Satellite Phones

Since the government subsidy has been dropped on Sat phones their price has come down dramatically to the point where they are now a commodity item.
Several months ago I was in Perth and I wanted to travel home to Melbourne solo via some very remote places. I thought I would hire a sat phone for my safety.
I investigated the matter and found this out. Hiring a sat phone is not cheap. The main reason is that, you get a sat phone which may be necessary to save your life. In other words reliability is paramount. A hirer of phones does not know how they have been treated so they should basically refurbish them after every hire to ensure they are reliable. If the hiring fees seem cheap then this precaution most probably has not been taken and the reliability of the phone cannot be guaranteed. I brought a refurbished sat phone, which looked like new, from a Qld business and it was delivered within two days to Perth for $360 all up. This is cheaper than hiring it and you have the unit forever. Now this unit is not the latest and greatest but it reliably makes calls if required and is what I believe every remote traveller should have, great insurance. The unit I purchased is on the Globalstar network and I had several occasions to use it in the middle of nowhere and apart from a slight delay was just like any other phone.
The plan was from Pivotel $15 per month access, $1 per 30 secs ringing out, no data or SMS, the cost to people ringing in is the same as any mobile, and when you are not using it you can suspend access and take it up again when you travel.
There may well be other suppliers who can do similar deals and I suspect that prices are likely to get cheaper. I do not wish to advertise any business in particular so if anyone would like to know who I dealt with just PM me.
The bottom line is, it was dead easy to get a Sat phone at a great price, on a reasonable plan which now enables me to go solo to many places I would not have dared before. Bring it on.


What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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Reply By: turbo 1 - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 17:17

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 17:17
They've been coming down in price slowly for years as more phones are being used.
Eg. 10 years ago an Iridium Motorola cost 2,500, now about half that.
That's a good deal and I see Globalstar are now selling new phones for under 500.
AnswerID: 542802

Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 17:18

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 17:18
For info, EO has an Article on satphones here.

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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 18:31

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 18:31
Agreed Chris re the pricing being 'quite reasonable' these days. Sounds like your deal is the same basis as ours, being a Globalstar GSP 1600 handset by Qualcomm - a superceded design for sure, but it would appear to be a very reliable no frills phone - our test calls to date have been exceptionally clear. Via Pivotel as the provider, we paid $500 for all new (plenty of chargers and bits included, but not the whole in-case explorer bundle)....plus $15 a month and the calls are $2 a minute. To test the phone, we just ring the free Pivotel contact number and talk to the duty staff. We have suspended the account until the next trip.... the only issue with that is getting a new phone number (no biggy)....oh... and....this suspension factor may not be viable in future if establishment fees are introduced.
AnswerID: 542809

Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Vic - Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 18:45

Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014 at 18:45
Your right Darian same deal only mine is refurbished and yours is new. Both good value.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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Follow Up By: lizard - Thursday, Dec 11, 2014 at 10:33

Thursday, Dec 11, 2014 at 10:33
Yes we got ours from same mob in Qld ... $360 , and $15 a month - were going to suspend our account till next year but they wouldn't guarantee free connection would still exist
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