Iridium is also the only network that currently offers more than one phone, although earlier models still function on their respective networks. Once you’ve chosen a network (see below), you’ll then choose the phone and service plan which best fits your needs. Satellite phone data connections currently max out at 9.6 kbps. Up-to-date pricing and reviews for cheapest satellite phones on the market can be found at the satellite phone models website.
Satellite phones let you make and take calls in the field. Take advantage of the massive savings with the UNLIMITED data plans – ONLY available with Iridium GO! You will need the Standard or Professional PredictWind Weather Package, to get weather data via your Iridium Go satellite connection.
No, the weather services are separate to your satellite airtime connection. Supports a full range of global communications, including voice calls, email access, applications, social networking, photo sharing, SMS two-way, GPS tracking, SOS alert. While the audio quality is about the same between iridium and Inmarsat, the most important criteria is the stability of the connection, once established between the handset and the satellite.
The IsatPhone-Pro is probably the least expensive satellite phone available while providing near-global coverage. In 2010 Inmarsat introduced its IsatPhone-Pro to offer handheld services on its network. Other relevant Iridium characteristics that may influence your buying decision include: Handsets are more expensive than other providers; the phones can be tracked as to location history; some phones have panic alerts; some phones can send GPS coordinates.
I have extensive experience with Globalstar and do not believe it is presently a reliable network, nor does it offer service worldwide. Voice quality: The voice quality on many of the networks may be a lot lower than what you are used to with cellular. 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.
Airtime pricing plans, either prepaid or monthly postpaid, and rollover minutes, and the cost of calls to landline and other mobiles. The important thing to remember is that land-based cellular networks offer coverage anywhere there are population centers or routes. The fourth and latest entrant into the satellite phone arena is InmarsatThis company began operations to supply communications to the maritime industry in 1979.
Globalstar provided cellular-equivalent audio quality , unlike Iridium which has an extremely narrow bandwidth. At about the same time, GlobalStar launched a similar network, but with entirely different architecture, called bent-pipe. But, Globalstar also boasts a very fast data speed, even on their cheapest phone, at 9.6 Kbps.
For those who will use their satellite infrequently, Inmarsat generally has the cheapest plans, but they sell only through third parties. Some phones provide only one-way data transfer, allowing you to send out a distress call. Globalstar also had problems with their first generation satellite network.
While Globalstar works everywhere in the continental United States, if you choose a prepaid plan, your phone will stop working along the Mexican border. Further, sometimes local laws will stop you from using other satellite phones and providers. If you live near mountains or canyons, Iridium or Globestar are the networks for you, but you will still need reliable line of site to the sky towards the satellite.
We’ve going to talk about the main ones for the continental U.S. (Iridium, Globalstar, and Inmarsat). These devices all get reception from varying satellite networks. Upside: These devices are cheaper, simpler and smaller than satellite phones, and are minimally invasive to your run.
You can also send 132-character messages to any email address or cell-phone number, or message with other InReach devices. Yachting Monthly’s Using PCs on Board – good coverage of using your PC and mobie or satellite phones for communications. Sets up a synchronisation between your local mailbox and the XGate server so that you can read mail, send mail, then make one connection to the internet to send and receive all mail (with data compression) between the two.
Inmarsat home page – similar to Iridium, you purchase plans from a dealer, such as one of the following: An SMS message or email message (email sent direct from the phone not via an email client on your PC) sent over an Iridium network using pre-paid minutes generally uses a few seconds of airtime. For the most part, call / data plans have to be purchased from one of the satellite providers via one of their dealers.
To be a satellite service provider, a company needs to have one or more satellites orbiting the planet. Generally speaking, you would purchase a satellite phone from a specific manufacturer that was compatible with their plans. The cheapest BGAN terminals will cost about $750 but promise download speeds of 384kbps, and include a socket for a traditional telephone or phone headset which can be used to make voice calls while connected to the Internet.
