How and When to Use a Satellite Phone

Extreme Weather has challenged the power and telecommunications infrastructure in the Western Pacific,  As we found out in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) last year, if our cell phone towers or undersea cables are severed during a natural disaster, the connecting network between our isolated islands in Micronesia and the rest of the world is at risk of failure.  One tool that can utilized in preparation of such an emergency is the satellite phone.  

Satellite phones rely on a network of satellites that are either fixed above the Equator (Geostationary), or in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) anywhere from 500 to 1,000 miles above the surface of the Earth. These phones are rarely affected by violent storms and, depending upon their system architecture, work virtually anywhere in the world. Their compact design is familiar to many of us and very similar to that of the cell phone in our bags and purses.

For years, the traditional sat phone buyer and user has been the government, public safety agencies, shippers and energy companies.  That is changing. Private individuals are securing the use of sat phones so they do not lose their capability to communicate with the rest of the world. Why get one?

With its origins dating back to 1965, the launch 20 years ago of the first low earth orbit satellite network by Motorola and today about 66 satellites crisscrossing the globe on a continual basis via the now thriving Iridium, sat phone options are better and allow us to  communicate via this technology more than ever.

A March 2013 article in Forbes Magazine noted that if you purchase a sat-phone, expect to spend between $600 and $1700, depending upon the network. All of the phones are lightweight, small, and replicate the functionality of your cellular telephone. Some have Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities so you can use a remote headset, and wirelessly connect your computer for data access.

Today, there are options-even the use of sat phones with U.S. based SIM cards that are available for lease.

All satellite phones have a number of common characteristics that you need to be aware of in order to select the one that will work the best for you. The most important point to understand is that sat-phones are not cell phones, and they work on an entirely different network architecture and radio propagation characteristics. There are certain inherent limitations as to how they operate, and where.

Satellite phones help save lives, provide communications during natural disasters, and link users with the outside world when terrestrial-based networks fail. Cellular networks can be fragile and can be unavailable for a variety of reasons. Satellite networks rarely if ever are out of service, which means that if you have a satellite phone, you are almost guaranteed a connection with emergency services, business, government agencies, friends and family. 

They are, in my view, inexpensive communications insurance. 

To find out more about how GET, LLC, through our Iridium satellite phone partner at Range Global Services, LLC, can help your satellite phone needs, give us a call at 671-483-0789 or our website at for more information.

Newest National Lighting Bureau Sponsor-IBEW

This blogger is not "anti-union" or "pro-union".  I believe we should have the individual freedom as Americans to not be subject to compulsory union abuses. My younger brothers are union members and I write this as their respective union has engaged with the leading advocate of high quality illumination for the greater good. I don't do it often-giving credit where it is due.

This week, the 750,000-member International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) has become the newest sponsor of the National Lighting Bureau (NLB). For 40 years, the independent, not-for-profit foundation has educated commercial, industrial, residential, and other lighting-system owners, managers, and users about the benefits of High Benefit Lighting® or  function-focused, purpose-specific lighting systems designed to maximize bottom-line returns.  The Bureau and IBEW share a common focus on lighting.  For the IBEW, they recognize that lighting systems are becoming a part of the electronic infrastructure-essential to contemporary buildings.

"Our interests have always been close," said IBEW Business Development Represetative Edwin Hill, Jr. "We both believe that quality pays for itself, from design and specification through installation and commissioning. We look forward to helping the NLB make that point ever more vigorously in the years ahead.”

The IBEW joins GE Lighting, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, Lighting Controls Association and the National Electrical Contractors Association among others as sponsors of the NLB.

This news comes on the heels of pending fourth quarter news after a huge third quarter as demand for lighting equipment jumped 4.4% between the second and third quarters of 2015 to achieve what the National Lighting Bureau hails as “the best quarterly performance since the second quarter of 2008.”

Kudos to the IBEW!

Check out our website for energy efficient lighting solutions at or give GET, LLC a call at 671-797-0789.  We are a provider of Independence LED Lighting and Deco Lighting Inc. products-Made in America!!!

Metal Roofs-The Right Choice

There are two facts that cannot be disputed relative to the usage of metal for the roof of your home or business.  The first is that The Metal Roofing Association (MRA) has reported that non-metal roofs last 17 years on average, but metal roofs can last a lifetime. Though higher in initial costs, they can boost homes’ resale value and cut homeowners’ insurance premiums in some states by up to 35 percent.  The second is The Metal Construction Association (MCA) has produced a study that found that certain metal roof systems can last at least 60 years, meaning they do not require replacement during a commercial building’s service life.

