I phone sim in sat phone.

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 13:38
ThreadID: 106781 Views:3212 Replies:11 FollowUps:10
This Thread has been Archived
We have been researching communication options for an upcoming trip.
A satellite phone would appear to be our choice at the moment and probably the Iridium through Telstra.
As a hire option for a three month period, and possibly longer will cost much the same as buying something like a 9555 unit I have been thinking along the lines of just buying the handset outright and maybe using the SIM from our mobile which is an I phone 4. Apparently the calls are prohibitively expensive but the idea being that it would only get used in an emergency and normal chat and SMS done while in normal mobile range.
Question, can anyone see any obvious flaws in my cunning plan?

I have done the "search" option here and other forums but maybe there are other forum options that I don't know about so forgive me for asking a question that may have been asked before, possibly many times.

Back Expand Un-Read 1 Moderator

Reply By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 14:00

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 14:00
OK, tried typing the query into the search function in a different way and got a few dozen different posts.
Why does "international roaming" have to be activated if I am not roaming internationally?
1900 numbers some say have them barred, some say having them barred will cause other problems.
One guy seemed to have trouble with sending after being told by Telstra that all should be working.

Anyone tried the old "blanket over a smoky fire trick"???

A confused but still hopeful
AnswerID: 528602

Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 22:27

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 22:27
Hi Pop

I have put this as a follow up rather than a reply so you get an answer to your question.

The way they explained it to me at the phones shop was:

Using a sat phone is like calling another country. That is the satellite you connect through is the other country. It has it's own country code.

Likewise when someone calls your sat phone they are calling your satellite, so effectively another country. When it connects to your sat phone it looks for you no matter where in the world you are. - hence the need for International Roaming.

This made sense to me at the time. I am sure someone with more (or less) knowledge will now step up to clarify it even more.

FollowupID: 811229

Reply By: TTTSA - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 14:49

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 14:49
Hi Pop,

Definately not a cunning plan, many people do that. My advice from personal experience is go to a Telstra shop and add a $10.00 month post paid plan to your account, they will issue you with a new sim card with a new mobile no. Use this card in your sat phone and give the new no. only to people that matter to you. This way you won't get calls all day from every Jo that has your current mobile No. and costing you a fortune.

There is no contract on that $10.00 plan so you can cancel it at any time, you must have international roaming enabled or it wont work. This is what we have been using for years in our Motorola 9500.

AnswerID: 528606

Reply By: Member - Trouper (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 15:18

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 15:18
Yes thats all good agree with PoP I have used this method for 7 Years and yes the calls in and out are mega expensive but for an emergency who cares??. Make sure you dont buy the older style Motorola as they have the old credit card size SIM the 9505's are OK

AnswerID: 528608

Follow Up By: TTTSA - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 17:42

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 17:42
The credit card sized sim is no problem to get.

FollowupID: 811196

Reply By: Aussi Traveller - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 15:48

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 15:48
Try on of these,I just got one and it work well.

Australia's Best Mobile Satellite Solutions
1300 882 448
Thuraya SatSleeve
Thuraya SatSleeve
Thuraya XT-DUAL
Thuraya XT

Thuraya SatSleeve is the world's first satellite adaptor for smartphones, providing you with easy and affordable access to mobile communication services delivered over the Thuraya satellite network. Insert your compatible smartphone into the SatSleeve to stay connected through phone calls, SMS and data via satellite mode - and put the entire world within reach.

