satellite phones

Submitted: Friday, May 24, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1189 Views:2158 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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Am thinking of purchasing a satellite phone for outback use, has anyone actually used this sort of phone for communication whilst in remote areas?,....what sort of coverage can u expect to get, for eg. could u phone home to the big smoke from the middle of the Simpson Dessert ?, aware of the pros and cons of HF and SAT,and the costs involved, just looking for feedback from someone that has actually had experience "phoning home",....thanks, Karin.
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Reply By: Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Friday, May 24, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, May 24, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Karin, we hired a sat phone for our simpson desert trip last year we called hom most nights to our respective families no problem and the new iridiums are even better. An interesting feature of the iridiums is you can be contacted free of charge in an email type format from a computer. Cheers Rob
AnswerID: 3787

Follow Up By: Nigel - Friday, May 24, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, May 24, 2002 at 00:00
That email features sounds like it could be useful. More useful than the phone part for me :)
FollowupID: 1617

Reply By: DennisN - Friday, May 24, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, May 24, 2002 at 00:00
G'day Karin,

Your query seems very timely to me. Heard on national radio yesterday that members on the Year of the Ouback "Great Cattle Drive" are testing the new Telstra Iridium sat phone system and are giving good reports on it. The news item went on to say that this system will be laundched by Telstra in early June.

Maybe a trip to your Telstra shop could be advantageous.

We are "going bush" in mid July so I am interested in the news item. I will be talking with Telstra to find out more.

Hope this helps

AnswerID: 3788

Reply By: Colin - Friday, May 24, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, May 24, 2002 at 00:00
I have used Sat phones in remote areas on two occassions - 1st in 1997 with work in the Pilbara east of Marble Bar and then 2001 on the CSR (Jiggalong/Durba/Calvert Ra/Carnarvon Ra). Both sets were the old type with a box the size of a brief case. We had no trouble with coverage, calls were made to Pt Hedland order parts in advance, to Canberra for work advice/progress and to relatives etc etc. The reception was always clear with a little 'echo'. There is no doubt that Sat phones are the way of the future as a personal communication method for remote areas and like all 'new' technology, the price will start to drop as usage increases. I think the old work Sat phone cost approx $12 000 in 1995 !! A good UHF CB set is recomended for 'local community' contact.
AnswerID: 3797

Reply By: skippyking - Friday, May 24, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, May 24, 2002 at 00:00
Karin, sounds like home is the big smoke. Unless you are going to be out in the bush a long time, why not hire one. It may be cheaper than buying and paying for a plan, although the new ones do switch over to ordinary mobile services when in range. Grant
AnswerID: 3802

Reply By: ken Leighton - Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00
I use a Vodaphone sat phone all the time with work in the outback of WA. It can also be used in GSM mode when in range saving you heaps of $. It's a bit clunky to wear on the hip - it's definitely not a fashion accessory but hey it works like a charm in the middle of nowhere. No echo in sat mode. Calls are expensive and you pay for incoming and outgoing with the first 10 secs free. Consider hiring one at about $22/day + calls it might be a cheap option. Forget HF carry a UHF for local coms and you'll be set.
AnswerID: 3934

Reply By: Eli - Thursday, Jun 20, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Jun 20, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Karin
A little late but...
I was using the Iridium for the last year (bought it in london), it works great and it's small and simple. Costs are 15US$ a month + 1.5 US$ a minute. If you need it to keep in tuch with the people back home it will be much more practical then an HF.
Enjoy it.
AnswerID: 4321

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