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Thread: Satellite Phones And Service

  1. #1
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    Satellite Phones And Service

    I want to learn more about satellite phones and service. I am just starting to research this, so please be patient. I live in the United States and often go horseback riding and ATV riding in areas that have no cell phone coverage. My activities are seasonal, so I would likely be looking for a used phone and prepaid service.

    The other likely use would be when we are on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. Would a prepaid satellite phone and prepaid service be appropriate for the light amount of usage for a week at sea?

    What service providers should I focus on for the continental United States? Do all of them offer prepaid service?

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    AFAIK, the three companies who provide mobile satellite signals to N. America are Iridium, INMARSAT and GlobalStar. There used to be a fourth: TerreStar, but they went bankrupt. Phones generally run a bit under $1000. Most satellite companies don't deal directly with the public but prefer to work through service resellers. I know that prepaid service is available for Iridium and GlobalStar but I think the minutes expire rather quickly. I used to have monthly service with Iridium but as other communications options evolved and they raised the monthly base rate to $35+usage, I decided that it was just an expensive toy and dropped my subscription.

    An option could be a SPOT beacon or DeLorem In-Reach, both of which serve as emergency beacons and basic messengers for people who go beyond cellular range.

    I've used a handheld satellite phone on a ship. You can probably receive incoming texts if it's near a port hole but to make calls you have to go out on deck. The satellite signals don't travel through metal.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Spot Global Satellite Phone

    I was at a Cabelas this afternoon and I saw that they carry the Spot Global Satellite Phone http://tinyurl.com/my7pm27 It is the Globalstar satellite network. The airtime is still spendy, but when you buy enough minutes to get it down to .25 per minute, it is cheaper than my parents paid for long distance not all that many years ago within the United States! http://tinyurl.com/l79gnqg

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    Satellite phone and service is very hard in almost all countries due to securities issues and i think every country don't allow the violation according the rules. Because satellite phone service anybody can use without any device and it can be dangerous for country due to security reasons.

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    I wouldn't recommend a satellite phone for casual use unless you need it for business purposes and can write off the expense, or possibly if you are going to be sailing around on your own boat in places without cell service. I personally do not feel the need to always be in touch, and if you feel you need some way of calling for help in an emergency a a SPOT or EPIRB is the best bet. Sat phone service is pricey, slow, really not very good for data except for specialized applications, and it can be finicky. Look at being out of cell coverage as part of the adventure!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarrolTina View Post
    Satellite phone and service is very hard in almost all countries due to securities issues and i think every country don't allow the violation according the rules. Because satellite phone service anybody can use without any device and it can be dangerous for country due to security reasons.
    In some countries they're banned because they're used by terrorists and can't be monitored by the goverment; but it's also banned because the paranoid controlling goverments can't listen in on converations that use them, it's a double edged sword.

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    I'm from Brazil, and a few weeks ago I found this discussion on Google and I have a question and I was dying to ask here and if anyone can help me.

    I will travel to Canada, make a camp. But I am concerned with communication. My friends recommended hiring phone rental with satellite communications, as well, avoids buying a satellite phone only for the time of travel.

    I did not know you had companies that offer trips to phone rental. I found two companies, the PressCell Internacional Cell Phone Rental and the other is Amigo US Cell Phone
    Of course if I call these companies will tell me that the service is reliable and communication is quality.

    I wonder if anyone has used this type of communication and if it's good or bad. It would be important for me to decide before going to Canada.

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    are you certain there is no ordinary mobile carrier/service by any vendor in the location where you will be camping ? There may well also be a supply store with radio for true emergencies. Those things are darn pricey aren't they?

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