Plug it in to your laptop or PDA, point it at the right part of the sky, and you have an always-on internet connection of up to 144kbps (about one-quarter of the speed of standard broadband) anywhere in the coverage area – which includes most of Africa, Europe, South East Asia, and the western half of Australia.Terminals cost about £300, and data charges are about £4 per megabyte transferred. For higher data speeds you’ll need a Regional Broadband Global Area Network (Regional BGAN) terminal, which connects to Inmarsat’s network. The networks’ service areas vary, but between them they provide coverage across the globe.
With Apollo Satcom Alaska satellite phone plans, technology, and accompanying accessories, you can rest assured your experience in Alaska will be fruitful, safe, and most definitely not a folly. From Iridium satellite phones to Cobham Sailor Fleet Broadband, we have equipment that will not weigh or slow you down. Provides global voice calling and text messaging solutions for your smartphone, as well as enhanced data capabilities offered through optimized apps to meet your unique needs.
Plus, we offer hotspots and terminals, 24/7 support, custom network design, service and airtime, and satellite handsets. Moreover, Alaska satellite phones offer superior call quality and lower delays, which means they will not fail you in an emergency. In fact, they go on to recommend satellite phones in order to have coverage everywhere.
If you ever find yourself in a tough spot, Iridium Satellite Phones are ready to help with a dedicated, programmable, one-touch SOS button. We also offer a whole host of other satellite data and phone equipment, and we’ve provided service and hardware for corporations, governments, individuals, and more. If you need a basic device for emergencies, a cheap BGAN satellite phone can be an excellent option.
If you work in emergency services or need to make sure you can communicate if the unthinkable happens, a device with satellite communication capability is a must. Text messages can be sent to and from other satellite phones, as well as to and from cellular phones. For both Iridium and Inmarsat your outbound call rate will apply for calls to voicemail.
For Inmarsat handsets press and hold the 1” key, the phone will call your voicemail service, follow the prompts. For landline phones and other cellular providers the caller must contact their service provider for rates. Iridium devices will work anywhere on the planet, Inmarsat devices will not work at the North, nor the South Pole – they will work everywhere else.
Satellite phones can be used anywhere in the world – they are in the truest sense a global phone. Mind you there are no Thuraya Satellites in North & South America, so if he was trying to pair in a country in which the Service isn’t available – or course he won’t be able to pair! The satphone hardware pack contains the satellite radio, GPS, the antenna, a battery pack, a Bluetooth chip to pair with the phone, and an SOS button (complete with its own mic and speaker) to make emergency calls if the mated iPhone is lost or damaged.
With satellite phone service, normally you’d get a standalone satellite phone (or maritime satphone) with its own phone number. Thuraya has years of experience developing and providing satellite phone service, which covers most of the places a conventional/terrestrial phone signal doesn’t go (ships, wilderness, mountaintops, disaster areas). Through the robust Iridium satellite network, you get coverage throughout the United States, Canada and the rest of the world.
This game-changing device transforms your phone into a rugged global satellite phone so that you can stay in constant, uninterrupted communication from anywhere the world over. When you choose to purchase your satellite phone and airtime from us, you’ll join a community of many happy and satisfied customers and receive our complimentary value-added services to help you manage your airtime costs. These days, anything can be traced with the right know-how, equipment, and connections—satellite phones are no exception.
Most of our plans offer FREE Incoming calls, but the average cost of an outgoing call to a landline or cellular number is around $1.00 to $1.50. In such cases, you won’t be able to call any local landline or cellular phone numbers, but you can contact landline/cellular numbers who are outside of the affected zones, as well as contact other satellite phones. Typical landline and cellular phone/Internet services will be unavailable following a large-scale disaster in your area.
While not applicable for handheld, portable applications, MSAT satellite phones are a popular choice for public safety, business continuity and emergency preparedness agencies throughout Canada and the United States—largely due to the affordable push-to-talk satellite communication abilities that they provide. Like Inmarsat, the MSAT satellites are positioned in a GEO orbit—so they provide reliable, continuous coverage and repeatable performance. As previously stated, if you can’t get a connection, you have to re-locate—so if you’re operating close to steep mountainous terrain where your view of the Southern sky could be blocked, an Iridium satellite phone is likely a better choice than an IsatPhone 2.
