NEW OCENS OneMail provides Gmail access to satellite users

NEWS – For Immediate Release

OCENS Inc., Seattle WA
Media Contacts: Jeff Thomassen, 206.878.8270,

NEW OCENS OneMail provides Gmail access to satellite users

OneMail for iOS and Android smartphones & tablets enables new level of remote connectivity

SEATTLE, WA October 1, 2015 – OCENS today announces the release of its OneMail mobile email service for Gmail access through satellite connections. OneMail revolutionizes connectivity while you are away by enabling you to continue to communicate with friends, family and coworkers through the same pathway you use when at home or the office—your Gmail account.

Gmail has become one of the most popular mail services on the planet. But the Gmail assumption of ample available bandwidth makes it a time and data hog when deployed over satellite phones. Until OneMail the fact that Gmail was just too slow and always too expensive over satellite connections meant that Gmail stayed at home or the office when we head off into the yonder with our satellite phones.

OneMail changes this for iOS and Android smartphone and tablet users by allowing you to affordably send and receive your mail through your Gmail account no matter where you are or what connection you depend upon. “OneMail takes a very unconventional approach to using your Gmail account.” states OCENS CTO Jeff Thomassen. “One Mail snaps back to you summary info about each mail waiting for you in your Gmail account, then allows you to tag only those mails that are of interest or important to you. We then compress and quickly pull those mails back to you.” OneMail sends and receives mail
through your Gmail account, works with attachments and is completely private and encrypted. Mail is auto-­‐archived by OneMail.

OneMail is compatible with the Iridium GO! and a wide range of broadband and semi-­‐broadband terminals. The service is available for a nominal monthly charge or discounted annual fee. Reseller programs are available.

About OCENS, Inc. OCENS data services, software and apps merge easy-­‐to-­‐use applications with unprecedented content offerings to affordably deliver data over satellite phones to remote users around the world. OCENS weather, ocean and fishing services provide access to the largest collection of GRIB and classical data that can be found anywhere. Using patented pull-­‐me technology, OCENS WeatherNet provides fast access to the world’s widest selection of weather and ocean information over PC and Mac platforms. GRIB Explorer processes highly compressed GRIB information into unique decision products for use on PC, Mac or iPad platforms. MetMapper transforms static weather charts and satellite imagery into dynamic planning tools. OCENS’ iPhone, Android, Windows phone and Blackberry apps provide weather and messaging services to the smartphone community. Its SpotCast weather service provides multi-­‐day, multi-­‐point forecasts of weather and ocean conditions for any point on earth in a highly compact form. OCENS augments its software core with satellite equipment and airtime solutions it provides in cooperation with all the major satellite providers.

See the downloadable press release here.

See the OneMail web page here.

OCENS adds exciting new data sets to WeatherNet


Effective July 1, OCENS has incorporated several new sources of wind, wave and general met GRIB data into its PC and Mac versions of WeatherNet.

These data include direct measurements of wind from the ASCAT satellite scatterometer, NDFD vector wind and wave height data, wind and other met data from the high resolution RAP model, and new wind and wave data for the Great Lakes.  In addition, several new sources of Arctic ice information have been incorporated into WeatherNet.

ASCAT wind: These wind data are unlike any other GRIB wind information in the world. The ASCAT satellite is continuously circling the earth and scanning the ocean surface. Collected data is processed using sophisticated algorithms and converted into measurements of wind speed and direction. Values are converted into GRIB form and pulled by OCENS to its Everon WeatherNet servers. What’s unique about ASCAT wind GRIBS? These are not modeled winds such as is the wind data in models such as the GFS, WW3, Navgem or really any other wind grib. Instead, these are the actual winds, measured by the satellite, and passed back to earth for distribution to ocean users. We’re not guessing at the winds here. We are actually measuring them…as if we hand a wind vane or buoy sitting everywhere in the ocean.

Where to find in WeatherNet: ASCAT wind data are available in Portal mode (GRIB wind/1 day) and Library mode under the GRIB Wind/Wave folder. Coverage is global.

NDFD wind and wave heights: The weather forecasts embodied in the weather charts produced by forecasters at the Ocean Prediction Center and the National Hurrican Center represent some of the highest quality and most reliable products on the planet. Their limitations? They are static weather charts. Picture files. Jpegs, tifs and gifs which you download and look at but which don’t offer much in terms of interactivity. WeatherNet’s NEW NDFD wind and wave GRIBs change all of this. They represent the result of converting those weather charts into GRIBs. Consequently, they preserve all the human intelligence and local knowledge put into those charts but make this information available in the form of GRIBs which can be animated, layered and closely analyzed.

