Steve Sobol wrote:
Crist Clark wrote:
If you really want high reliability during and after a natural disaster,
satellite phones are probably your best option.
That's who I thought you worked for, but the only satellite phone provider whose name I consistently remember is Iridium (aren't they bankrupt and/or gone?)
They did go bankrupt, but were bought and still do operate. Of course,
Globalstar went bankrupt and was bought too. The new ownership
has been expanding the Globalstar business (new ground gateways, buying
existing gateways from external service providers, planning launches
to replenish the constellation, etc.). I don't think new-Iridium has
plans to replenish. Both are big on gov't and corporate customers,
but Globalstar is much more popular with smaller customers and consumers.
I'm not impartial, but both services have pros and cons depending
on your needs. But I believe the real thing that kept Iridium going
was some of their DoD customers (i.e. customers that would take the
business over before letting it go under).
Of course, you have issues with satellite phones too. Cost is one such issue. Even when I signed up for my first cell phone in 1993, long
before the wireless boom, airtime was still only about 40 to 50 cents per minute - about 1/2 or 1/3 of what you'll pay per minute for a satellite phone today, IIRC. (Please correct me if necessary!)
Like so many things, price depends on the volume you buy,
The range is from $1 to $0.14 per minute. There are also other special
plans not mentioned including "emergency use only" plans. Although many
of those are individually arranged when large gov't or private agencies
make bulk purchaces of equipment and services. The "Ready-Sat-Go!"
(I didn't name it) plan might be a reasonable emergency package,
<advertisement acting-school="cheesy commercial" empathy-mode="on"
actor="deep-voiced anchorman or Sally Struthers">
Isn't the safety of your family and your peace of mind for one
year worth $999? Then only the cost of pre-paid minutes for the
years after that.
Another, potentially worse, problem occurs if you don't have line of sight to the bird... that's precisely why I ended up with cable TV instead of satellite when I lived in Lake County, Ohio - three *very* tall trees to the south of my house, with DirecTV's satellite *and* Dish's satellite both requiring line of sight to the southwest.
Trees could potentially cause a problem, but not in the situation
you describe. Globalstar, and Iridium too for that matter, have large
LEO constellations, not GEO. There are typically multiple satellites
in view at any given time, and they are mo-o-oving by. A stand of
trees off in one direction probably is not a problem. OTOH, standing
under solid rain forest canopy may or may not present problems.
Again, an overview from the website,
during hurricane season. (Although I'd rather not slide into the
discussion about how 911 works for us.)
It does, afterall, FCC says it has to. How do we do it? Your GPS coords
are belong to us,
But funky things happen when we start talking about international
roaming. (Before any more detailed questions come in, I'll warn you
I'm a terrestrial data networking guy, not a telco switching or RF guy.)