February 2019 Issue

Globalstar Sat-Fi2:Good Ergos, Pricey Data

With a form factor that's cabin-friendly and a performance boost from the first-gen device, the $499 Sat-Fi2 portable satcom brings good utility.

Globalstar's LEO (low earth orbit) constellation forms a network with 24 ground stations that serve as a bridge to traditional terrestrial telecommunications networks on six continents, providing communications to over 120 countries. The current-generation LEO satellite constellation delivers low-speed bandwidth (72 Kbps), not dissimilar to fast dialup modems-good for voice calls, text messages, short emails and textual websites. Don't plan on downloading videos and other big files. That level of performance is best left to the more expensive geostationary satellite-based terrestrial broadband networks.

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