A Mobile satellite services operator is a telecom operator that provides two-way voice and data communications globally by use of mobile satellite phones that connect to space stations or satellites. This allows for coverage even in the most remote of locations, making satellite telephony perfect for individuals who work in areas usually not covered by regular mobile networks.
What Are Mobile Satellite Phones?
Mobile satellite phones look very much like regular phones, but are usually chunkier and have extended antennas. They are also commonly called satphones or satellite phones and they connect to orbiting satellites in space instead of terrestrial cell sites that regular mobile phones connect to. Like regular phones, they provide voice, SMS and low-bandwidth Internet services.
As such, you will find remote workers in desert regions, oil drilling operations and other offshore fields, ocean-going ships, as well as military teams, among others, putting mobile satellite phones to use.
List of Mobile Satellite Services Operators
Examples of mobile satellite services operators are:
- Iridium – operates 66 satellites that cover the entire planet.
- Inmarsat – operates eleven satellites, providing near-total global coverage, with the exception of the Arctic and Antarctica regions of the earth.
- Globalstar – operates 40 satellites with extensive global coverage, but excludes the polar regions. Announced a merger with FiberLight in 2018.
- Thuraya – operates two satellites that provide coverage in 160 countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Acquired in 2018 by Yahsat, a UAE-based subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, to join Yahsat’s 3 satellites.