Where to find in WeatherNet: NDFD data are available available in Portal mode (GRIB Wind/1 thru 6 days) and from Library mode inside the GRIB Wind/Wave folder. Coverage includes all US and Alaskan waters plus the Caribbean, Eastern Pacific and the Atlantic hurricane corridor.

RAP meteorological GRIBs: The Rapid Refresh (RAP) model is a very high spatial and 1 hour temporal resolution model forecasting over an 18 hour time period. It was constructed to serve the needs of users needing frequently updated short-term forecasts. This means it is most commonly used by aviators and severe weather forecasters.  However, these features will benefit any WeatherNet user monitoring short-term weather conditions changing at a pace that is faster than the 6 hour model update frequencies typical of most weather models.

Where to find in WeatherNet:  RAP wind, precipitation, CAPE, lifted index, air temperature, 500 mb and cloud cover GRIBs are available from WeatherNet’s Portal Mode (GRIB Wind/1 day) or Library mode inside the GRIB Met folder. Data cover North America and the Caribbean, large chunks of the West Atlantic and a significant portion of northwest South America.

Great Lakes wind and wave data:  The newly added Great Lakes wind and wave (GLWW) data is available in two flavors. The very high resolution data is available at a scale of 1/16 of a degree or approximately one data point every 3.75 miles. The coarser resolution, roughly 8 mile scale data, is labeled FAST in WeatherNet because its downloads occur much more quickly than the fine resolution product. FAST file sizes are roughly just 10% of the size of the high resolution product.

Where to find in WeatherNet: GLWW GRIBs are found in Portal mode (GRIB Wind/Days 1 through 7) and Library mode. To find GLWW in Portal mode, be sure to check the Great Lakes boxes on the GRIB Model Preferences wizard page. GLWW is found inside the GRIB Wind/Wave folder in Library mode.

All data are added to your computer-side WeatherNet databases with small incremental updates at the end of your WeatherNet session.  A reinstall of WeatherNet or a  File List Update does NOT need to be conducted to have access to the new data sets.

Questions? Contact OCENS at 1.206.878.8270 or or visit:








OCENS Services Summary

GRIB Explorer Plus for iPad: A decade’s worth of experience developing GRIB analysis tools for circumnavigators, expeditions and explorers is crafted into the most powerful yet easy-to-use iPad GRIB tool available for the everyday enthusiast. OCENS GE Plus includes the engine to acquire GRIBs through your satellite connection and melds acquired GRIB weather and ocean data into sensational images carrying unparalleled insights into the environment around you. GRIB data is overlaid on fantastic super resolution earth imagery for any location in the world. GE Plus enables satellite and wifi access. Go to App Store to purchase then activate a service account at

WeatherNet 4+: Global coverage, award-winning design and the largest library of GRIB and classical weather, ocean and fishing data in the world all in one package. State-of-the-art compression routines and file transfer procedures to deliver data to you fast and affordably. Compatibility with PC and Mac and almost every satellite device on the market. Conventional and sat wifi enabled as well. Go to .

WeatherNet Pesca captures the WeatherNet engine and GRIB Explorer analysis package in a complete, one-piece Spanish language version.

GRIB Explorer for the PC and Mac: The most innovative and robust GRIB viewing and analysis package in the world. Layer GRIBs, animate, analyze in 3D, zoom, inspect through time with its Time Profiling tool, across your route with its Trip Planner and much, much more. Links to your GPS to plot current position on the GRIBs and provide appropriate range and bearing info. Go to

MetMapper provides to your classical weather charts and satellite images what GRIB Explorer delivers to GRIBs. Interactive layers are added automatically to your WeatherNet charts to provide heads-up monitoring and dynamic analysis. Review text forecasts on-screen and juxtaposed to corresponding graphical charts. Process specially constructed WeatherNet animations that put these charts and imagery into motion like the evening news. Go to

OCENS Mail is satellite email at its finest. Offline mail creation and reading. Auto-dialers to connect via satellite cabled and wifi connections and transfer your mail in seconds. Superior block file compression. BigMail filters and shunting. Midfile restart. Compatible with Outlook, Thunderbird, Eudora and many other mail clients. PC, Mac, iPad and smartphone compatability. Go to

SNAPTrack is tracking made easy. SNAPTrack is OCENS response to the requests of many of our customers for a clean and simple solution to the tracking question.  SNAP shortens the path from where you are in even the most remote of locations to a screen that captures the ‘where’  of your wanderings. SNAPTrack is compatible with the Iridium 9575 and GO!. Just $10 per month for unlimited position mapping! Go to .

