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Poster Handle MarkinAZ
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In spite of Syria having "pulled the plug" on the global internet connections into and out of their country this afternoon, there are still small armies of consultants, journalists, oil company workers, and expats who are living there working for some company or another. Almost all of these people have been equipped with SAT PHONES from various Vendors.

I have a friend at IMARSAT in London who I spoke with this evening his time. IMARSAT has become the leading Sat Phone and SAT/IP provider in the world. My friend said that today, IMARSAT was running a record day in transmissions from Syria and surrounding areas. While the bandwidth per connection is limited to a max of about 512kb/s (and that's with hardware compression enabled) that is still a half a meg per second and to up load a large video clip is not beyond reason in terms of time it requires.

My friend at IMARSAT told me that several of their customers are offering service to locals at a price of like $30/min. (Their cost for the service can run from $1.95 to $5.00 per minute depending on speed selected and time of day/night the call is placed.) But if all the guy wants to do is send a couple of photos and an email with the same info copied to twenty different people - one or two minutes online should be sufficient for that task. Of course if the Syrian Government were to catch someone doing such a thing - their equipment would be confiscated and they may well be shot or imprisoned. (Given what I've heard about Syrian prisons, being shot might be preferable. At least it's a quick death vs a years long one!)

The newest generation of SAT Phones offer combined voice and data streaming over IP with the ability to tunnel security into a private network anywhere on the planet running VPN and encryption on both ends. The speeds are selectable depending on the need and the application (and what you're willing to pay per minute of air time!) The SAT Coverage is almost global today. The only exceptions are some parts of Antarctica and parts of the Artic nearest the magnetic north pole. Almost anywhere else on the globe that you can see the sky, you will have coverage.
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