SkyTerra sat/cell hybrid, ooh-la-la


How’s about a module that can seamlessly communicate voice and data all around North America via either cellular or satellite radios, includes WiFi and GPS too, and can fit in a small handset or into a multifunction marine display? That’s what SkyTerra has in development, and apparently the company (formerly known as MSV) also has the first FCC license for such a sat/cell hybrid service, and hopes to soon launch two of the most powerful comms satellites ever…

We don’t know yet how quickly this system will pass data (and we’re getting so spoiled) or what it will cost. But SkyTerra did present at the October GMDSS meeting (where I learned how AIS is headed everywhere), and made it clear that it hoped to be a significant presence at least in the marine search and rescue community. I guess, too, that if one pokes around, there are other developments underway that might lead to what we want…reasonably priced, easy to use communications where ever we boat. If you know of one, please share.


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.

5 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Comment troubles! The good news is that Panbo got upgraded to Movable Type 4.2 last week, which means that forums, user profiles and other enhancements are much closer to fruition.
    But the bad news is that some recent comments are not going up on the blog, and there may be difficulty even entering one. The problem will be worked on tomorrow, and hopefully then recent comments will appear (why mine work is part of the mystery). In the meantime, if you do try to post a comment and run into a snag, please email me: ben dot ellison at panbo dot com.

  2. yachtvalhalla says:

    Signed in OK with the new Typepad.
    Checking to see if this comment gets posted.

  3. Roger says:

    I find that comments like
    ” . . . . . in the marine search and rescue community.”
    usually means ‘very expensive’ for ordinary users.

  4. mcurreri says:

    Interesting item.
    We have been using an Ericsson W26 fixed wireless terminal with great results. It has networked commuters, Wifi computers, a networked printer, a fax and a cordless phone set (three handsets) all attached. Great solution. With a separate booster amp and mast antenna, it gives service out to 80 miles. Since the SIM card can be changed, it will work anywhere I can get a cell signal that has a data component.
    Mike Curreri
    Blue Grotto

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is definitely something I’ve got to figure out for my boat.

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