News, sports and stock market information compressed for delivery over satellite connection. Use QWIP to select the sport, team, stock or news category(s) of interest to you. QWIP auto-dials through your satellite phone, pulls the content you desire rapidly to you and then closes the connection behind it. Quickly use low-bandwidth connections or safely use high bandwidth ones to get your news, sports and stock info. Go to

OCENS Echo enables two-way private and personal text messaging to and through the Iridium GO! or G* Satfi/9600.  Echo is person to person, not person to machine like other satellite messaging.  This means your texts to an Echo friend dependent on satellite reach that friend and that friend only, not to the GO! and then to the first person who happens to link to the GO!.  Echo friends chat with one another in a personal manner knowing that their conversations are private and protected. Go to App Store

Conventional (Spotcast) and aviation (Flycast) weather delivered direct to your satellite device. Compatible with the Iridium 9575 and Iridium GO!, Inmarsat IsatPhone 1 and 2, and inReach SE and Explorer. 24, 48 and 72 hour SpotCast forecasts include temperature, cloud cover, precipitation, pressure and wind speed and direction. FlyCast includes METARs, TAFs plus aviation weather at your location. Go to

Voco dramatically lowers the cost of calls to satellite phones.  Voco routes calls through a local number then  to your satellite phone wherever it is in the world thereby eliminating the extreme rates home and cellular carriers charge to call satphones. Go to

Free Text Messaging to your Iridium with the OCENS SatMS app for your smartphone. SatMS eliminates high international texting service fees and messaging rates and allows any iPhone or Android smartphone to send text messages to your Iridium phone for free. Available on the Apple App store or Google Marketplace.

Via the use of a customized Firefox Web Browser and a specially designed fast web process, OCENS is able to reduce the time it takes to download typical web images by a factor of up to 10x. Users routinely see a 2 to 3 times improvement in download times when using XWeb. The fast web compression technology reduces typical pictures down to 5% of their original size dramatically reducing download times. Great for slow wifi connections in marinas, Globalstar connections and substantial savings as you browse with high bandwidth satellite. Go to


For additional information don’t hesitate to contact OCENS at 206.878.8270 or email



Satellite wi-fi product offerings are all the buzz these days…

Most of us are familiar with, and used, My-Fi hotspots, tethered cell phones, and the like while at home or traveling around. It seems like it is about time that the satellite companies have come around and made this technology available for us to use offshore… and at prices that are more inline with our cellular plans… right?

GREAT NEWS! Iridium, Inmarsat, and Globalstar all now have Wi-Fi enabled devices that work with your smartphone and/or computer to give you nearly global phone service… and in most cases data as well! What… “in most cases”? As you might expect, that new satellite Wi-Fi device just may be too good to be true. While these new devices sound great in theory, and in marketing – we need to take a closer look at what these really are and what they are really capable of.

Let’s start with the Iridium GO! This is a nice, very compact and portable, device. There is very little to the unit itself. It has a small antenna that rotates up, doing double duty as the power switch. It has inputs for an optional auxiliary antenna and a mini USB port for power only, and an SOS button to quickly send a position report to emergency contacts. There is a small screen for viewing the terminals status such as signal strength, battery strength, and call status but it does have a rather cumbersome menu system and only two buttons for navigating that interface.

The primary control is done via the Iridium GO! app that you must have installed on your iOS or Android device. This app is required for making voice calls or sending SMS messages. Connection between the Iridium GO device and your smart phone is done via Wi-Fi, but just because this connection is Wi-Fi, it does not mean that you are also getting a open data connection for your device to use.

