Globalstar vs Iridium, no winner

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

1 Response

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Some valuable comments from Luis Soltero, CTO of Global Marine:
    As you know we sell and support a lot of iridium systems. We have these systems on cruise ships as well as on private yachts. On cruise ships they use them to do passenger and crew e-mail.
    The following link will show you 7 vessels (mostly cruise ships) using iridium for communications.
    (you will need to pan up to see the vessels in greenland)
    My first comment is that the antenna you were using for your test is totally inadequate. The antenna itself is designed for automobiles and does not have a large enough grounding place. You get much better performance out of this antenna if you mount it on a pie plate. The other problem with the antenna is that it have very poor low angle performance. As you know iridium satellites are in polar orbit. At your latitude (Bermuda) the average satellite pass is closer to the horizon that it is over head. So… your antenna is not able to use as many satellites as are available. Finally there is quite a lot of signal loss on the thin antenna cable that is supplied with this smallest of iridium antennas.
    To use Iridium on a boat you need a proper external antenna. We recommend then Antcom stick antennas which work well in mid latitudes as well as in the tropics. The antenna does work up north as well although for really high latitudes the flat antennas work better.
    The Iridium martian lander holder you have is really mickey-mouse. the data adapter is fragile and prone to breakage. The holder is very flexible and will not hold the phone in a sea way. We recommend a proper docking station. We have several on our website starting as low as $588.
    Summing up… Iridium preforms much better with the proper antenna equipment.

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