Once you have a connection, it can be sustained indefinitely—your calls will never get dropped unless something interrupts the line-of-sight between your phone and the satellite. In general, the Inmarsat network also provides global coverage, but not in extreme polar regions—their coverage is poor in latitudes above 50 degrees North and 50 degrees South. In general, the average connection time that you will experience with an Iridium phone call is 9 to 15 minutes (depending on terrain)—enough time to relay some important details, but not ideal for lengthy discussions.
This makes the Iridium network and Iridium satellite phone products your best choice for use in mountainous terrain. Iridium’s constellation of 66 Low-Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites have an orbit speed that is faster than the Earth’s rotation—so they move through the sky and are never in the same place at the same time. Low-Earth Orbiting satellites make it easier to establish line-of-sight in areas with high terrain features, but connection time may be short and sporadic.
We lean towards certain networks (and therefore certain phones) for certain applications, but do not believe that one is overall better than another. A satellite phone is only as good as the satellite network behind it—so it’s a good idea to compare the different phone models as well as the capabilities of the networks that support them. You’ll find more information about the different satellite networks below our satellite phone comparison chart.
Here’s a quick summary of other non-voice smart-phone to satellite devices: Whilst the SatSleeve is indeed an innovative first in smartphone to satellite voice communications, it is not the first device that has offered a smartphone-to-satellite communication solution. First, a person on the ground trying to use a satphone on a GEO system (ie Inmarsat or Thuraya) needs to have a clear line of sight to the satellite (which is at least 36,000 km away).
Pivotel does not offer Pre-paid Globalstar plans but has a $22 casual plan for those that are looking for a low-cost commitment. Globalstar airtime is provided in Australia exclusively by Pivotel (who also provide Iridium and therefore offer airtime on both the LEO systems). Globalstar provides users with an Australian mobile phone number, meaning that inbound calls to the satphone are charged to the caller at standard mobile rates and at no charge to the receiver.
In any case, to use the phone you will need to position your antenna at the satellite, so some knowledge of how to use the phone is required to establish a network connection and make a call. Whilst call charges will be high, and charged for both incoming and outgoing calls, this can be an effective backup for people that simply want the peace of mind knowing they have a satphone handy, without having to pay for a separate satellite phone plan, and giving you the option to pick up an older model second hand handset or to even borrow one. Alternatively, there is also a little loophole using Global Roaming that enables Telstra cellular mobile phone users to use their Telstra Next G SIM card (not prepaid) in the current model Iridium 9555 or 9575 handsets (or in the older 9505a and 9505 models).
It offers great coverage even in hilly areas, and up until recently it was the only network whose phones enabled 000/112 direct dialling. The Iridium network operates a LEO constellation (satellites orbit around the earth). The distance to the repeater means the transmitter (handset) needs a good aerial, which is why satphones on these networks use a directional antenna.
Dialling the Australian Emergency Call Centre 000/112:- in response to a mandate from the Australian Communications and Media Authority earlier this year, any satellite phone providers that could not offer Australian users the ability to call 000/112 were made to implement such a service. There are always threads on the Forum asking which is the best network provider?”, which is the best handset?”, which is the cheapest plan?” but these aren’t actually the questions that will help you move forward in your quest for your best satellite phone solution. Thuraya, the same company that makes the X5-Touch, also makes a product called the SatSleeve, which turns iPhones into satellite phones.
The gadget connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and enables your phone to use the Iridium satellite network via an app. The device itself costs $249.99, with several annual service plans, the cheapest of which is $19.99 per month. Phone and data rates vary based on plans, location and other factors, but here’s a typical, real-world scenario.
They’re all using satellites to provide high-speed access to the regular internet from existing devices. Uses Iridium’s constellation of 66 satellites for coverage of the earth’s entire surface. It has a world-wide coverage using the Iridium Satellites. Be sure to visit satellite phone models for the best cheapest satellite phones on the market to buy.
Also, many communication companies provide coverage at certain areas for a cheaper cost than the worldwide coverage provided by Iridium phones. Available for the Iridium and Inmarsat networks.