You will need dedicated apps and services for such things as email or weather. These 3rd party apps are required to have been approved by Iridium to support the functionality of the GO, have the coding to start and stop the data calls and ideally provide managed data services to make the most of the still only 2400 baud data connection. Now I know the marketing says that “Now you can now use your Smartphone anywhere in the world.” While that is technically true… The Iridium network is only capable of data speeds up to 2400 baud (or 17 KBpm – another way to look at this is one 17KB file will take 1 minute to download). This is not fast enough for you to connect your smartphone and be able to do what you normally do or fast enough to use the standard apps or other services that you most likely have on your phone.

Next up is the Globalstar Sat-Fi. This is very similar to the Iridium GO in overall functionality and limitations but is ever so slightly different. First, the hardware is not as compact. You have a box that is inside the vessel, antenna cables and a remote antenna that you have to mount outside. The unit requires a 12vdc power hookup as it does not have an internal battery. The only user interface on the device is a single round power button with an LED indicator. Like the other device, you must have the Sat-Fi app installed on your smartphone for making calls and sendning SMS. You also will need additional apps and services for things like email and weather.

What really sets the Globalstar device apart from the Iridium is that the Globalstar network supports data speeds up to 9600 baud (or about 50KB per minute). This is quite an improvement over the other network but still not enough to brows the web or use the standard apps on your device.

Lastly, Inmarsat has a new terminal out called the IsatHub. This is a small, portable device, about the size of a mini laptop, that you would set up on a table outside and point at the closest Inmarsat satellite. This also has apps that you will need to have installed for making calls like the others but with this service you can get data speeds up to 240kbps! Not quite what you have at home with your cable modem but faster that dialup and fast enough to actually use your full device and its native apps. You do however need to keep in mind that you are paying per megabyte for your data via the Inmarsat network and the IsatHub rates run around $6 per megabyte depending on the exact plan you go with.

This is by no means an exhaustive comparison of these new devices but hopefully will give you a more realistic starting point of how these devices might fit into your overall communications plan.


Jeff Thomassen

22608 Marine View Dr. S., #300
Des Moines WA 98198

Satellite Systems And Service
Weather, Email, Voice & Data Solutions
Inmarsat, Iridium, Globalstar, KVH, VSAT
Office: 206.878.8270 : Cell: 206.769.8270 : Fax: 206.878.8314

WeatherNet Version 4.16 features Popular Products

Version 4.16 of WeatherNet adds the Popular Products feature to Portal and Library modes.

The Popular Product appears in the upper right corner of the Portal mode map and appears as a pre-defined batch in Library mode.

What are Popular Products?

The Popular Products (PP) button is a WeatherNet community feature. It draws upon the past history of requests made by the community of WeatherNet users for the area in which you are or will be working or playing. Popular Products is a terrific way to get to know the weather and ocean data available for a location which is new to you. For new WeatherNet users it is also a quick way to begin to understand the range of content available to you in WeatherNet. Since there is no fee until you have actually downloaded products which appear on the PP list, the list can get you up and using WeatherNet in a meaningful and productive manner in very little time.

How does it work?

When you click on the Popular Products button, WeatherNet reaches out and queries the OCENS Everon servers and compares your request box to requests for weather and ocean data made for the same or any overlapping boxes used by other community members in the past.  It produces a ‘Top Ten’ list of those requests and downloads the product names to your PC or Mac.  The Popular Product list is posted at the top of the Portal mode Content Tree (to the left of the Portal mode map).  Review the list and select none, one or more of its products for actual download.

Your Popular Product list is also preserved as a batch in Library mode. To download products in the Popular Product batch, Enable the batch first, then check the product(s) of interest to you in that batch. When satisfied, press the Start Transfer icon in Library mode to retrieve the Popular Products.

Whether in Portal or Library mode, the Popular Product list may include GRIBs, weather charts, text forecasts or any other product requested enough by the WeatherNet community to reach its ‘Top Ten’ for your target area.

It’s noteworthy that the request for the Popular Product list only downloads the list. It does not download any products themselves until you actually go into the list, check one or more of the product boxes and start a fresh Download.  Any Popular Products so checked will download along with other products you may have selected from the Content Tree.

The Popular Product list refers specifically to the geographic box you have drawn on the Portal mode map. If you change the location of that box, you must again click on the Popular Product’s button to get a fresh list for the new area.  Products selected and checked for one boxed area will NOT be memorized or downloaded later if you move the box to a new location.

If on a satellite phone, the request for the Popular Product list for your target box will consume some airtime.  Be sure to specify the Default Connection and Type of connection you will be using when you request the Popular Products before striking the PP button. You can choose those selections in your WeatherNet Account Control settings.

