satphones query

My sil (son in law) just picked up a secondhand satphone and we are wondering does any body know of a company that does a prepaid sim ( no plan) as it will only be used for 4weeks may be twice a year. We know that the credits are not cheap, and this is only for emergency purposes. we also have radios so this is a backup for us. Could not find any info on past threads as the y are 4yrs old or so
location - Warragul -Victoria
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 07:38

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 07:38
Hi 489

Yes there are a number of service providers that do pre paid sat phone credit....but some of the pre paid credits can only be used on certain brands of phones.

As you have not said what type of phone it is, you will have to give more details to received a more accurate reply.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: 489 - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 13:48

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 13:48
thanks Steve for the info. iwas just a forward inquiry as I may have jumped the gun a little. My sil had not received the phone when he was speaking to me and he was not 100% what brand it was. By the way Steve my sil has now downloaded both Hema and Mud Maps on to the new ipad wifi gps cellular as you recommended. He thinks that is the best way to go for the future, but I will still use the old paper and compass as well. Will contact you via email about Caravan Track S.A way points at a later date. Thanks to all that have now got me going on more research and where to start - thanks Garry R
location - Warragul -Victoria
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Reply By: TomH - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 08:23

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 08:23
The Motorola Iridium phones can use a Telstra sim card that is on a plan and has Roaming enabled
Calls used to cost $4 a minute approx both in and out. Ok for emergencies.

We just used to swap my phones card into it when away from cell reception.

Globalstar ones are different and cant do the above.

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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 08:33

Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 08:33
Either Globalstar or Thuraya, can't recall which, offers a hybrid mobile and satphone by the way.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 09:06

Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 09:06
This onehttp://www.sattransusa.com/thu-pho-xtdu.html Would cost
About $1500 for it and a years use whether you make calls or not
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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 08:35

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 08:35
I also use a iridium Phone The 9555 Model . takes your Telstra 4G Sim.
Not all model take the Telstra sim card.
I just swap the Sim over from my mobile phone .

Cheers
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Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 14:37

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 14:37
Only the oldest one doesnt
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Follow Up By: TTTSA - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 19:08

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 19:08
The oldest one, 9500 I believe, certainly does take your Telstra sim. Used it in mine for the last 12 years.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 19:17

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 19:17
Yes it does but takes a credit card sized one. Forgot to mention that. Whereas the later ones you can just direct swap a standard sim card without having to carry the other bit as well.

An Iphone micro sim would also need an adaptor. Not sure if it would work though due to its pin configuration.
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Reply By: Danna - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 08:57

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 08:57
We use for last 12years always TR Telecom (head office is Melbourne).
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Reply By: Zippo - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 15:23

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 15:23
I'm in the same boat (except I haven't purchased the satphone yet). From my research it seems it is only POST-paid whether a 3G/4G service provider SIM or a dedicated satphone service provider. I believe this is for the more "robust" charge collection mechanism. For reusing a 3G/4G SIM I am only aware of Telstra post-paid, with international roaming enabled.

I'd be happy to be wrong, as we are normally low-volume users and therefore on pre-paid.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 19:11

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 19:11
And usually only on IRIDIUM phones.
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Reply By: dean ( SA ) - Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 15:56

Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 at 15:56
My motorola iridium would be around 11 years old and I use a dedicated $10pm casual post paid telstra sim between this and a telstra phone.
Works for me and only family have the number.
AnswerID: 544687

Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 08:39

Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 08:39
Isatphone Pro with Inmarsat: c. $750 for the phone plus prepaid vouchers for varying amounts of airtime which you can activate when you set off. My last buy was 100 units for $125 with a 6 month expiry. Units used per minute vary acc to destination but generally run to 1.3. You can send a set message to defined recipients that includes your coords with a few keypad presses for half a unit. Only drawback is that using Telstra landlines to call in costs a bomb. But your callers can get on an airtime reseller's website and send a free 160 char email for you to call them back.
AnswerID: 544704

Follow Up By: TomH - Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 08:59

Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 08:59
Seems very expensive to use it as an emergency only phone.

We had ours for nearly 2 years and using the Telstra Sim it cost us $8 for calls. We only had to make two short calls due to being late to arrive at certain places.
On your rates it would have cost $500 if we had the $125 per 6 month option
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 12:24

Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 12:24
What's a new Iridium phone cost?
What's the per minute cost of calls and cost of msgs?

Let's compare apples with apples.

If you don't expect much use with Inmarsat you can buy 25 units. You can activate a voucher the moment you need it.

I expect to use all my airtime since I use it as a phone when there's no mobile coverage and I use it like a Spot Messenger to send OK messages. (A Spot 3 is around $200 capital cost and then USD 165 per year.) And I get reliable connections.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 22:58

Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 22:58
The OP asked about rates to use IN EMERGENCY for about 4 weeks a year, not as a regular use phone.

Therefore a S/H Motorola 9505A for $289 - $495 on Ebay would be a good buy and using your Telstra sim would be about $4 a minute.

An Iridium phone would get the best reception with 66 satellites giving all earth coverage.

I had mine for two years and sold it for what I paid for it when we finished travelling.
Always got a signal when I tested it but luckily only needed to use it twice.

Why would you be using Telstra LANDLINES with a Satellite phone to call in ???
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 08:44

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 08:44
It's no wonder you don't compare apples with apples given the extortionate cost of new Iridium/Motorola phones. And you don't appear to think this cost has an effect on the 2nd hand market.

The cost of emergency use of a phone apart from that is mainly a function of time used. How long do you think it takes to get through the 000 portal to speak to local police? How long to you think it takes to be talked through a way of getting your vehicle moving again, to deal with a medical trauma, to get directions to the nearest homestead with an RFDS box?

Iridium gives the best coverage? I suggest you do a thorough read through of posts about that on this forum. The geometry of the sat constellation provides an inbuilt limit; the closer to the equator you are the greater that limit. In practice, dropouts at the call handover are common.

Yes, some folk use their landline to call a satphone. Telstra price gouging means the connection to an Inmarsat device is expensive. But a free email is the workaround.
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Reply By: Boobook2 - Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 10:14

Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 10:14
As Stephen L pointed out, no one can give you any advice unless you tell us the make of the phone. Different phone systems are completely different.
AnswerID: 544707

Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 21:27

Thursday, Jan 22, 2015 at 21:27
G'day 489,

this link satellite phone sales is from ThreadID: 110810 on this forum.

I read it this evening and it has some great info and helped me understand the different systems and pricing.

Steve
AnswerID: 544721

Follow Up By: 489 - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:27

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:27
thanks for the info - I have found out it is an inmarsat pro and comes c/w a valid sim with credits for the next few months. It was used by a co-worker of my sil to go around oz and has no further use. It still works out cheaper than hiring than a satphone for 3 weeks at $20- per day plus calls. We are only using it for emergency only, should something happens to my health dramatically. Have looked through different threads and not found any current info dating for a long while. I now have my sil looking it the threads and discussions had. Yep every body has their opinion and different devices but the same out in general seems to keep coming out - thanks - garryr
location - Warragul -Victoria
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 15:42

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 15:42
I have found satellite phone plans and systems quite confusing.
That is why I was relieved to read that thread last night and thought I'd pass it on.

There are a lot of people that, for whatever reason, have no problem getting their heads around the different phones, satellites and plans, and good on them. It's annoying when someone asks a question because they don't know something and the information is given in a tone that seems to belittle the enquirer.

That link I quoted last night was so easy to understand. It was set out clearly and simply, a way that suits me.

I hope it helped you out.

Steve
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