Inmarsat phone reception/propogation

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Premium Subscriber
Jan 7, 2012
I should probably know this, but does the 1.5/1.6Ghz band used by Inmarsat for phones benefit from nighttime atmospheric conditions the same way VHF does?

I have an ISatPhone Pro. Outdoors, reception is great as long I have an even slightly reasonable 'view' South.

I don't expect it work indoors, but out of curiosity I found that by placing it near a window sill that faces South, I can get solid reception (4-5 bars consistently) at night. I've test text messages back and forth, so it does work in that part of the apartment.

Starting around 5-6pm, I can place it with the antenna up and have it register with the network. Around maybe 5-6a am, it will lose the signal and occasionally reacquire it til around 7, maybe 8am.

The window is a ground floor window and has a great view of the apartment building right next door, so I was surprised to have any reception.

Since it seems to coincide with sunrise/sunset, I'm guessing atmosphere but didn't know that it could be that pronounced at 1500/1600MHz.


I ♥ Ø
Jul 27, 2005
Edited my post after seeing you were using Inmarsat, not Iridium.

Not sure if you'd see any atmospheric enhancements at those frequencies. The fact that you see it around sunrise/sunset seems to suggest maybe a noise level issue. There are some interesting things that happen in the atmosphere as the sun rises. Things like "dawn chorus", "spherics" and the like, but they are down in the extremely low frequencies, not up where these satellites work.
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