See more details on WeatherNet 4 here:


201412The following dialog between Jeff Thomassen of OCENS and the Editor of Latitude 38 was published under the title: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR SATPHONE CONTINUITY?

Published November 2014
After reading letters about Iridium and other satellite communication services in recent Latitudes, I noticed some misconceptions in the letters and the answers that were provided by the satellite phone store. I hope I can clear some of it up.

Before anyone heads offshore, they should consult their airtime provider to verify the details of their account. They will want to confirm minute balances and expiration dates or terms of their airtime package, and/or confirm that their account is set up for automatic renewal if it runs low.

In the case of Iridium, there are two kinds of plans: post- paid and prepaid. With postpaid plans, you pay a monthly fee, plus minutes. There can be many different variations on this depending on how the dealer wants to market it. So pay attention to the details.

The other type of plan is prepaid. With these you pay a one-time fee for a block of minutes that are valid for a set amount of time. If you have a prepaid airtime account, you can call or send a text SMS from your Iridium phone to the number 2888, and the system will reply with information on your remaining airtime balance and term expiration date.

If your prepaid minutes run out, you will not be able to make any further calls. Some but not all carriers offer a number that you can call, even after your minutes have been used up, that will connect you to customer service and may allow you to have more min- utes added to your account. However, this is not a foolproof method and can vary dependent on the provider. It’snot something that I’d want to rely on in an emergency.

Satphone owners should keep in mind that there are a number of entities between the end user and the network provider, be it Iridium or Inmarsat. For example, Iridium sells its airtime to distribution partners (DPs) that may add a layer of services and features to the package. These DPs then sell the airtime plans to the dealers, who may also add to the offering before finally selling the plan to the end user.
Trying to coordinate adding airtime or reactivations, and having that filter through the system so that the Iridium net- work will allow you to make a call, can take time, especially if it’s not a standard new activation or just adding minutes to a regular account in good standing. Also keep in mind that the dealer is on the hook for the airtime charges. If the end user does not pay or defaults on their account, the dealer still has to pay for the airtime. Thus the dealer is going to be very concerned about adding airtime if there is any uncertainty about payment.
In addition, dealers may have access to multiple DPs to tap into for airtime. SIM cards, and thus the plans, are tied to specific DPs that cannot be mixed. The dealer cannot sell you a plan (SIM card) that was sourced from one DP and add minutes to it from another DP. So if your dealer switches DPs, they may ask you to switch out your SIM card or refuse to add minutes to your older card.
As both a sailor and a satellite solution provider, I highly recommend that end users make a test call from their sat- phone each month as a best practice. Making a test call will do the following:
• Make sure the battery is charged. It is a good idea to fully discharge the phone a few times per year to keep it in top condition.
• By making a call you are verifying that your airtime plan is still active. If your phone will not register on the network, or gives you an error message, it may indicate that your air- time plan has expired. You will need to contact an airtime provider to obtain new service. This will most likely require that a new SIM card be sent to you.
• Making a successful call verifies that you remember how to make a call. Most satellite phones are treated as international, and require you to call all numbers as if you are making international calls — no matter where you are or where you are calling.
• The test also confirms that the phone is in operable condition. Verify that you are receiving a good signal, that you can hear the voice on the other end, and that they can hear you.
Many carriers have a dedicated number for making free test calls, but I recommend calling someone you know for better feedback.

Jeff Thomassen
OCENS, Ha-Ha Sponsor
Des Moines, Washington

Jeff — Everybody knows that satphones are frequently relied upon in life-and-death situations, and that 99% of the end users can’t remember the expiration date of their plan — let alone the very fine details of whatever plan their particular retailer talked them into. So we think it’s incumbent upon the vendor who sells the time to alert the end user a month in advance of the expiration of their plan and/or when 90% of their usage is up. If AT&T can do it by MTS and email with their cell-phone service, why can’t satellite time providers do the same? Besides, isn’t it in the best interest of the vendor to do this? It gives them the opportunity to sell more time and keep from losing a customer to a competitor.

Published December 2014
I first want to thank Latitude for including my ‘Who Is Responsible For Satphone Continuity’ letter in the November issue. I am happy to assist in bringing this information to light, and hopefully assist users in their understanding of how the current satellite phone systems operate and what things to look out for. We’ve had many conversations with boatowners at the last few boat shows regarding all of this, and know that this is a hot topic in light of the Rebel Heart incident that kicked off all the publicity.

