Iridium Satellite Phones
Iridium Satellite LLC is a company, based in Bethesda, Maryland, United States which operates the Iridium satellite constellation, a system of 66 active satellites used for worldwide voice and data communication from hand-held satellite phones and other transceiver units. The Iridium network is unique in that it covers the whole Earth, including poles, oceans and airways. The company derives its name from the chemical element iridium. The number of satellites projected in the early stages of planning was 77, the atomic number of iridium, evoking the metaphor of 77 electrons orbiting the nucleus.
Inmarsat Satellite Phones
Inmarsat plc is a satellite telecommunications company, offering global, mobile services. Based in England, it provides telephony and data services to users worldwide, via portable or mobile terminals which communicate to ground stations through twelve geosynchronous telecommunications satellites. Inmarsat's network provides reliable communications services to a range of governments, aid agencies, media outlets and businesses with a need to communicate in remote regions or where there is no reliable terrestrial network.
Thuraya Satellite Phones
Thuraya, the Arabic name of the Pleiades, is a regional satellite phone provider. Its coverage area is most of Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia.
The company is based in the United Arab Emirates and distributes its products and service through authorized service providers. Its shareholders are a mixture of Middle Eastern and North African telcos (in which Etisalat is a major one) and investment companies.
Globalstar Satellite Phones
Globalstar phones look and act like mobile or fixed phones with which you're familiar. The difference is that they can operate virtually anywhere, carrying your call / data over an exceptionally clear, secure Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) satellite signal. Like "bent-pipes", or mirrors in the sky, the Globalstar constellation of Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites picks up signals from over 80% of the Earth's surface, everywhere outside the extreme polar regions and some mid-ocean regions. Once the second-generation constellation is fully deployed and operational, several satellites can pick up a call, and this "path diversity" helps assure that the call is not dropped even if a phone moves out of sight of one of the satellites.
BGAN delivers seamless network coverage across most of the world's landmass. Users are able to get broadband wherever they go, not just in major cities or airports. BGAN is currently accessible in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, North and South America.