Tag Archives: Iridium

“It still very difficult to get a call anywhere around the country right now.” – NPR

NPR’s Ivan Watson reports that Russian planes are continually bombing cell phone towers in an effort to knock out telecommunications networks and what’s left of the GSM network in the country only works sporadically.  Also, he reports that the INTERNET in Georgia has been compromised by a cyberattack.  This was reported earlier in the day by WIRED’s Danger Room. [Click here to listen to the NPR audio file.]

With an already limited GSM network in South Ossetia and Abkhazia now compromised by bomb attacks it seems that folks heading into Georgia have very little option other than Thuraya and Iridium satellite phones.  While networks may work from time to time I am not sure anyone is going to want to rely on them as their only source of communication.  With the INTERNET also under assault aid teams will also be relying on Inmarsat’s BGAN and the new ThurayaIP.

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Thuraya global coverage map – South Ossetia covered

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post here is Thuraya’s global coverage map.  South Ossetia is close to the center of the the Thuraya-2 satellite’s footprint.  For those agencies deploying to the region it may make sense to pack a Thuraya or Iridium phone as it looks like there may be an issue with GSM coverage in the NW region of South Ossetia.