May 28, 2012
In March 2010, Evosat SA (Pty) Ltd was acquired by Globecomm Systems of the United States (NASDAQ: GCOM). The change of name from Evosat SA to Globecomm SA is a natural part of the acquisition, however there are no changes to the management, staff, or the local systems of the business; they all continue to function just as before. The acquisition brings big advantages to Evosat because we are now able to access the global engineering and network management resources that Globecomm commands. So look out for our new name in all the same and some new places.
Evosat has also got another sponsorship on the go. Megan Murgatroyd of the Black Eagle Project (www.blackeagleproject.blogspot.com) is using an Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro that we have provided her, with some monthly airtime. Evosat is always glad to support people out there doing their best to save the amazing environment that we are lucky to live in, within South Africa. We wish Megan all the best and hope that she only needs the phone for everyday calls rather than emergencies!
Looking ahead to the rest of 2012, Evosat has already signed up (and activated) a customer for the new Inmarsat BGAN Link service. This new BGAN service allows user with Class 1 BGAN terminals, in a fixed location, to make use of very large MB packages at an extremely discounted cost. The service allows for 5Gig, 10Gig and 15Gig packages, and is a great new addition to the Evosat portfolio. Also on the cards for new equipment is an external antenna for the Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro. This new antenna is mostly aimed at the vehicular market, however, I am sure we will be able to come up with some innovative ideas on how to get our clients making calls from even more remote locations.
Just recently released by Inmarsat, is the new BGAN M2M service. This service will plug the gap between the IsatPhone Data Pro (very low data rate) and the BGAN (high data rate). The BGAN AN M2M is a solution that allows for deployment of a unit in remote unmanned scenarios where monitoring and SCADA are needed. The Inmarsat BGAN M2M service also opens up business in the banking and finance sector, especially for Africa. Evosat has already had exceptional interest in the BGAN M2M, and we look forward to growing this part of our business over the course of 2012 and beyond.
December 1, 2011
Evosat is still pursuing opportunities to give back to the community with sponsorships of many out of the ordinary charitable expeditions. Evosat has been involved with the Kingsley Holgate on many of his expeditions, providing Kingsley and his team with satellite communications for their many trips around Africa. This time Kingsley and his team will be going on The Great African Rift Valley Expedition, with the Humanitarian Objective of using adventure to improve and save lives. One of the main objectives will be to aid the Unite Against Malaria organisation. Evosat is very pleased to yet again be sponsoring Kingsley Holgate with Satellite Communications, and wishes him and his team all the best on their next Great Adventure.
The second half of 2011 has been very busy with new products hitting the market from Inmarsat and Beam. In previous posts I have talked about the Beam Docking Solutions for IsatPhone Pro, and Inmarsat and Beam have now come out with the Oceana and Terra units that form part of the Global Satellite Phone Service (GSPS) from Inmarsat.
The Ocean unit is essentially the new Fleetphone device for Maritime use. There are two units, the Oceana 400 and 800, the former being the entry level unit. Both units offer voice, text, and low speed data for ship board communications. The Terra 400 and 800 units are land devices, again offering voice, text and low speed data in office type environments. Keep watching the GSPS space as new products and accessories are being tested and brought to market on a regular basis due to the successful roll out of the Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro.
Photo : Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
In early December, the Volvo Ocean Race will be coming to sunny South African shores in the Cape Town leg of this well-known round the world ocean race. Evosat, together with Inmarsat, will be hosting events during the weekend for many of our customers. It should yet again be a very exciting weekend for all. All the yachts in the VOR are equipped with satellite communications equipment (FleetBroadband) from Inmarsat. Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband service takes media coverage of the race into a whole new era. Faster transmission speeds deliver better quality live broadcasts – the first HDTV transmissions from yachts in the middle of the ocean. If you want to find out more, take a look at this link: www.volvo.inmarsat.com/index.html
Photo : Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
September 16, 2011
Evosat has two new sponsorships on the go. Firstly, Evosat is sponsoring Hanli Prinsloo (www.hanliprinsloo.com), a world class Freediver based in Cape Town. Hanli holds 11 South African records for freediving and competes at the highest level all round the world, including this year’s Freediving World Champs. Hanli is also an environmentalist, and campaigns tirelessly to raise awareness for marine ecological issues. Evosat has provided Hanli with all the mobile satellite equipment including the Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro, BGAN and Fleetphone. Hanli uses her satellite equipment from Evosat to keep in touch with the rest of the world from all the different places and environments that she finds herself.
