Iridium - Motorola 9505a satellite mobile phone is the newest addition to the Motorola Satellite Series (TM) portfolio. Functionally similar to the Motorla 9505, this latest offering introduces some minor product changes..
The Motorola Satellite 9505A is a compact and lightweight portable telephone using plug-in SIM card technology. When used in conjunction with the data adaptor kit (optional), the Motorola 9505A extends your access to global communication to include data communications. Additional optional accessories are available to further expand your communication possibilities.
Motorola Satellite 9505A succeeded 9505 in December 2004. The 9505A shares many of the features of its predecessor, but also contains a number of modificatons. To address obsolescence of some 9505 handset components, Iridium has begun production of a new 9505A handset. Although the functions and features of the new 9505A handset are the same as the 9505, there are some modifications to the new 9505A to equipment and accessories.
Additional features included in the Iridium Satellite Series™ 9505 Portable Phone include an IrDA port intended for synchronizing phone book information, as well as a standard headset jack for hands-free operation, when using the optional headset.
Keeping in touch with the office, family or friends couldn't be any easier now with the addition to our range of communication equipment of Motorola's Iridium satellite phone. The handset is slightly larger than a standard mobile phone in size and has a flip face keypad and an extendable antenna, for easy operation and clear reception. Packed into a convenient carry bag with both 240V mains power and 12V car chargers you'll be ready for extended touring and phone access to the world on any of Australia's outback tracks. Basic charge includes a flat fee for the first week's hire with a reducing daily rate per week after that (see rate card). To that you only need to add your call charges, a statement itemising calls will be forwarded to you usually within 7-14 days post-hire to reconcile your account.
Iridium is easy to use and provides safety and security if you are travelling independently or when shared amongst a group of friends wanting to keep in touch with home. We have access to numerous handsets to cater for government, industry and commercial needs in addition to individual recreational users.
The 9500 Portable Satellite Phone provides global, reliable voice and data. Iridium Satellite provides solutions for individuals who live and work in areas outside of cellular network coverage, or in places with poor landline services. Satellite calls can be routed directly from the satellite phone to the Iridium satellites orbiting the earth.
The Motorola 9500 series portable satellite phone provides reliable voice and communications, worldwide. Weighing less than 16 ounces, and with a battery life of 20 hours standby and 2 hours talk, the 9500 series is simple to use, supports multiple languages and is data-capable.
The 9505A will continue to have the same features and functions as the 9505. Also, the 9505A
has a similar form and has virtually the same look and feel as the 9505. Differences include:
Iridium also made changes to certain accessories to accommodate component changes internal to the phone. These include:
Data is available at no extra charge, however the purchase of a data kit is required for laptop connectivity. Incoming E-mails, up to 120 characters, are received on the LCD of the hand set, for free and do not require the data kit
In spite of wicked winds (gale force at times), overcast days, sand, rain, rivers, limited hours of access, moving satellites and remote locations in the African bush, we managed to stay in touch with "civilization" during our safari trip thanks mostly to the Iridium 9505A. We were especially thankful for the opportunity because as coincidence would have it our departure was on the heels of Hurricane Wilma. This meant we had to leave in a hurry. We were eager to stay in touch with family and friends to make sure they were all right after the storm. This easy to use and relatively light weight (especially compared with earlier models) phone required clear access to the sky which seemed a simple enough requirement. Being in the African bush meant our tent or room was usually surrounded by a roof and trees to provide shade. Clear access to the sky was almost always a few feet away from our room and lodge.
ough it was not quite like a land line or cell phone and required more patience, determination and effort than regular phones, in remote areas like the bush it was invaluable and the sound quality was often agreeable enough for a conversation, especially if there was no wind. The challenges were inclement weather like rain and strong winds (it was difficult to use during the evenings which sometimes was when we wanted to call to take advantage of the seven hour or more time difference). Sometimes the signal was weak, the connection was garbled or cut off; overall persistence paid off and we were usually able to pick up voicemail messages (and input password codes), make regular phone calls, receive one or two text messages and connect briefly with the Internet using the data kit.
