best satellite plan for short (3 month) casual user?

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013 at 21:40
ThreadID: 101196 Views:1844 Replies:4 FollowUps:17
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I plan to buy a second-hand satellite phone and hook it up on a casual plan for our three month trip. A friend did the same, taking out a 4 month plan for around $35 a month including $10 of calls. Sadly that provider now doesn't do shorter than 6 months. Wondering if anyone knows a provider that offers 3-4 month plans? I only plan to use the phone in emergencies.
As an alternative, I think I did read something on this forum about being able to use a Telstra sim, but didn't really follow how it worked. My normal mobile is Optus. Would that work? Or could I buy a prepaid Telstra sim (this would be better if it worked, because in an emergency I wouldn't want to be fiddling around with swapping sims!)
Also do you think $530 is an ok price for an Iridium 9505A?
Thanks.
Carolyn
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Reply By: craigandej - Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013 at 22:16

Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013 at 22:16
Hi a Prepaid Telstra SIM wont work, it has to be post paid ie on a plan. Telstra have a $10 per month casual plan for mobiles, which will work, & you have to enable global roaming.

Cheers
AnswerID: 507170

Reply By: Member - Derek Y1 - Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013 at 22:28

Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013 at 22:28
Carolyn,

As per other reply it has to be a post paid phone. We have Telstra $20/m plan and it works well when we swap the SIM over. We leave the SIM in the sat phone once we leave the coast. Calls are $2/m for both parties but SMS are free. We only use talk for emergencies (none so far) and SMS to update our location with family.

Regards,

Derek
AnswerID: 507173

Reply By: 4lex - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 01:33

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 01:33
The Telstra SIM thing does work, however you will find they will not enable roaming on a new connection for six months. This can be worked around if you have an existing relationship with them in good standing, such as a landline. I didn't, had to get a mate to sort it for me.

Incidentally, you don't need a network connected Sim to make an emergency call, though my 9555a is reluctant to start if it has no Sim at all. Any old Sim will work just fine for the purpose of making the handset start up.
AnswerID: 507182

Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 03:10

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 03:10
4lex,

Every year I just get the $10 casual sim and telstra just enable it. I have never had a problem and I don't have a landline.


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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 09:49

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 09:49
Guys,

Just so that I have this straight in my aging memory banks and processor unit.
If I bought a second hand 9555 sat phone and pulled Mr SIM out of the I-Phone 3 that is just a game thingy (is that the correct term(;-)) ) for the grand kids and put that into the sat phone I could make some sort of emergency call?? 000, RFDS or what??

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 09:54

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 09:54
Yep that is right pop.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 10:30

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 10:30
Hi RA,

Please don't think me rude (I have enough people that have that opinion already) but other than 000 or RFDS are there any other numbers that would fall into the "or what" category???

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 10:56

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 10:56
Pop,
there are many but some of the most important or what numbers are in order of importance.

Remote beer deliveries by air.
Remote beer deliveries by land.
Remote beer deliveries by sea.
Remote beer delivery complaints.

No other numbers fit into the other category.
Have been working on the government for years to have these included with 000 and RFDS calls. No luck yet as they seem to be Grange drinkers with the odd white wine buff thrown in amongst them.
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Follow Up By: 4lex - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 11:04

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 11:04
Refer here:
https://www.telstra.com.au/webforms/international-roaming/activate-roaming-data-pack/index.cfm

"To apply for International Roaming, you need to:
- have a Telstra post-paid mobile service (roaming is already active on Telstra Pre-Paid mobile services) or Telstra Mobile Broadband service (excluding BigPond Mobile Broadband)
- be the holder of the Telstra billing account for that mobile or mobile broadband service
- have a Telstra account for the last six months in your name without it being placed on hold/suspended or missing a payment with us."

I tried a number of times to work around this, they won't do it. This behaviour is consistent with the experience of three other applicants I know in the last couple of months. Even offered a substantial deposit. This is Telstra of course, so YMMV.
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FollowupID: 784389

Follow Up By: allein m - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 11:08

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 11:08
Have been working on the government for years to have these included with 000 and RFDS calls. No luck yet as they seem to be Grange drinkers with the odd white wine buff thrown in amongst them.

make it a election issue I am sure they will say and do any thing to get in this time lol

http://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm

lol
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 12:34

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 12:34
Hahahahaha,

All those outa work comedians and I get you lot. No seriously, thanks for that.
I always thought white wine was what was left over after they had filled the Chateau Cardboard cartons with the good stuff.
Grange?? I thought that was a model of Holden Commodore.

