: You can get 64 kbps with Inmarsat-B (I suggest the
: terminal by California Microwave) at about $10/min - cheaper than
Thanks for the lead - I called Cal Mike and got a brochure and pricing.
While it is true that the cost per bit of -B is alot cheaper, *man* do
you pay the difference in inconvenience. Their B system weighs 55lbs.,
and eats 100W of juice - we'll need to haul a car battery around to
power the thing! Plus we'll need to get a fractional T1 drop from the downlink
site in Canada to New York (NOT cheap). Then there's the 50 grand it'll
cost (with the bells and whistles), vs. $3,000 for the M system.
I can transfer about 38k worth of data for a buck on B (off-peak), or about
5k on M (any time). That means I have to transfer 1.5 gigabytes of data
before we break even on the B system, after which it becomes *alot*
cheaper than M. Since we're not talking about a permenant outpost,
and video-conferencing is out of the question, that's a tough call.
The economics are a bit more subtle than it would seem on the
surface...Let's see...if I am planning on 10Mb per week of transfers,
that's about $2000 for M, or about $260 for "B". Applying the
difference to the up-front costs of the "B" system, it turns out that
if we are gone longer than 7 months, the B system becomes more economical.
I think the answer here is to see how much it costs to rent a "B" system.
If it turns out to be a few grand a month, we'll be way ahead....oh wait,
I forgot about the leased line....ARRRGH!
Anyway, thanks again.