A Year In The Wild (www.yearinthewild.com), is a yearlong expedition round 31 of South Africa’s game parks, by photographer and journalist, Scott Ramsay. His expedition is best summed up by Scott himself, “From 12 June 2011 to 30 June 2012, I’ll be exploring and documenting the wild places of South Africa. The goal is to promote the conservation of the country’s natural wonders, by sharing my photos, videos and blogs with the world via social media. I’ll travel to 31 of South Africa’s most special wilderness and wildlife areas. In these unique areas, I’ll be interviewing rangers, community leaders, environmental and cultural activists, ecologists, scientists, researchers, travellers and school kids. Ultimately I’d like to raise awareness of African wilderness – and why it’s important to the people of the continent and the world. Evosat has provided Scott with an Inmarsat BGAN terminal (Explorer 500) to keep in touch from the more remote places he will be visiting.
On a slightly different note, Inmarsat has launched some new services with the Global Satellite Phone Services portfolio which I will be highlighting in my next post. However, I will also have updates regarding Hanli and Scott, as well the latest from 7 Summits Seven Flights.
November 16, 2010
Since my last post there has been quite a bit going on in the world of Evosat. IsatPhone Pro has continued to be a winning product, with sales continuing to grow. Stock levels have also risen considerably meaning that supply lines are now functioning at a much higher rate. MWC has also started to become an asked for service by many customers, and new scenarios for its use are being explored every week. MWC is also becoming a stronger product for customers as new upgrades and development are done by the Operations team.
Recently in the GSPS fold, Beam Communications have launched the IsatDock range. These are docking units for the IsatPhone Pro that enable users to get different functionality out of their phones, and use them in different environments. In the Dock range are the IsatDock Lite, The IsatDock Pro, The IsatDock Drive, and the IsatDock Marine. For Evosat, the more exciting products are the Marine and Drive Docks as they will not only be a great service for existing clients, but also bring new clients into the Evosat fold.
The IsatDock Drive is the car kit for the IsatPhone Pro, and comes with an antenna and hands free kit to allow for calls whilst on the move. The IsatDock Marine is the Maritime unit, which is obviously for use at sea. This also comes with a marine antenna and has an IP rating for use at sea. Both units have track and trace capabilities which allow for more functionality than the usual voice and text. These units are manufactured and supplied by Beam Communications, who are based in Australia.
Next month Evosat and our partner Sat4Rent are co-sponsoring the Governors Cup yacht race (1 December till 10 December 2010). The Governor’s Cup is a 1700 mile – usually downwind, yacht race from Cape Town in South Africa, to James Bay on St. Helena Island. No doubt the Evosat Team will be out in force to see the yachts depart from False Bay Yacht club in Simonstown, and to cheer on the competitors.
August 26, 2010
Firstly a quick update on the 7 Summits 7 Flights team. I am very happy to say that their first ascent and flight were successful. Although Mt. Elbrus was not expected to be the most difficult climb, no one has ever managed the flight off the summit. Evosat was very proud to assist with communications for the team, as they needed to use the BGAN whilst on the mountain. There will be a bit of a gap until the next summit due to climbing seasons, but I will keep you updated when the time comes for the next ascent. Evosat will once again be there to provide satellite communications for the 7 Summits team.
The IsatPhone Pro is proving to be extremely popular with customers around the world. Evosat has exceeded all targets for the first month since commercial launch, and with incoming orders are set to continue in that fashion for the foreseeable future. Long may it continue!
At the end of this month, Evosat will start testing the Beta Docking units for the IsatPhone Pro. These products are being manufactured by Beam Communications out of Australia. Evosat is already signed up as a Tier One Reseller, so we hope to be at the forefront for what promises to be a welcome addition to the IsatPhone Pro product bouquet. There will be four docks available: the IsatDock Lite; IsatDock Pro; IsatDock Drive; and IsatDock Marine. All of these docks have been custom designed for use with the IsatPhone Pro. I am sure I will have some positive feedback after testing, as they look set to be a class product.
