Global Satellite MCG-101, an Iridium PBX


So Global Satellite USA has announced an interesting Iridium PBX box, but it won’t roll out until June and will cost $4,200 (with an outside antenna and 20 meters of cable). I got a demo of the new Iridium 9555 handset at the Miami show, and while it’s certainly less clunky than the old 9505, a fixed installation of some sort still makes sense for most boats, I think. At sea, you want to make calls down below, a dedicated antenna works better anyway, and you’ll very likely have a data cable connected between phone and PC. At least for e-mail, as Iridium only connects to the Internet at 2,400 bps, before compression (which Global Satellite doesn’t mention)…

Judging from OCENS Iridium accessory list, there are no simple 9555 handset docking stations yet, but I imagine they’re in the works. And I notice that GMN has a BEAM Iridium terminal that looks similar to the MCG-101, whose brochure is available below. Meanwhile, I hear that Iridium’s much more Web friendly, and more expensive, OpenPort system is finally moving from beta mode to shipping product. It strikes me that one exotic use for Google Voice might be managing calls while you cruised the seven seas. When I think about it more, I realize that Google won’t forward GV to an Iridium number (which is international), and thus the screen shot I made for that GV entry is a little bogus. GV probably won’t send SMS messages to Iridium phones either, but wouldn’t it be useful to turn calls into e-mails? If you have an active Iridium phone, we could test the possibilities, and could also find out if GV’s inexpensive international calling works to Iridium phones.

Global Satellite – MCG 101.pdf

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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

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