range. Different carriers have their own towers in select locations, which means service isn't always as reliable as their advertisements may suggest. Furthermore, if one of those towers is damaged or disabled, cell phone reception can become completely unavailable.
Satellite phones, on the other hand, work almost anywhere on Earth because they transmit information through satellites orbiting the planet. Many people purchase them for use when they travel in remote areas like jungles or mountains, and for emergency communication during storms.
One thing that both devices do have in common is their size. Some assume that satellite phones are larger than the average cell phone, but Thuraya, IsatPhone and Iridium systems are actually very compact and portable.
Both have their own benefits, but ultimately, if you are looking for mobile solution that is practical, reliable and convenient, a satellite phone may be just what you need.