Friday, February 13, 2015
Future Data Options
Our current phone can use data roaming near many of the islands in the Caribbean. So we could send the boat to other islands where it will still be able to communicate with us. At some point we will do this and have it send back status updates and pictures of the island.
Data Roaming is rather expensive with our regular phone service so this Skyroam service is interesting. It gives you lots of data for only $10/day. However, it does not seem to cover the Caribbean yet.
Longer term we want to have some sort of satellite link so we could send the boat even further than the Caribbean and still keep in contact with it.
Elon Musk and Richard Branson are both working on cheap satellite Internet services. However, these seem to be 5+ years out.
There is an Iridium Go that is a satellite link that makes a wifi hotspot Today the data rate is slow but Iridium will be upgrading to Iridium Next soon and this device will work with the new faster service. With this our Android phone could send us data while crossing the Atlantic without us having to change any of our code. The slow data rate would even be ok, we just would not be sending many pictures. The Iridium Go device gets power from a USB port so that is easy for us. At the moment this is our first choice for communications when we are ready to send the boat far from land. It seems Iridium next has been delayed till 2017+.
Globalstar has data service for $40/month for 9000 seconds and there is a Globalstar hotspot device for $158. Not sure how much data this really is but something made it seem like 9000 bytes.
Orbcomm has a data service and devices. Seems to be flat monthly rate but can't find products on Amazon or other easy retail location so far.
Some Spot Connect but seems only one way and costly.