MWC (Morale and Welfare Communications) is also coming into its own now, with the customer base spreading. The system itself has been continuously upgraded and refined, using feedback from clients to make MWC one of the most user friendly, efficient, and beneficial services within the BGAN and FleetBroadband array.
July 12, 2010
This month sees the IsatPhone Pro take off commercially, as well as the launch of the 7 Summits 7 Flights campaign. Despite the large commercial demands for IsatPhone Pro, Evosat has continued to work with partners in other areas to contribute to adventures like the 7 Summits & Flights, as it fits in with the overall ethos of how Evosat works.
Firstly though, a quick update on the IsatPhone Pro. Evosat has already sold its first IsatPhone Pro, and we are now trying to fulfil orders worldwide. Predictably there is quite a long waiting list, however, Evosat hopes that the demands will be met by the end of July 2010. As stock is filled, the excellent service that Evosat customers are used to will continue.
The 7 Summits 7 Flights adventure, is an exciting project undertaken by Pierre Carter, Marianne Schwankhart and Peter Friedman of which the aim is to climb and paraglide off the summit of each of the highest peaks on all seven continents. The team are working in conjunction with The Trust and The Smile Foundation as their chosen charities.
Carter and Schwankhart will tackle Mt Carstenzs Pyramid in Australasia (4884m), Mt Vinson in Antarctica (4897m), Mt Elbrus in Europe (5642m), Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa (5895m), Mt Denali in North America (6194m), Mt Aconcagua in South America (6959m) and Mt Everest in Asia (8850m) over a two-year period. Whilst on their journey they will be making a video documentary of their exploits and compiling a photo album of stills from a breathtaking vantage point paragliding above the mountains. Evosat is providing the team with a BGAN unit so that they can not only stay in touch, but also send back images and info while on their journey to conquer the mountains. This is something that only BGAN can provide in such a small, portable and effective manner.
Everyone here at Evosat sends their best wishes to the 7 Summits 7 Flights team, and we look forward to raising a toast to them on their return from their first summit, Mt. Elbrus in early August 2010. If you would like to follow their progress you can go to http://www.7summits7flights.co.za, or keep reading here next month as I should have an update posted.
June 15, 2010
This week, the Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro that you have been hearing about since last year, finally launches. It has been a long road for both Inmarsat, the developers, as well as Evosat as a test Partner. I have been closely linked with this product since the beginning, and thus I am very happy to see it realised.
There has been extensive testing of the IsatPhone Pro, and this will continue for the foreseeable future to ensure that not only the hardware, but also the Network is the very best it can be. My colleagues and I here at Evosat have been impressed with the marked improvement, week by week that the IsatPhone Pro has undergone. As with all pieces of technology, there are sure to be ghosts in the machine somewhere- but Inmarsat and Evosat are striving to ensure that they don’t disappoint the customer!
During the testing undertaken by Evosat, a few things have become clear regarding the IsatPhone Pro. Firstly, the phone is easy to use- which is an absolute necessity for products within the Satellite Communications fold. The phone is also lightweight, yet robust, while maintaining fantastic battery life. The “satellite delay” is hardly noticeable, and the ability to text not only to a mobile, but also to email is a fantastic plus factor. The IsatPhone pro also has a built in GPS facility, a potential life saver when sent as a text.
As a Tier One Partner, Evosat is looking forward to distributing the IsatPhone Pro, and I will personally be very keen to see and hear the feedback from the public, which I am sure, will be very good.
Till next time, cheerio.
May 10, 2010
Last month Evosat attended the Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro Bootcamp held in the UK. The purpose of this training course was to get the relevant members of the launch Distribution Partners up to speed with both the handset itself and the GSPS service. Evosat was able to get a first look at the IsatPhone Pro handset, and make a brief call, which went very well. The IsatPhone Pro promises to be a user friendly and functional satellite phone, with capabilities to match and sometimes beat other competitors in the market.
