Pivotel Satphone - Potential Problem (Voicemail)

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 13, 2016 at 13:01
ThreadID: 131818 Views:1420 Replies:0 FollowUps:0
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Those with Pivotel Satphone accounts might like to check to see if the voicemail system is working on their account.

Over the past two months I have had an issue that if my satphone is busy, not answered, or switched off that it does not automatically transfer the call to the voicemail.

Pivotel use Vodafone for its voicemail system, and I understand this is regardless of the service being accessed, eg Iridium, Globalstar, or Thuraya.

Pivotel have acknowledged it has (had) a problem and my own investigations point towards it still being a problem.

Now unless you actually check to see if it is working you may not know that it isn’t – if that makes sense.

I am interested to see if others have experienced, continue to experience, or discover as a consequence of me highlighting this that you do have a problem. Alternatively, interested to hear if it is working.

I use the Iridium Network and this is my findings.


The call forwarding (to voicemail) options on the Iridium Extreme handset are;

1. All Calls
2. If Busy
3. No Answer
4. If unavailable

I selected each one of these options individually and then physically called the satphone, the findings follow.

1. All Calls – the incoming call was automatically redirected to the voicemail number immediately and my pre-recorded voicemail message was played. This highlights that my voicemail is set-up correctly and that the Pivotel/Vodafone voicemail system can recognize the instruction from the handset.

2. If Busy – the incoming call was terminated immediately at the time the satphone commenced ringing and the call was disconnected – the call was not redirected to the voicemail number.

3. No Answer – the incoming call was terminated 30 seconds after the satphone commenced ringing and the call was disconnected – the call was not redirected to the voicemail number.

4. If Unavailable – the incoming call was terminated 30 seconds after the satphone commenced ringing and the call was disconnected – the call was not redirected to the voicemail number.

What this investigation suggests is that the handset is communicating precisely as intended with Vodafone’s call forwarding system and therefore points to a problem within that system and not the handset.

Further, the Pivotel/Vodafone system does not seem to be able to recognize that if the conditions in situations 2,3,or 4, are met that it is to transfer the call to the voicemail system, yet in condition 1 it is able to recognize the condition.

I am led to conclude from my investigation and tests;

1. The handset is functioning correctly,

2. The Vodafone call forwarding system can recognize that if “all calls” is selected it is to apply a “condition or rule” – forward to the voicemail number, which it does flawlessly (another pointer that the handset is communicating correctly).

3. The Vodafone call forwarding system can recognize that the satphone is “busy” as it already has answered an incoming call, but terminates a concurrent incoming call immediately but is unable to recognize the “condition or rule” – forward to the voicemail number (this is different to how it responds to conditions 3 and 4).

4. On points 3&4, which in essence are similar conditions, the Vodafone call forwarding system simply terminates the inbound call after 30 seconds of reaching the Satphone and does not recognize the “condition or rule” – forward to the voicemail number.

Now, it may well be that you do not use the voicemail function on your Pivotel Satphone account, however, if you have never tested it I encourage you to do so to confirm that it is in fact working.

My investigations suggest it may not be...

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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