UK-based Global Telesat Communications (GTC) is pleased to announce a breakthrough in portable, weatherproof equipment with the arrival of the Iridium Extreme Push-to-Talk (PTT), a remarkably tough handheld satellite phone that can be used like a VHF radio whilst offering full global coverage. However, not all Iridium resellers will be authorised to sell this product; GTC is one of only a few certified Iridium Push-to-Talk resellers in the UK.
The Iridium network consists of 66 active satellites (and several spares) in a low earth orbit, and is currently the only one that offers full voice and data connectivity even from the North and South Poles. The offset polar orbit means that there is always a satellite in range, from anywhere on the earth, and at any time.
Taking full advantage of this high quality and dependable service is the new Iridium Extreme PTT, the world’s first push-to-talk handheld device capable of handling global voice calling, as well as SMS and SOS functions. However, unlike a handheld VHF, the calls are fully encrypted, so privacy is ensured, and the set can connect immediately with other registered users via the ‘over-the-air’ Talkgroup programming. This makes it ideal for situations where there may be several users beyond standard comms range, but where active co-ordination over a wide area is needed, such as marshalling a scattered flotilla, or contacting small research groups in high latitudes.
The Iridium Extreme PTT has been designed to operate in the toughest of conditions, and packs a high capacity battery, offering around 5 hours of call time, and 54 hours in stand-by mode. The battery can be conveniently recharged via a standard 12V car charger or a mains travel charger, and the Extreme PTT’s casing has an IP65 rating, meaning it is dustproof, shock-proof, and water jet resistant. Additional features include a USB data connection and 2 accessory adapters, and when used in a vehicle, a magnetically mounted antenna with 5 feet of cable is included in the kit.
Despite it’s military-grade durability, the Extreme PTT has also been designed for ease of use. There is fast call set-up and inter call performance using a standard cell phone key pad for the usual dial-out solutions, but when using the PTT function, the unit gives the other members of the group unparalleled situational awareness. An easy-to-use menu, visible on the glare-resistant display, allows for automatic programming and registration, and communications are kept private with AES 256 encryption. However, users within the dynamic Talkgroup can be quickly identified with a talker ID, whilst GPS-enabled location-based services can transmit their distance and bearing from each other. Essentially, the Extreme PTT has all the versatility of the more familiar Digital Selective Calling (DSC) sets, yet without any of the limitations of range.
As with all satellite-based systems, experts at Global Satellite Communications (GTC) can advise clients on the best package of call time options for the Iridium Extreme PTT. These are tailored to be cost effective based on intended use and the expected geographical dispersal of the group. GTC can also arrange for either purchase or rental of the hardware, the minimum being the registration of two sets and 1 Talkgroup.
Offering truly global coverage, with a military grade build quality and the convenience of push-to-talk, the Iridium Extreme PTT is set to become a game-changer in the field of fast, mobile and secure satellite communications.
Recommended retail price: £1,100 excluding VAT.
Typical package fees:
- (2 x PTT handsets operating within a 100,000km2 footprint)
- Monthly Talk Group Fee: US$ 510 + monthly handset fee US$ 240
- Total US$750.
- Size: 140mm x 60mm x 32mm
- Weight: 268g
- Talk time (phone mode) battery life: Up to 6.5 hours
- Standby time (phone mode) battery life: Up to 54 hours
- Talk time (PTT mode) battery life: Up to 5 hours
- Standby time (PTT mode) battery life: Up to 16.5 hours.
- Weatherproofing. IP65
- Military grade: 810F