Is Iridium truly a Global Satellite Network?

by Peter Davidson on Dec 15, 2023

Embark on a thrilling journey with us as we delve into the real-world benefits of geostationary satellite networks, as experienced by one of our intrepid clients in the picturesque Victorian high country. The Alpine National Park, with its challenging topography, served as the backdrop for an unexpected twist in satellite connectivity that highlights the incredible reliability of geostationary satellites.

Our client, armed with an active Thuraya handset and service, ventured into the rugged Talbotville Camping Ground, (Vic) an area where we would typically recommend the Iridium Network due to its global coverage reputation. Seeking the security of network connectivity, the client attempted to use the Iridium 9555 to connect with family back home. To their surprise, the phone failed to register with the network. However, not all was lost, as the client decided to give their Thuraya XT-Lite a shot, not expecting much. To their delight, it worked seamlessly, defying expectations and sparking our curiosity to delve deeper into the science behind this surprising revelation.

Now, let's dive into the nitty-gritty with Peter's investigative research (NERD ALERT!), uncovering the secrets behind this satellite phenomenon.

 In the detailed analysis, Peter revealed that the Thuraya satellite, with its geostationary positioning, offered a remarkable 8.3 degrees of clearance at the Talbotville Camping Area. At a distance of 39,186km away, the Thuraya handset could seamlessly connect with the satellite, thanks to its unobstructed view. This experience aligns with our expectations, as geostationary satellites, unlike their counterparts, provide uninterrupted reception in such remote locations, overcoming even higher obstacles.

Moreover, Peter's research showcased that Inmarsat, positioned at 46 degrees above to the north in the same location, presented an alternative option. The higher satellite not only offered more options but also emphasized the significance of considering factors like tree cover and heavy rain clouds. The angle becomes crucial in scenarios where the signal must navigate through foliage or clouds, making the Thuraya and Inmarsat stationary satellites invaluable choices.

In conclusion, the tale from Talbotville Camping Ground illustrates the transformative power of geostationary satellite networks in unlocking communication barriers in remote terrains. Whether you're an adventurer in the Victorian high country or exploring similar challenging landscapes worldwide, the reliability and resilience of geostationary satellites offer a communication lifeline, ensuring you stay connected when it matters most. Join us in celebrating the triumph of technology against nature's obstacles and explore the boundless possibilities that satellite technology brings to the great outdoors.