Emergency communications

Tips, news and developments for emergency relief teams

Satphone and BGAN users: some things to note for relief planning!

These are easy to overlook when you are in a hurry – be sure your deploying teams have this information.

  • Inventory the entire kit.  Be sure you have AC and DC chargers, spare batteries, and the sim card!
  • Buy a backpack or bag for your gear.  Mark all your gear with permanent pen.
  • Print all the contact information for the service provider (phone, email address, hours) and be sure your team has it.
  • For BGAN users – a must do! – check that your Launchpad and firmware versions are current!  This is the primary cause of no-connects.  Put a label on the BGAN with the firmware version installed.
  • Save the Launchpad software and user guides to a CD or USB drive.  You will need it if the primary laptop malfunctions.  Then you install Launchpad on another laptop.  Know how to download Launchpad and firmware from the Inmarsat website.
  • Prepaid sims: they can get consumed in a hurry!  500 minutes might seem like a lot, but if no one is paying attention, with heavy voice or data use, it will zero out when you least expect it.  You can reload new airtime, but you have to use some other phone to make the request of your service provider.
  • The HumaniNet Satcom Center has many proven tips and techniques for BGAN use.  Contact us at info (at) humaninet.org.
  • Iridium users: print and read our Iridium Tips article!

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