In response to my November letter, the Latitude editor replied as follows: “Everybody knows that satphones are frequently relied upon in life-and-death situations, and that 99% of the end users can’t remember the expiration date of their plan — let alone the very fine details of whatever plan their particular retailer talked them into. So we think it’s in- cumbent upon the vendor who sells the time to alert the end user a month in advance of the expiration of their plan and/ or when 90% of their usage is up. If AT&T can do it by MTS and email with their cellphone service, why can’t satellite time providers do the same? Besides, isn’t it in the best interest of the vendor to do this? It gives them the opportunity to sell more time and keep from losing a customer to a competitor.”

I agree that most satellite phone users do not keep very close tabs on the status of their accounts. In the case of Iridium prepaid plans — the primary airtime plan being faulted in this discussion for mariners’ being unable to use their phones because time ran out or expired — keep the following in mind:
1) Each time you make a voice call, you get a voice prompt with your current balance and expiration date before the call is completed.
2) Prepaid plans do not require monthly billings that might keep the user up-to-date.
3) Prepaid plans do not autorenew unless specifically requested by the end user, where an agreement must be in place between the customer and the vendor. Keep in mind that the dealer is responsible for the airtime. If they were to auto-reload a customer’s account without the customer’s fully agreeing to it, the customer could refuse to pay. Because these are prepaid minutes, the minutes cannot be retracted, so the dealer would be left on the hook.

Also keep in mind that satellite phone users are typically remote. This means that in most cases they are not getting regular email, phone calls or physical mail. Nor, in many cases, do they want to. So getting in touch with them can be rather difficult. Thus it is not quite fair to put all of this burden on the airtime vendor, but as you can see, it is important to pick your vendor carefully.

As an airtime vendor, we at OCENS truly understand why customers have satellite phones. And we understand the nature of how and where these devices are typically used. This knowledge is evident in all the products and services we both design and offer. Our goal is to help customers to get the most out of their equipment and service, so we make every effort to alert the customer as to the status of their accounts — even prepaid accounts. We send out a number of notices when their balances get low or expiration dates get near. We send alerts via the email address provided by the customer, and then again via SMS directly to the phones. We want to not only keep our customers, but also keep them safe and happy.

Jeff Thomassen
Des Moines, Washington

Jeff — If you use email and SMS alerts to customers to alert them that their plan — even if it’s a prepaid plan — is about to expire, we think you’re doing everything that you legally and ethically should be obligated to do. We think that what you’re doing should be an industry-wide requirement.
When Profligate crewman Fin Bevin does the Ha-Ha, he always brings his Iridium/OCENS combo to produce GRIB files on the computer screen. It’s one of several great ways to get weather when far offshore.

Product Review: New IsatPhone Pro 2

The new IsatPhone Pro 2 was recently released by Inmarsat, and the second generation handheld phone includes some new and very compelling features and improvements:

IsatPhone Pro 2

IsatPhone Pro 2

1. Speed. In terms of the time it takes to register the phone with the network, The IsatPhone Pro 2 is night and day compared to the Generation 1 IsatPhone. The phone registers to the network within a couple of seconds, practically instantly, compared to the 1-2 minutes or more it would take with the Gen. 1.

2. New antenna design. What is important about this feature is that the new antenna design allows it to be exposed while stowed, so this phone will receive inbound notifications without having the antenna deployed. The way this works is if there is an inbound SMS or phone call, the phone alerts you that there is an inbound call or message and gives you a 10 second period of time to deploy the antenna and receive the call or message. You can also reject this notification in which case a call would go through to voice mail and a message would stay on the network server until the next time you connect. The phone includes a specially designed holster that allows this function to work with the phone stowed in the holster.

3. Built in tracking. The Gen. 2 phone now has automated tracking built into it, and it is fairly easy to set up. It also has a switch built in that allows you to turn tracking on and off. The previous generation phone was limited to manual GPS position reporting.

4. Built in SOS/Emergency Alert button. The Emergency Alert button is on the top side of the phone underneath a weatherproof cap. You are able to set up emergency contacts that can receive an email or SMS message with your GPS position, and it can simultaneously place a phone call with speakerphone automatically enabled as well.