Some of the useful points of the IsatPhone Pro are: it has in built GPS functionality, and the coordinates can be sent via text to a mobile number or email address. In most areas the satellite phone has walk and talk functionality, which makes it very easy for even an inexperienced user to use. The antenna cuts off satellite searching when not deployed- so therefore saves battery time, which is one of the most important aspects of any satellite phone.
In the past few posts we have met some of the Evosat staff who have been with the company for quite a while, so in this post I thought we should meet some of the new members of the Evosat team. Marco Almeida has been in the Telecoms game for the past 10 years, the last 5 of which ahve been with Inmarsat. His primary role at Evosat is as an Account Manager, however he also supports theEvosat Ops team with his knowledge of the Inmarsat BSS. His main claim to fame however, is an amazing beef espetada done South African Braai style!
Shaun Bates has joined the team to augment the Ops division- giving the guys much needed support in their own areas, but also taking on various products himself. He is currently heading up the Evosat MWC product . Shaun also fits in well with the Evosat team as he can speak a mixture of normal English and “Matrix” English- which helps the non technical understand the technical.
March 3, 2010
This month I thought I would talk more about some of the staff here at Evosat. The team has been growing over the last couple of months, in response to the rapid growth that Evosat as a business has experienced, so I will start with some of the staff who have been with us for almost the duration of the Evosat lifespan.
Gary Jaftha is a lead Account Manager in the Sales Department. Gary is what’s known as the Salesmen’s Salesman. If he hasn’t called you yet, don’t feel unloved, he is getting to you. Gary was the first recruit at Evosat, and has grown not only his own business portfolio but has been a massive influence on the growth of Evosat. On pretty much every continent there are at least a handful of people who not only know Gary, but have bought satellite services from him.
Adiel Abader is the part of the technical and support team at Evosat. Very much like Gary, there are people around the world who know his name, but for the reason that no matter what time of day or night, he will take care of your problem. Adiel is another essential cog in the Evosat machine, as he epitomises the Evosat ethos and work ethic- any customer big or small, gets his attention when needed, and the words “ no I can’t” do not appear in his vocabulary.
Now for a quick update on the products and services of Evosat. GSPS is still on schedule for launch in June, I will be attending a training course at the beginning of April, so should have some excellent feedback after that. MWC as expected has been a great success and is being added to the portfolio’s of many customers already. On the Vsat side of the business, which is something new for Evosat itself, the business is starting to grow. Carrier2Carrier (our sister company) has obviously been at the forefront of Vsat for quite a while, but it has only been recently that Evosat has decided to move into that field, largely due to customer demand. This is an integral string to our bow as it means we can offer everything that our customers need.
That’s all for this month- next month more news, and more introductions to the people that make Evosat one of the worlds best.
January 28, 2010
Evosat has launched the Morale and Welfare Communications service! MWC will be commercially available to Evosat’s customers as of the 1st of February 2010. All the pre-launch tests were successful- so customers can now enjoy yet another world class service from Evosat. Please contact Evosat for more general or sales information regarding MWC.
On the GSPS front- the first call has been made over the new IsatPhone Pro, for which Evosat is one of the six launch partners. This means that the service is well on track to be available by the launch date in June 2010. Although it seems a long way to go, pretty soon IsatPhone Pro will be taking the world of satellite communications by storm- so if you want to know more, contact Evosat or take a look at our website, www.evosat.com. The first images have also been released, so take a look at what is sure to become the new standard in handheld satellite communications.
As MWC is launching on 1st of February, I thought it would be a good time to introduce you to one of the integral members of the Evosat team: Louis Botes. Louis is the Technical Manager at Evosat, which basically means he is in charge of the billing engines, and the back office mechanisms that keep the company running smoothly. Louis has been instrumental in getting MWC to market, as it is very much built around his smart engineering skills. Despite being a very quirky IT guy (described by a colleague as “Third Rock from the Sun ”meets “Big Bang Theory”), it is great to have Louis as part of the team that makes Evosat one of the best.
Well, I can’t believe January is now over. Evosat has hit the ground running for 2010- with numerous projects, tenders, and new customers to take care of, not to mention all the normal day to day operations that go on. If January is anything to go by, Evosat should definitely be in for a good year. Here’s hoping I can share some more highlights with you in the months to come. Until next time.