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Satellite Communications:
Tips on ordering and using the RBGAN
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Posted: 4/15/2004

Things to consider when ordering

Customs. Please familiarize yourself with the customs requirements of your country before importing the RBGAN. There are import and licensing requirements and restrictions in some countries. Neither Telenor nor HumaniNet can anticipate possible customs issues or duty in any country and are therefore not responsible for duty charges, customs fees, or other customs-related difficulties.

Shipping. All shipments are F.O.B. U.K. Special or expedited shipping arrangements can also be arranged to any location. The approximate DHL shipping charge for an RBGAN to the United States is $100, but shipping costs to other countries may be higher. Some organizations have elected to have the RBGAN hand carried to their location from Europe or the United States.

Detailed product information. On the Telenor Website, you can find further information, including product description and specifications. You may also download a pdf file on the external antenna. Users have informed us that this antenna works very well.

Additional suggested services: UUPlus

You may want to consider using the UUPlus mailing software for email and file compression, which costs $35.00 per month. UUPlus offers a free trial of their software for a month. Many humanitarian and missionary organizations have used their mailing software over satellite phones, satellite modems, and HF radio. The typical UUPlus user reports reduced off-hook time by up to 75% when compared to standard dialup networking and 50% when compared to other satellite email accelerators.
If you plan to transmit and receive over 5 - 8 megabytes per month, you will save money with UUPlus. At 50% average compression, you will reduce a usage of 8 megabytes by 4 megabytes, saving $39, which more than covers the $35 monthly fee. At 75% compression, you will recover the $35 monthly fee at a usage of 5 megabytes, and usage in excess of that will be savings to your organization.
Please contact HumaniNet for more information, or see www.uuplus.com. Please advise HumaniNet before contacting UUPlus, or copy us on your email to support@uuplus.com.

Alerts and limits
At your request, Telenor can establish an “alert” level of megabyte usage. When your account reaches that level, Telenor automatically sends an email to an address you provide, stating that you have reached that level.
Similarly, Telenor can place a limit on usage. Service will be halted when the limit is reached.

Please contact HumaniNet if you would like to set an alert and/or limit level for your account.

Customer care information

In Norway:  
   
Telenor Satellite Services AS
Address: Snarøyveien 30
  1331 Fornebu
E-mail: customer.care@telenor.com
Phone: +47 67 89 00 00
Fax: +47 67 89 40 41
   
In the United States:
   
Telenor Satellite Services Inc.
Address: 1101 Wootton Parkway
  10th Floor
  Rockville, Maryland 20852
E-mail: customer.care@telenor.com
Phone: (U.S.) 301 838 7800
  (U.S.) 800-685-7898
Fax: +1 301 838-7701

Operational questions and issues

Where is the SIM card and PIN number? The SIM card can be found in a plastic box the shape of a CD box. On the plastic card that holds the SIM card, you will see two PIN numbers and associated PUK numbers. You will need the PIN numbers for authentication on the satellite network. The second PIN is a backup number. Each PIN has an associated PUK number, which is a reference number which may be requested by Customer Care.

Where is the battery? The SIM card is placed in a small compartment adjacent to the battery, which comes installed in the RBGAN. To remove the battery, find the sliding latch on the bottom left of the unit – it has a slightly rough edge. Slide this latch to the rear (toward the hinge on the antenna). Then tilt the RBGAN so that the battery slides out – don’t let it drop to the floor. The SIM compartment can then be pried out – it is made of a rubber material and is located behind the battery compartment.

Connecting to the Internet with Internet Explorer (IE). The experience of one user may be helpful: “I had a small configuration problem with my browser (IE) which prevented me from connecting. The manual warns repeatedly to make sure that the the Proxy server box is unchecked. However, under the IE connection tab there are also three radio buttons ("Never dial a connection", "Dial whenever a network connection is not present", "Always dial my default connection"). My computer was set to "Always dial my default connection". Once I selected "Dial whenever a network connection is not present" I had no problem connecting.

Changing locations. Only one user was concerned about the time it took to set up in a new location, but he was using RBGAN for the first time. Another user stated: “I have to say that I have been quite happy with our results. We find that if you move the unit to a new location, it can take a while to acquire (validate), but once it does, I have not noticed any disruptions.”

Shelter for the RBGAN. The RBGAN modem can operate from inside a tent or under plastic. We have received a report that it will transmit and receive through wood, but this is not yet verified.

Speed using Compuserve. A user in Africa had a slight antenna obstruction on his first attempt to connect, then: “My second attempt went much smoother. I connected with CompuServe right away. I uploaded a 150k file (among other things). It took just under 2 minutes to upload the 150k file which is about the same rate I get with my dial-up connection here in Bamako. Of course speed isn't important since I get charged for bytes sent and not
time connected. But it is reassuring nonetheless.”

You may contact us at info@humaninet.org.

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