What do we know about metal roofs?  Metal roofing systems do not rot, warp, crack or break. They are also superior to conventional roofing systems in standing up to extreme weather with great finish warranties and guarantees to warranty in high winds-an important factor of roofing systems in Micronesia.  Metal roofs last two to three times longer than ordinary roofs, meaning they can last 40 to 60 years or longer, according to both the MRA and MCA.

The MCA holds that  the expected service life of an unpainted 55% Al-Zn coated steel (known by many trade names throughout the world, principally GALVALUME® and Zincalume® in the United States) standing seam roof constructed today in a wide range of environments using best practices can be expected to be in excess of 60 years, a value that equals the assumed building service life as described in the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building rating program, Version 4. The study also confirmed that these types of metal roofs resist corrosion even in "weak" spots, such as sheared edges and panel profile bends. Inspections showed an absence of significant red rust after up to 35 years, indicating exceptional corrosion resistance in areas susceptible to exhibiting the first signs of corrosion.

While we would be the first to ask you to make the switch, it is clear that one thing needs to be done to protect these investments over time-maintenance.  All roof systems require a regular maintenance program to annually clean off debris and to inspect the condition of the roof in order to achieve the kind of service lives reported in this blog post.  While  steel standing seam roof systems were projected to last up to 60 years, components such as fasteners may need to be replaced during the roof life, but this represents significantly less than 20% of a total roof replacement cost.

To find out more about how GET, LLC, through our metal building partner Fabral can help with your next steel building or aluminum roofing project, give us a call at 671-483-0789 or our website at for more information.    

Working at Height in Windy Conditions-Be Safe, Not Sorry

As an owner of an aerial work platform, we spend much time to understand the challenges of working at height and how to help our customers with their unique requirements on the job site.  While much of our discussions center on getting the right lift for the job, I stumbled across an interested read that led me to a resource and particularly a section about working at height outdoors in windy conditions.

The University of Kentucky Aerial Lift Safety Program is a document that is provided to all of their employees and contractors who work at height.  As part of the program, each operator is required to complete a Work Area Checklist for Aerial Lifts before and during use.  Among the items that crews are asked to look out for on the job is wind and weather conditions.  The University directs lift operators that at 20 miles per hour wind speeds or anticipated gusts, lifts will be lowered to a maximum height of 20 feet. With wind speeds or anticipated gusts of 25 miles per hour or more, all lifts are grounded for that day.

Such wind hazard reporting is important for the safety of those working at height and for the integrity of projects that could be compromised by less that ideal work in higher wind conditions. A number of universities across America have similar wind policies relative to working at height including the University of New York, Temple University and the University of Montana just to name a few.  State Governments and private sector companies in the U.S. also have such wind safeguards in place as well.

All organizations must address the hazards of operating aerial work platforms in windy conditions as the hazards can include the lift falling over,  a worker slipping off the platform if the lift is used during bad weather or high winds, positioned on soft or uneven ground, overloaded with heavy objects and driven over uneven, unstable ground, or surface in poor condition, with the lift in an elevated position.

While all lift owners and operators stress following their manufacturer’s instruction regarding operation in windy conditions, If at any time, personnel feels unsafe, due to weather or wind conditions prior to using an aerial lift, they may make a decision to ground the lift and cease. 

No questions asked

The lift industry has recognized for years that we all have a responsibility to do our part in supplying safe, efficient equipment to users, and to ensure that those users know how to operate the equipment in a proper manner so that the job is completed safely... and then go home.

If you have any aerial lift needs and would like to discuss potential solutions, please drop GET, LLC a line via our website at or give us a call at 671-483-0789-your authorized Terex/Genie Representative for Guam and Micronesia.

Polished Concrete Floors Are the Way to Go

In 1905, Frank Lloyd Wright used reinforced concrete in the Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois-the first of such structures to be ever be built and was considered by architects around the world as the first modern building in the world.  For the past 110 years, concrete would continue to be leveraged for worship, work and living spaces and other applications all around the world. Lately, concrete, wood and hot-rolled steel are seeing a rise in popularity for sustainable living and business activities across the globe.  In a Wall Street Journal October 2015 survey of 100 U.S. home builders, nearly 80% of respondents said industrial-influenced design was already popular or becoming popular with just 7% of the builders surveyed thought it was a passing fad.

