Mobile communications provide a user with two-way voice or data communications services by using some form of portable wireless technology. Typically, providers of satellite mobile communications use Geostationary Orbit (GEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites or Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to relay signals up from a handset or terminal and back down to a ground station where the signal interfaces with the public telephone system or the internet.
Because satellites operate in Earth orbit, mobile satellite providers have the unique ability to offer virtually ubiquitous coverage for mobile voice and data communications, especially for customers who operate in areas far beyond the coverage offered by terrestrial mobile networks.
Mobile satellite communications and mobile satellite services (MSS) voice terminals or handsets can range in size from handheld to laptop-sized units and can be fully portable of mounted in vehicles for on the move communications. Mobile satellite data devices can provide simple one-way or simplex tracking as well as two-way duplex data and broadband internet communications.
Satellite telephones can provide users with the ability to make and receive phone calls and text messages from virtually anywhere. Satellite data modems provide users with connectivity, without having to rely on terrestrial mobile networks. Satellite providers may also offer machine to machine (M2M) data for various applications including monitoring or tracking services.
Enterprise or commercial users, military and defense personnel as well as individual consumers who frequently travel abroad or operate on land, sea or air in areas far from terrestrial or cellular coverage commonly use MSS systems. Applications include:
For more information regarding mobile satellite communications, please see the Emergency and Disaster Response page or the Broadband Connectivity page.