Satellite telephones have been around for a number of years but are still relatively rare. With the increased use and availability of wireless cell technology, most people have no need for satphones.
But if you find yourself far from the madding crowds a satphone is the only way to go. On Labrador Odyssey we have a satellite phone provided by our good friends at Infosat
who were also along on our last online trip Winisk to The Bay in 1999
. We will again be using our trusty Mitsubishi Omniquest satphone that uses the Canadian MSAT satellite. This small and light (four pounds) unit is very easy to use and performs flawlessly. Its only drawback is speed -- it is not able to send or receive above 4800 baud (4.8kps compared to conventional modems that run at 56kps or cable modems at >128kps) We will use this phone to send back our stories as text files and most of our photos as optimized pegs for posting on the Web. It is also great for regular telephone calls for interviews.
The phone will spend most of the time inside one of our water and dustproof Pelican cases.