Thuraya SatSleeve Features
• Add a satellite connection to your smartphone to stay
in touch wherever you go.
• SatSleeve Voice and Data supports voice, SMS, email and
apps over satellite.
• Extended battery life, acting as backup battery
for the iPhone.
• Download the free SatSleeve App from the iTunes
App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Samsung phone.
• Enhanced safety features with an Emergency Call button.
• High Penetration Alerting (HPA) capability enables you to
receive calls even if the satellite antenna is retracted.
SatSleeve iPhone Specifications
• SatSleeve Voice and Data comes with iPhone 5/5S adaptor.
iPhone 4/4S adaptor available seperately.
• Main Unit: 138 x 69 x 20mm / 178g with battery
• iPhone 5/5S adaptor: 142 x 69 x 13mm / 49g
• Standby time up to 36hrs. Talk time up to 3hrs.
SatSleeve Android Specifications
• SatSleeve Voice and Data comes with Samsung Galaxy S4
adaptor. Adaptor for Samsung Galaxy S3 available
• Main Unit: 138 x 69 x 20mm / 178g with battery
• Galaxy S4 adaptor: 140 x 72 x 14mm / 37g
• Standby time up to 36hrs. Talk time up to 3hrs.
• Satellite Data Speed: Download 60Kbps,
Upload 15Kbps (GmPRS)
What's in the box?
• Main satellite unit • Adaptor
• Battery • USB data cable
• Universal travel charger

AnswerID: 528611

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 00:12

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 00:12
Now that does sound interesting. I will contact them tomorrow.

Thanks mate.
FollowupID: 811238

Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 07:10

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 07:10
Yeah it even has an emergency call button direct to 000 you can use even when you don't have the phone in the sleeve, you just press the button and it dials 000 and you can talk to them via the unit.
They have 3 plans, the one i chose had the higher call rate but the monthly bill is only $15 so pretty cheep really.

Get in quick with the subsidy, they approved mine within 12 hours.
FollowupID: 811246

Reply By: Member - Chris_K - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 16:07

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 16:07
Hi Pop

We ended up buying an Iridium (yes expensive - but so is hiring) and last time used the standard Telstra SIM card - as said, global roaming needs to be activated, and it needs to be a "full service" SIM as Telstra put it. Calls are horrific - they charge you for incoming and outgoing calls. We needed to use it to change our travel plans last year, and I think the few calls we made cost about $120.

This time, I've signed up for a $33 plan with ClientSAT (www.clientsat.com.au) for 12 months as they seem to have the cheapest call rates. No affiliation - just seemed like reasonable value to me. Now we have a phone to take anywhere, have the same number, and calls are quite reasonable. I did a bit of research and number crunching before signing up - and the difference between having the 12 month contract was offset by the higher call charges of the previous plan.

Anyway - that's my 2 bob's worth!


AnswerID: 528615

Reply By: Skulldug - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 16:23

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 16:23
Hi Pop,

I researched this not long ago and decided what was best for me. I wrote it up in Thread 103932.

Iridium Extreme on Pivotel classic plan $22 per month.

People can call you at normal mobile rates and outgoing calls aren't too bad. As you say though, in an emergency, who cares about the cost.

AnswerID: 528619

Follow Up By: TTTSA - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 17:47

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 17:47
I don't know about this provider, but one advantage with Telstra is you just get a normal mobile phone No.
I used to use TR Telecom, they had cheaper calls but you had to use all different pre fixes before the phone No. to call out. Was a hassle for me, and if needed in an emergency and someone is not familiar with that they may have trouble getting a call out.

FollowupID: 811198

Follow Up By: Skulldug - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 17:58

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 17:58

I have a normal mobile number and a little red button that connects you to 000 and sends your position to the authorities. Press it twice and it sends a wish list to Santa.

FollowupID: 811201

Follow Up By: TTTSA - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:32

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:32
That's excellent, how it should be.

FollowupID: 811223

Follow Up By: Maz66 - Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 02:28

Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 02:28
Hi Guys
Th Pivotel numbers are a normal Oz mobile number with free incoming calls to you and when dialling out you just dial Oz no including area code

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

FollowupID: 811328

Reply By: Peter W - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 18:55

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 18:55
Not directly related to your initial query but MAY be of interest.
Post from New Aussie Caravanners site.


AnswerID: 528624

Reply By: Villatranquilla - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:29

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:29
friend tried the sim from his Iphone in my basic Nokia and the sim was too small so it wouldn't have been any good in our sat phone.
AnswerID: 528629

Follow Up By: TTTSA - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:34

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:34
Adaptors are available for those tiny chopped sims.