5. Weatherproofing. The IsatPhone Pro 2 has a much higher grade weather resistant design and has been tested to IP65 standards.

6. Battery life. The IsatPhone Pro 1 already had the largest battery capacity in the market, and the Gen. 2 has exceeded it with a battery that provides 160 hours of standby time and 8 hours of talk time.

7. Upgraded screen. The high visibility, scratch-proof, transflective display makes it easy to view whether in the dark or in bright sunlight.

8. Form factor. This phone version is a bit thinner than the previous design at 29mm (Gen. 1 is 39mm). It is, however, wider at 75mm (compared to 54mm) as a result of the antenna being off to the side which is what allows the incoming alert feature. One thing they couldn’t do with this model is cut out weight, and in fact the Gen. 2 phone weighs in at 318 grams compared to the Gen. 1’s 279 grams.

9. Finish. The sleek black finish is definitely an improvement over the previous “Inmarsat royal blue” and the designers gave it a textured finish as well as some handy rubberized grips on the side walls.

Overall, for the amount of additional features, increased functionality, and improved durability, the IsatPhone Pro 2 is well worth the additional cost or simply as an upgrade from the IsatPhone Pro 1.

 You can see more details on the IsatPhone Pro 2 here.

Firmware Updates

From time to time satellite phone manufacture’s & carriers come out with updates to their devices. These updates are called firmware updates since they change the devices core functioning software. The updates can do anything from fix bugs found in the previous firmware release(s) to adding new features & tools. Running an outdated firmware means you’re not only missing out on these updates, but can also produce incompatibilities with value-add equipment like docking stations.

As of April 1, 2014 the following are the current firmware versions for these common satellite products:

  • Thrane & Thrane FleetBroadband –           v1.19
  • Skipper FleetBroadband 150 –                    v1.7
  • Hughes BGAN 9202 –                                 v5.8.1.1
  • Hughes BGAN 9201 –                                 v3.8.1.1
  • Sabre 1 BGAN –                                         v14.4.6
  • Safari –                                                       v1.2.0
  • Thrane Explorer 700 –                               v3.08
  • Iridium Pilot –                                             AO12003
  • Iridium 9575 –                                            HL11013
  • Iridium 9555 –                                            HT11001
  • Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro –                         v5.3.0

Listed below are the websites where the latest firmware is available. Always consult your owners manual for the steps to take to check the firmware of your satellite device, as well as the procedure on how to update it. Of course, always feel free to contact OCENS if you need any assistance.






BEAM Communications (Inmarsat/Iridium SatPhone Docking Stations)

NOTE- BEAM firmware is located on the support page for each individual BEAM product associated with this link.



Iridium firmware must be downloaded from the carrier providing airtime. Please contact OCENS for assistance in getting the latest firmware for your phone.

The New IsatPhone Pro 2 from Inmarsat Just Released

Inmarsat just released its 2nd Generation handheld satellite phone, the IsatPhone Pro 2, which is now available from OCENS.

In a nutshell, it does everything the IsatPhone Pro Gen. 1 does, along with the following additional features and improvements:

  • SOS (assistance) button: sends GPS coordinates and message to emergency contacts
  • Automated GPS position reporting (tracking) [Gen. 1 can only report manually]
  • Receives calls with the antenna stowed [Gen. 1 requires the antenna to be deployed]
  • Extended battery capacity: 160 hrs. of standby time [Gen. 1 has about 100 hrs.]
  • Improved weatherproofing: IP65 [Gen. 1: IP54]

It also has a sleek black finish, so unless you are big fan of the Inmarsat royal blue, this is also a design improvement.

See complete details on the phone here:

IsatPhone Pro 2

IsatPhone Pro 2


New divider system adds more stability, better configurability for Pelican case kits.

We recently implemented a new divider system from TrekPak into our communications and rental kits that use a Pelican case. We are very happy with the new system because it greatly improves the quality and functionality of our kits and thus adds value for the end user. This system offers a significant advantage over the stock foam because it is a lot more rigid and durable, the pin system is more configurable, and overall it frees up more space within the case. Below is a picture of our standard BGAN rental kit which incorporates a Pelican 1450 case and Hughes 9202 BGAN terminal.


If you have any questions about this new system, or are interested in a customized case or divider system for your satellite communications equipment, please contact OCENS here.

For more information on Trek Pak, please visit their website here.