Beer deliveries? You mean the RFDS don't carry supplies??? Purely for medicinal purposes of course. (;-0)

Cheers
Pop
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FollowupID: 784400

Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 13:07

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 13:07
alilen m,
yep I never thought about my post paid mobile. That must be why they allow the roaming. Thanks for that.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ontos45 - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 13:08

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 13:08
This was an interesting post as I have always thought there was a cheaper way of activating a sat. phone.

PS. will vote for the above amendments to the RFDS emergency medical supplies. LOL
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Follow Up By: Carolyn R2 - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 22:35

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 at 22:35
So...if I have Optus on my mobile and home plan (have regretted that many times already!), then my choices are:
- lean on a Tesltra-connected relative or friend to sign up to the $10 plan and trust that I won't make a zillion dollars of calls
OR
- take out one of the expensive Satellite casual plans?
My husband has a work Tesltra bb but he's not the account holder so I guess that won't help.
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FollowupID: 784450

Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 00:37

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 00:37
Hello

I purchased a sim on the casual $10 plan from a Telstra shop for my Sat phone. When i got home I was confronted with the "cant activate international roaming as you haven't been a customer for six months" advice via the internet site but I just rang them - connected straight away. I don't believe it to be a problem.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: 4lex - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 03:07

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 03:07
Carolyn, if you have a Telstra landline you'll be fine. In fact if you have Bigpond internet you'll be fine. Otherwise, yes, a friend is the path of least cost and resistance, though it isn't even straight forward to get the $10 casual Sim. Most Telstra shop monkeys will tell you there is no such thing. Word of caution, make no mention of satellites, it will only confuse them. And you need a normal size Sim for the old motorola phone, not the silly cut down apple ones.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 10:35

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 10:35
Hi
Naargh its not even that hard. I don't have a Telstra landline or any other Telstra account and just walked straight into a Telstra shop and within 10 minutes was signed up on the $10 casual plan. The "shop monkey" knew exactly what I was talking about - no problems. Maybe I was lucky but I think the sales assistants are fully aware of what products they have for sale - its their job. Getting one that doesn't know would not be the norm.

The casual plans are all listed on their website - no secret - Telstra Casual Plans

Then as mentioned, went home, rang Telstra and had international roaming activated no problems. If you get resistance here just say you are going to another carrier if they wont activate it.

Be aware that SMS messages (in and out) cost heaps on this plan so don't encourage this method of communication.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: mike39 - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 08:51

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 08:51
Carolyn.
You ask is $530 an ok price for a used Iridium?

Well, 2 friends of ours (ladies) are going off on a 6 months outback trip and I suggested they apply for the Gov. subsidy (satellite phone).
This was done, the subsidy granted very speedily and now they have a Isatphone Pro. with $100 prepay (voice $1/min.,sms $0.45/min.) all for less than your $530.

The prepay lasts for 6 months. Topped up, any leftover from the last adds to the next and because the phone is owned by you, can be sold after the trip.

I think would be well worth your investigating, no mucking around with sim cards etc. and using a geostationary sat. system there are no drop outs of the signal as satellites orbit.
mike.
ps: we also have this same make satphone!
AnswerID: 507246

Follow Up By: Carolyn R2 - Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 11:05

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013 at 11:05
Thanks for that Mike, but our trip is only for 3 months, think we need to be able to say six months. We will also spend a few months within 2 years in an area where my Optus phone doesn't work, but there is telstra coverage so I don't think that helps us.
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FollowupID: 784472

Follow Up By: didjabringabeer - Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 at 17:54

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 at 17:54
Carolyn
I don't think you need to be with Telstra. You can stay with Optus
and apply for the subsidy.
Brian
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Follow Up By: Carolyn R2 - Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 at 18:29

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2013 at 18:29
Thanks Brian but what I meant was, if there is Telstra coverage then it doesn't count for subsidy purposes
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