As we are living in Guam with the initial influences of Wright for protecting against the seasonal winds through our latitude, thanks in large part to American military engineers, concrete flooring as an option for home improvement seems to be one that has been often overlooked for its beauty, sustainability and economy. Concrete flooring gives you a durable, low maintenance floor that will last the life of your home and business-heck, many businesses on island have been using them to sustain their bottom lines for decades. 

There is no question that concrete floors, when left exposed, conserve resources by functioning both as a foundation slab and finished floor. This eliminates the need for carpeting and other floor coverings that would eventually require replacement.  In addition to conserving materials, concrete flooring offers many other environmental benefits, such as contributing to better energy efficiency and improving indoor air quality. 

Concrete floors utilize sustainable materials. The predominant raw material for the cement in concrete is limestone, the most abundant mineral on earth and is the material our island sits on. Because of their thermal mass and ability to retain heat, concrete floors are ideal for passive solar home designs.  In hot and tropical climates like those found in Micronesia, concrete floors shielded from the sun will stay cool longer and can actually help lower air-conditioning costs. An exposed concrete floor is often an economical alternative to other finish solutions such as hardwood flooring and tile. For new residential construction or commercial projects with site-cast concrete floor slabs, choosing to leave the concrete floors exposed can save big money over the life of the building. First, you don't have to buy and install an additional floor covering to put on top of the floor slab. In addition, the durability and low maintenance needs of concrete flooring will save you the recurring maintenance and replacement costs associated with less-enduring flooring materials, such as carpet and vinyl tile. In a typical home environment, concrete floors are very low-maintenance, requiring only periodic sweeping or wet mopping.

A darling of architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, for its versatile applications and honest good looks, polished concrete surfaces are enjoying something of a renaissance.

An recent article from The Concrete Network pointed out that when properly installed and sealed, a concrete floor should last a lifetime and will never need replacement. Few flooring materials can boast this same longevity. Carpet, tile and even wood floors eventually need replacement, which uses up resources and creates waste disposal problems. 

"Oversupply" Causes Korean Manufacturers to Trim LED Business

As we come into the New Year, we have to take notice of the changing landscape of the Asian lighting technology business.  With many Guam based businesses looking to the region for more economical ways to reduce energy costs and illuminate their respective facilities, we all must be aware that the region's lighting business climate will take some interesting twists in 2016.  Of note, the Korean lighting industry is starting to see significant shakeups.

Taiwan-based LEDInside, citing a number of reputable industry sources,  is reporting that the oversupply situation in the light-emitting diode (LED) industry this past year has pushed large Korean LED companies to downsize.  The market intelligence provider, reported late last month that Iljin Group intends to close down its LED chip and package business, which has faced constant losses into profit since its founding in 2008. It is reported that the company has sent its application to Seoul Central District Court as of Dec. 18, 2015, and is waiting for the judge’s final ruling. It is rumored the LED business restructure was made to avoid negatively impacting the finances of the 49 year old parent company Iljin Group

In addition, Korean company SKC is reporting that it will integrate its LED lighting business SKC Lighting back into the parent company by March 2016. SKC Lighting was established as an independent entity in September 2011, at the time SKC was bullish about the LED lighting industry’s sustainable development, but the lighting business operation flopped, and its revenue performance has been below par.

Samsung Electronics announced its plans to down size its LED business in September 2015 with their rival LG Innotec, which intended to become a leader in the LED industry has secretly sold its sapphire wafer business to Samsung Sumitomo LED Materials, a joint venture established by Samsung and Sumitomo Chem.

With Korean lighting to see some bumps in the road, the picture is better industry wide with the National Lighting Bureau (NLB) reporting today that demand for lighting equipment jumped 4.4% between the second and third quarters of 2015-the best quarterly performance since the second quarter of 2008. 

“Three months ago we said that ‘lighting-equipment demand is moving in the right direction’," said NLB Executive Director John Bachner.  “We’re optimistic that the next report will show continued growth over the third quarter. Our optimism has been justified; in fact, it has been more than justified. Lighting’s back!”

The dramatic improvement – a 4.8% year-over-year gain – was revealed by data developed by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) for the NEMA Lighting-Systems Index (LSI). 

Need an LED solution for your facility? Check out our website at or give GET, LLC a call at 671-797-0789.  We are a provider of Independence LED Lighting and Deco Lighting Inc. products-Made in America!!!