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difference between satellite phone and mobile phone | Satellite phone vs Mobile Phone

This page compares satellite phone vs mobile phone and mentions difference between satellite phone and mobile phone.

Introduction:
To understand the comparison between these phone types one need to understand difference between satellite network and cellular network. Following sections mention one to one comparison between these networks and phone types.

Satellite Phone based on Satellite Network


Iridium Satellite Operating Frequencies

1. Satellite Phone uses satellite network such as Iridium, Inmarsat to dial call or receive call.
2. It is mainly used in non city areas such as remote terrain, desert, polar regions, for aviation and maritime communications etc.
3. Satellite phones are very costly.
4. The satellite phone is mainly used for voice and text messages. Internet services are planned to be available in future due to launch of new satellites in "Iridium NEXT" constellation. Dual mode handsets provide both cellular (e.g. GSM) and satellite connectivity.
5. Call drop due to handover is not an issue due to global coverage with one unique single number and SIM. It is great option for frequent travellers on business trips. It is also used in maritime communication, defense, disaster rescue operations etc.
6. It offers not much benefits to the service provider currently. With the launch and installation of Iridium NEXT satellites, it will offer more advanced features. It will be used in aviation by aeroplanes to provides their location to earth stations or gateways. The other services such as internet are also provided in maritime communication.
7. Installation of satellite network is complex and requires more resources and more time. Satellite network consists of satellite phone, 66 LEO satellites and Earth stations or ground stations or gateways. This is depicted in the figure-1 above.
8. Maintenance of satellite system is complex and more costly.
9. It will take time to be used by more people as it requires learning or familiarity of the working of the satellite system. The learning need to be imparted with the help of education.
10. Satellite bandwidth is scant resource. Hence less bandwidth is available for satellite phone users and consecutively low data rate can be achieved.

Cell Phone or Mobile Phone based on Cellular Network

cellular network

1. Mobile phone uses Cellular network such as GSM, CDMA, LTE to dial call or receive call.
2. The mobile phone is mainly used in city areas where in more populations leave.
3. Mobile phones are very cheaper and many options are available to purchase.
4. Internet services and other advanced features for high data rate applications are already available in cellular network. It is used for voice, data based apps, SMS, MMS, VOIP and so on.
5. Call drop due to handover is a big concern while traveling and moving from network to network. It often requires new SIM and new mobile phone itself to be purchased in different countries. This depends on availability of cellular network type such as GSM (i.e. 2G) or CDMA (i.e. 3G) or LTE (i.e. 4G) or LTE advanced etc.
6. It offers major benefits to telecom service provider due to high density population as target users of the cellular services.
7. Installation of cellular network is easy and requires less resources and less time. Cellular network consists of mobile phone, Base station (i.e. BTS) and cellular infrastructure (MSC, PSTN, ISDN, PSDN, Wifi interface etc.) This is depicted in the figure-2 above.
8. Maintenance of cellular system is simple and less costly.
9. It has been already penetrated into market and used by huge population across the world. People have become familiar with the use of mobile phones and cellular system. Moreover many technicians are available in each and every streets of almost all the developed and developing countries.
10. Bandwidth in cellular network is not a concern due to advanced multiple access and modulation techniques such as MIMO, OFDM, OFDMA etc. Hence high bandwidth and consecutively high data rate can be achieved easily.

Satellite vs Cellular Related links

Refer following links to know more on satellite vs cellular wireless technologies and terminologies. This will help one understand more on satellite phone vs mobile phone and the difference between satellite phone and mobile phone.
Satellite tutorial   VSAT system basics   Cellular vs Adhoc network   Iridium satellite call setup   Iridium frequencies   Iridium country codes   Iridium phone manufacturers   What is Iridium Next   Satellite IoT network   Cellular frequencies   Cellular Communication  

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