In off-road racing, communication is paramount. When communication breaks down, you can have all kinds of issues. Nowadays we are so used to using phones, text messages, and email. Whether it’s during a race or pre-running, when you are in are remote locations cut off from cellular service and the rest of the world, it’s really challenging to communicate. Race radios, which have long been the backbone of communication in off-road racing, have limited range and can’t transmit data.
In the last few years, satellite phones have become cheaper, easier to use and have the ability to transmit data. Fair warning – you’re not going to want to go on a Netflix binge at the current data rates – but for managing web and email communication to keep business operations going, data pricing is reasonable.
We linked up with SatellitePhoneStore.com to breakdown what solution might be best for you.
Satellite phones are paramount in emergency situations. More often than not, there is absolutely no cell coverage when something bad goes down and race radios aren’t going to cut it. Not to mention, the convenience of a daily call home from anywhere in the world to your friends and family letting them know everything’s all good is worth it. You can buy or rent a satellite phone depending on your frequency of use but first, you need to choose the satellite phone and service that fits your needs.
The first and most common satellite phone option is the Iridium 9575 (push to talk) that allows voice calls and text messaging, as well as (push to talk) feature if you have multiple parties using the phone like a chase crew or multiple vehicles pre-running. The Iridium 9575 will run you about $130.00 a week to rent for the phone with service.
The second option is smartphone hotspot the Iridium GO that allows you to wirelessly link your existing smartphone to make voice calls and text. The big advantage here is all your communication stays on the device you are currently using everyday, so you don’t have to manage multiple devices for communication. It also allows you to stay on top of business and personal communication while you are at racing or pre-running. The Iridium GO will cost you about $160.00 a week to rent for the device with service.
Powered by the world’s furthest reaching satellite network, this compact, rugged and portable WIFI satellite transceiver works with the Iridium Go app to allow voice and text from iPhone and Android smart phones. No roaming charges. Just connected and in touch wherever you are, whenever you need, with the devices you rely on everyday.
The third option is Inmarsat IsatHub which allows voice calls, text, and data. You can wirelessly connect multiple devices like your laptop, iPhone, iPad and/or iPod touch or Android device. This is great for sharing with multiple users and keeping your communications on the devices you are already using everyday. This is my favorite option because I need to use my iPhone for voice and text communication and my laptop for email and web pretty much at all times.
The IsatHub service is accessed from your iPhone, iPad and/or iPod touch or Android device through the control app. This provides set-up assistance and gives you full control over access to the service as well as visibility of data usage from each device sharing the IsatHub connection. The voice app enables you to use your smart device to send and receive voice calls via IsatHub’s dedicated high-quality voice line, as well as text messages, even if your device is for WiFi use only.
If I don’t stay on top my email daily, they’ll stack up to a point where I dread opening my laptop. Being able to work remotely, as well as when I am riding in car on my way somewhere, has allowed me the freedom to get away without worry about what’s sitting at my desk. The Inmarsat IsatHub will run you about $300.00 a week to rent with the device and service.
Pick the device that best fits your needs and decide if it makes sense to rent it or buy it and get out into the never, never. Spend more time pre-running and less time sitting in front of a computer and phone.