Telephone Calls from HF Radio
Another use of the HF radio is a direct dial service, where the HF radio is used to access the Australian LAN for regular voice calls. This service is available from the VKS-737 network. You will need to subscribe to a network that provides the direct dialling facilities. Many travellers enjoy the benefits of both types of services
and take out subscriptions with each.
We have been using HF Radio Telephone networks since 1998 and have seen a massive improvement to these services
in ease of use, functionality and low costs. Most services
include a free emergency selcall direct to Police and RFDS and also offer a flat call rate to all phone lines including mobile (unlike the expense of Satellite Phone
systems). Some services
also offer free vehicle position logging (taken verbally as a message from you to the operator as it is with the VKS737 network).
There is actually no incoming voice call service, when you use an HF Radio Telephone service however a Message Service provides a facility where family, friends or work associates can simply phone the base operators on a regular phone line and give the operator the message which will then be passed on to the radio.
There are currently a few services
throughout Australia that can provide the telephone service from your HF radio. The ExplorOz Team have used the Telstra RDD service (that is no longer available), RadioData, and in more recent years we've used RadTel. Services
and charges are quite different so shop
around to find the service that best suits you.
More information on these types of radios are available in our HF Radio article.
You'll also find the following book invaluable!