Expedition Tech Week - Smartphone Revolution

Posted: Jan 17, 2013 03:47 am EST

(HumanEdgeTech.com) The huge Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week was all about smart phones. Consumers are increasingly using the devices for more than talking and messaging.

Explorers have asked HumanEdgeTech for years if they can use their smart phones on expeditions. New WiFi hubs creating a mini satellite hotspot out of your satellite phone make it possible. Here is a quick guide.

Mini Satellite Hotspots for iPhone and Android

A Mini Satellite Hotspot (MSH) is about the size of a deck of cards. Connecting to a satellite phone with a cable it creates a WiFi hotspot that you can log on to from your smartphone or pad just like you would over any WiFi network back home.

Three MSH’s are out there right now, all available at the HumanEdgeTech shop.

Hotspot #1 - Iridium AxcessPoint $150

The AxcessPoint works with Iridium models 9555 and 9575. App available for iPhone and Android. Include Iridium AxcessPoint Mail and Web service. Data speed 2.4kb/s. Introduced November 2011.

Hotspot #2 - Thuraya XT hotspot $359

Thuraya hotspot is compatible with Thuraya XT. XT dual not supported. Data speed up to 60kb/s. Available early 2013.

Hotspot #3 - RedPort Optimizer $150

The Optimizer works with Iridium 9505, 9505A, 9555, 9575, Thuraya SG-2520, iSatphone, Globalstar and more. Speed depending on what satellite phone is connected. Introduced 2012.

Email and Web browsing

Iridium AxcessPoint includes a mail and compressed web service. You can email updates directly to a software such as CONTACT or open the firewall for other applications (you'll need to be computer savvy for this).

The Optimizer has similar service you can subscribe to for a low fee. Thuraya has no restrictions.


The three units all have AC wall chargers but no DC (12V) chargers available (someone please explain why). The Optimizer has no built in battery, but does have a car charger.

We recommend you bring a HET P50 battery or similar for charging and a 12Watt or higher panel. This solution can also be used to charge most other devices you bring on the trip.

High Speed HotSpots

New Inmarsat Hughes 9202 is the smallest high speed hotspot on the market today. Speed up to 464kb/s. 1.4 kg (3.1lbs) makes it light and small enough to carry to the summit of Everest.

Hooks up direct over WiFi to your smartphone and pad for Skype video calls or whatever you fancy.

Word of caution

Setting it up is not rocket science but no plug-and-play either. You'll need to know your way around computers or enlist the help of a techie friend. The hubs are low cost items subject to very limited, if any, support.

HumanEdgeTech is a unique, no-nonsense virtual expedition tech warehouse for satellite communications and edge technology. Created by explorers for explorers, the store is user-friendly with no-hassle pricing, expedition-tested gear, expedition-ready hardware, fast delivery and payments. HumanEdgeTech.com accepts most international credit cards, and delivers worldwide within 72 hours. Contact the team at +1 212 966 1928 or by email team@humanedgetech.com


Interview: expedition tech outlook 2012/13

Tech week: Rugged Thuraya and Iridium, handhelds overview

Summits on Everest? Be there with Pythom, the world's first Adventure News Aggregator App

2012 Everest & K2 tech roundup: Q&A; with HumanEdgeTech

Iridium global recall of all 9575 extreme satellite phones
#Mountaineering #Polar #Tech #topstory

Finally your smartphone can be used globally - by jumping on the connection created by a satellite phone. Showing Thuraya XT Hotspot, one of three new Mini Satellite Hotspots.
Image by Tom Sjogren courtesy HumanEdgeTech, SOURCE
RedPort helped build the software for Iridium Axcess Point. In 2012 RP introduced its own Mini Satellite Hotspot, the Optimizer.
courtesy www.humanedgetech.com
The Optimizer is the only unit connecting to almost any satellite phone.
Iridium Axcess Point works with Iridium 9555 and 9575 (showing).
Image by Iridium
New Hughes 9202 is the smallest high speed hotspot on the market today. High speed data at only 1.4 kg (3.1 lbs).

Visit our new website