Blog / Captain Lloyd Magnuson

Captain Lloyd Magnuson

Tug Boat Fleet in Alaska

Magnuson’s boats operate entirely in the cold and largely remotewaters well above the Arctic Circle. They typically leave Anchorage, Alaska, and follow an icy journey through the Pacific Ocean, then False Pass to the Bering Sea. From there, crews head to the mouth of the Yukon River to make deliveries to coastal villages.
Like many owner/operators in Alaska’s tugboat business, Magnuson is often out of cell coverage during an ordinary day at the “office.” But in order to run a successful company, you have to be able to communicate. Globalstar technology allows the crew on his two tugboats to enjoy crystal-clear calls to maintain operations, as well as touch base with family.
“We need to do business from the water, and I want my employees to be able to call home,” says Magnuson. “We tried but couldn’t do that with Iridium—it sounds like you’re talking to Donald Duck.”
Magnuson first purchased a GSP-2900 Fixed Satellite Phone System he only had one tug boat. When he added a second boat, he decided to get the GSP-1700 Satellite Phone and Data Package with the hands-free GIK-1700 Installation Kit.
In large part, he chose the GSP-1700 over competitor’s handsets because of the reliability and affordability. Annually, customers save over $400 by switching from Iridium providers to Globalstar, and that’s after receiving $499.99 in free hardware. Magnuson also found Globalstar’s call clarity to be far superior to Iridium’s similar devices.
“We have the antenna up on the mast, and it works great,” says Magnuson. “It makes it easy to receive calls with the U.S. phone number. Our families have no problem getting in touch with us.”
In addition to call clarity, affordability and easy dialing without country codes, Magnuson was impressed with the Globalstar system’s reliability and ease of use. The Sam Barging crews are on the phone constantly during the day to maintain operations, and they rarely lose a connection. Plus, the hands-free installation kit really simplifies use of the device.
Magnuson has always used his phones for voice calling only. With the introduction of the Globalstar 9600 however, he’s excited to send and receive emails. With the pocket-sized hotspot and a Globalstar satellite phone, maritime customers can use their smartphones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices to access wireless service. The service poses no additional cost, as it uses your existing Globalstar airtime plan minutes.
“We’ve always liked being able to call home, but being able to get emails is even better. I need to get one of the 9600’s for my mobile phone.”