FollowupID: 811224

Reply By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 23:03

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 23:03
As a previous member suggested consider a Sat Sleeve.
It is made and designed to take the iPhone, it's just a matter of slipping/fitting the iPhone into the sleeve & then you iPhone becomes a satellite phone.
I recently purchased one of these myself & it works like a charm.
The only negative I have with it is.....it uses the Thuraya satellite system as opposed to the Iridium satellite.
What does this mean?.
If u draw a line from the NSW/Vic border across to Perth, reception may be difficult or non existent BELOW that line..... above that line NO PROBLEMS at all or if there are the Iridium system would have the same problems also.
The sat sleeve uses or can use blue tooth technology........so you can leave the sleeve outdoors with the antenna extended & turned on with your iPhone with you inside all nice and warm out of the s..ty weather if need be OR if in an emergency and you needed to be indoors to use the phone say a medical situation, your inside a building giving first aid or assisting someone who is you can be using the sat phone..... This is something YOU CAN'T DO on the iridium system.
I'm with the Pivotel network with my phone it costs me $15 month and call are charged out at $1 minute.....I BET YOU ARE PAYING about that now with your ordinary mobile!!
One other thing to consider is that with Pivotel you are given an Australian mobile number AS OPPOSED to an international number........so if anyone calls you it is not going to cost them anymore than calling any other mobile.
If you have family members who have 'free time' on their phones they can call you FREE as you have an Australian mobile number!
One more thing to consider.....IF YOU ARE SERIOUS about buying a sat phone (Iridium or Thuraya) you MUST APPLY BY THE END OF THIS MONTH (March) as the government subsidy is ending that the end of June and ALL applications MUST BE IN BY THE END OF THIS MONTH to qualify for the subsidy.

Disclaimer. I have NO association with Sat Sleeve or Pivotel....... other than being a happy customer
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 528642

Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 01:05

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 01:05
Thanks to all who took the time and trouble to reply to my query.

The wife and I had a very "interesting" day chasing up a possible purchase of a Sat phone.
The wife rang Telstra and was told to just go our local Telstra shop and they will sort it all out.
First port of call the aforesaid Telstra shop in our local shopping centre.
Young bloke approached us with his Ipad, tablet, organiser or whatever and informed us that they don't sell sat phone handsets or plans.
Not sure why but there was another Telstra shop just down the fairway a bit so called in there. The bloke behind the counter had much the same story to tell but at least looked on his computer and showed us the screen that laid out all the sat phone plans and costs, hey just like the one on our home computer, but other than that couldn't help but suggested we try Dick Smith.
The young lad behind this counter said he would have a look on his computer and asked me how to spell "satellite"..... I kid you not! My comment was to the effect that maybe we shouldn't waste any more of each others time. He however did suggest in an attempt to help we try Jaycar.
The Jaycar man could not help either but gave us the name of a company some k's away that did them but by now time and patience were both in short supply.

Ye Gods...who would have thought it would have been so bloody hard.

Anyway, thanks again and I have sent an email to those Thuraya Satsleeve guys so will see what they come up with. As an aside I did read the article on this site regarding the 4 sat phone network suppliers that operate in Oz. Sounds like the Telstra system is most effective in the more southern parts of the continent while Thuraya give better results in the more northern latitudes which for the moment suits our next trip just fine.

Thanks again
AnswerID: 528646

Follow Up By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 10:22

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 10:22
I have no affiliation with is company other than being a very happy customer, contact Doug Taylor @ Lake Macquarie Communications 0249421966.
He is very knowledgable on the product & can deliver anywhere in Oz
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

My Profile  Send Message

FollowupID: 811252

Reply By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 11:39

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 11:39
Hi Pop

Looking at doing the same thing due to the subsidy coming to an end.

Here are a few links that may help.

Telstra Customer terms-Telstra Mobile Satellite Service-Section 7 in particular.


Information on the Satellite Phone Subsidy Scheme-includes a link to dealers registered for the scheme.


Hope this helps.

AnswerID: 528662

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (9)