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Communications Connecting - internet cafes, laptops, Palm devices, cell phones - how to connect, use, which one, and Bike to Bike and passenger intercoms.
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  #1  
Old 31 Oct 2003
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Cheap(ish) satellite broadband

Here's one for the well-heeled gadget freak - Inmarsat have a new gizmo, the Regional BGAN IP modem. It's a laptop shaped thing weighing about 3 lbs which gives you a 144kbit connection - good for anyone who wants to email photos.

Ar the moment it uses Thuraya's satellites, so coverage is not global - e.g. nowhere in Africa south of Kenya. In mid 2005 the service will switch to Inmarsat satellites and coverage will be global.

Costs in UK Pounds - about £1000 for the hardware, £26 one-time connection fee, £30 per month subscription and £6.84 per MB for data transfer. (As with terrestrial broadband you can leave the connection on all the time because you pay by the MB, not the minute.)

Of course you also need a laptop to plug into - the Inmarsat box is just a modem.

If you want to use it for voice calls you can, by plugging a headset into your laptop. But this uses lots of bandwidth and costs 12 pounds a minute, so strictly for emergency use only!

OK, it's not cheap. But if you're deep in the desert and want to email your pics home it's got to be better than hooking your satphone up to your laptop at 9.6 kilobits.

More info at www.inmarsat.com or their London dealer AST at www.satcomms.com/product_data/productinfo.php?refnum=65

[This message has been edited by nick_horley (edited 31 October 2003).]
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Old 1 Nov 2003
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I just started yesterday probing the net for such solutions in preparations for an expedition I’m organizing. I already found 1 much cheaper solution from 2 Way Internet. I don’t have all the details yet but they don’t charge by MB or minute. I’ll post more info when I get it.

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Old 1 Nov 2003
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How would you make it portable? And what coverage does it have?
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Old 1 Nov 2003
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I don't have the dimensions yet but the whole thing can fit in a Pelican case. Did I mention we'll be traveling in 4x4?

The service covers, Africa, most of Europe and East Asia.

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OasisPhoto.com – Images from the Magical Sahara.
ShortWheelbase.com – Jeep preparations.
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  #5  
Old 5 Nov 2003
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From the FAQ section in the 2wayinternet site:

Can I put this system on a boat or in an RV?

No. The 2Way Internet satellite return system is for fixed installs only. However, boats filled with advanced gyro-fitted antennas can accommodate
Way Internet.

***********-------------***********
I've looked into this myself but found mobile satellite too expensive. Instead I have the hardware to use a cell phone as a modem connected to local networks with SIM cards. There are a few global ISP's offering local dial up numbers for most countries at cheap rates ~10c/min. PAYG. Can transfer data at 10kB/sec or better. Naturally this setup is restricted by the cell phone network coverage.

Cheers
Dave
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Old 6 Nov 2003
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Sounds like you've done some very useful homework Dave - which ISPs do this?
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  #7  
Old 7 Nov 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave McSkimming:
From the FAQ section in the 2wayinternet site:

Can I put this system on a boat or in an RV?

No. The 2Way Internet satellite return system is for fixed installs only. However, boats filled with advanced gyro-fitted antennas can accommodate
Way Internet.
We're not planning to use it in motion. Setting it up in camp and hooking it up to a laptop takes about 10 minutes with a bit of practice in locatting the satellite.

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