Thanks to the low orbit satellite network, we were able to make (and receive) calls from any place with clear skies (we understand three countries ban the service). Other challenges, were connectivity issues, poor reception, calls dropped, the cost of inbound calls and the public's refusal to call a satellite phone number. On the plus side there was phone number where we could receive calls when the phone was on and messages after hours, when reception was weak or it was inconvenient to have it switched on. Most lodges and camps we visited had restrictions on satellite phone use. They were only allowed in our rooms and open areas (not on game drives or common areas).
en making calls, the flat rate fees were convenient and easy to keep track of. It was nice to know there was customer support if we ran into trouble. The data link capability was limited. We were able to connect to the Internet several times. However, connections were unreliable and dropped frequently, no Outlook downloads were possible due to the low speed and surfing was so slow as to be almost without benefit. The 9505A is significantly smaller, lighter and more resistant to water, dust and shock than Iridium's original Iridium 9500. It seemed better suited for the conditions we encountered in remote areas of the bush and worked well in the cities (Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth in Africa and Boca Raton, U.S.A.) too.
Perhaps the most immediate thing you'll notice about the 9505 is that it is big, compared to a modern day cell phone. And when you pick it up, you realize it is not just big, but heavy, too. The phone weighs about 14.5 ounces with a high-capacity battery inside, and measures 6¼" x 2½" x 1¾", plus an extra ¾" for the antenna. In other words, the phone is similar in both size and weight to a pound of butter.
The antenna is 6" long closed and 9½" when extended for use. And it isn't just a thin wire, it is a barrel about ¾" in diameter. Normally it is rotated behind the body of the phone, but when you want to use the phone, you then rotate it up above the phone such that it points directly up into the sky, and slide the two part antenna out to extend it to full length. This is very different to today's modern cell phones with a built in 'invisible' antenna, but remember that whereas your cell phone only has to reach a mile or so to the nearest cell tower, your satellite phone may have to reach as much as 1000 miles to the nearest satellite in the sky. As such, the bulky antenna is not 'old fashioned' but an unavoidable requirement.Satellite phone service takes place in the L band at about 1.62 GHz. This table shows the frequencies used by various other types of services.
There are three different battery types available for the phone - standard, high and ultra-high capacity. The standard battery offers up to 2.4 hours talk time or ten times as much standby time; high offers 3.6/38 hours, and ultra-high gives 7.6/72 hours of life.
These are very short times for talking and standby, but your usage of a satellite phone should not be considered the same as you use a regular landline or cell phone. Satellite phones are more for emergency and priority communications rather than ordinary daily chatter, and so you'll probably find, when only being used for essential purposes, even the 2.4 hours of talk time on a standard battery will last you for weeks. The high capacity battery is similar in size and weight to an entire new Motorola Razr V3 cell phone (which has longer battery life out of its vastly smaller battery), the other two batteries are only slightly smaller/lighter.
The manual is a good 'old fashioned' style manual - in other words, everything is carefully and fully explained. It is 200 pages in size, but fortunately you don't need to read the manual from cover to cover before turning on and using the satellite phone. Not only is the phone intuitive and almost identical in operation to a regular cell phone, but Mobal make things even easier by including two laminated pages of a 'simple user guide' that tells you all you probably need to know.
At the end of 2004, Motorola stopped manufacturing the 9505 satellite phone, and Iridium contracted with a third party to manufacture what appears to be the exact identical phone, with the only notable difference being the brand name label now reads Iridium rather than Motorola, and the model has changed from 9505 to 9505a. In addition, some of the accessories are slightly smaller in size. But otherwise, the two phones can be considered identical units.
The phone has a 100 number phone book memory, and its SIM can store another 155 numbers. All phone numbers should be stored as, and are dialed as, international numbers - there is no such thing as 'local' numbers due to the satellite phone not being tied to any specific region or locality. As you probably already know, Iridium phones have their own 'country' code, indeed, they have two different possible country codes; either 8816 or 8817. Each phone has this four digit country code, no area code, and then an eight digit phone number.
|Operating Frequency:||1616 - 1626.5 MHz, L-Band|
|Link Margin:||15.5 dB average|
|Power:||0.60 Watts average|
|Standard Battery Life :|
|Continuous Talk Time:||Up to 2.4 hrs (3.6 hours with the optional
High Capacity Battery or 7.6 hrs with the
optional Ultra High Capacity Battery)
|Standby Time:||Up to 124 hrs (38 hours with the optional
High Capacity Battery or 72 hrs with the
optional Ultra High Capacity Battery)
|Mechanical & Environmental:|
|Weight:||Under 375g (13.2 oz)|
|Volume:||Under 375cc (22.9 ci)|
|Dimensions:||7.60"L x 2.44"W x 2.66 "D
(158mm L x 62mm H x 59mm D)
|Operating Temperature:||-30ºC - 60ºC|