Renting a satellite phone

Submitted: Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 20:21
ThreadID: 129873 Views:2187 Replies:6 FollowUps:17
This Thread has been Archived
Hello,

We are going to drive the Gibb River Road, the Purnululu National Park and to the Mornington Wilderness camp in mid-August for about 2 weeks. Following precious advices of members of this forum (thank you very much again very much for this !) we are planning to rent a satellite phone. Do you know if this would be possible in Broome? For the moment we found a company Satellite Phone Hire can rent such equipment. Do you have experiences with them or maybe you can recommend other companies that provide this service?

Many thanks for your advice,
Ania

Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: CSeaJay - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 21:01

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 21:01
Personally, and having done many remote traveling, and having also done the GRR, I would not bother. The Gibb is like a highway compared to to what it may have been years ago., I suggest that on the roads that you will be travelling that time to f theyear there will be a car along every 10 minutes. For two weeks, and with common sense preparation you will be fine, save yourself several hundred dollars.
Sorry not answering your original question. Now putting on my hardhat for the responses...
CJ
AnswerID: 588897

Follow Up By: Ania - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 21:19

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 21:19
Thank you CJ very much for you advice.

Do you know if on the GRR is any mobile coverage (I assume that Telstra is the company having the best outback coverage, is it right) at all? Or are there any fix phones / radios available for emergency situations? This means if we would need to call for assistance and there will be no network coverage in this particular place should we ask somebody to call help for us from other place with mobile coverage or hope that they will have a mean of communication working in the outback?

Ania
0
FollowupID: 856717

Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 22:20

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 22:20
Its personnal choice, for myself I will pay the few hundred dollars so that I am not reliant on others for help. A car may come along every 10 minutes but do they have a sat phone? My sat phone has more than paid for itself getting me out of tricky situations.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 856721

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 23:48

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 23:48
The only place you will get Telstra mobile cover along the Gibb River Road is at the parking bay on the hill just south west of the Pentecost River Crossing.

While anything can happen (and in our case usually does), with a well prepared rig and a tyre patching kit (and the knowledge of how to use it), you would be unlikely to need to phone for help. If you have any medical condition that may bring an emergency situation, then travel with a satellite phone at all times.

If you needed help for a breakdown, with a hire vehicle I presume the first place to call would be your hire company. I'm sure for a few dollars the first person to stop would be willing to phone from the next roadhouse, or the roadhouse may be willing to make the call.

One thing we found in remote areas including the Kimberley was that all the other travellers stop to check you are OK. One lady on the Kalumburu road, when the seventh vehicle in succession stopped to check on them, in desperation called out "I just need to pee" :o :lol:.

Motherhen

Red desert dreaming

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 856726

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 16:18

Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 16:18
I wouldn't bother either.

Unless you have it for medical or business reason don't bother and enjoy the peace and solitude of the outback. Not that the Gib River Road is remote. But would be handy to have a uhf CB in the car.

I am sure we will all survive without being able to get in touch with you.

You could always leave a list of numbers with loved ones or one particular responsible person for the places where you are going to stop or drop in for a meal etc. That way if the house burns down they can tell you. Not much you can do about it though.

Phil
0
FollowupID: 857715

Reply By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 21:31

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 21:31
Go to member Sat Phone Sales http://www.exploroz.com/Customers/Sat_Phone_Sales.aspx

Cheaper to buy than rent these days. These guys have all the answers, they gave me great service.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 588898

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 21:39

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 21:39
Welcome back speedster....

Hope you got home OK Chris...


Regards


Stephen
Simpson Desert Colours

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 856718

Follow Up By: Ania - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 21:57

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 21:57
Thank you Chris for you advice.

Indeed a second hand satellite phone might be an interesting and cheap option. As there are many types of those phones working with different satellites (Globalstar, Inmarsat, Iridium, Thuraya) do you know what would the best option for the GRR? Is there anything that we need to pay attention by renting or buying a second hand satellite phone? Most probably we will use it only there (and hopefully not at all if everything goes fine) and not anymore after the trip (we are no living in Australia).

Ania
0
FollowupID: 856719

Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 22:13

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 22:13
Ania, ring Sat Phone Sales they are great. The market is constantly changing best to ring them, tell them your situation, and get their advice. Tell them you got their number from an ExplorOZ member. Whether you need one if only on the GRR is debatable. For myself with the affordable cost of sat phones I would not travel without one.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 856720

Follow Up By: Member - KBAD - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 22:43

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 22:43
Ania easy way out if you buy second hand or borrow one is to then enable international roaming on a (preferable Telsta sim card) pop it in the phone and you can make and receive calls with out the expense of the satellite plan which is one of the real killers cost wise, mind you the calls at international rates aren't low but it is for emergency's anyway.
1
FollowupID: 856722

Follow Up By: Ania - Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 23:10

Wednesday, Aug 05, 2015 at 23:10
I'm not sure if I understand correctly Karl. Does it mean that I can buy a special Telstra SIM card, put it into a normal mobile phone (with enabled roaming) and I will be able to make receive calls by using satellites?
The Telstra coverage map shows clearly that there is absolutely no coverage in the Kimberley region.

0
FollowupID: 856725

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 07:16

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 07:16
I'm pretty sure it has to be a post paid Telstra sim. It won't work with a pre paid. I've been wrong before though.....
Ania, if you are young and healthy and sticking to the main roads, then you can probably get by without a sat phone. I've been wrong before though......
0
FollowupID: 856729

Follow Up By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 08:03

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 08:03
Have a look at this Caravaners Forum thread Sat Phone to Telstra It may help you.
0
FollowupID: 856730

Follow Up By: TomH - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 08:33

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 08:33
I think you are worrying a bit too much We bought a Sat phone and an HF Radio and never "Needed" either
I ended up selling the HF halfway around the country and only used the satfone on the Nullabor when we had forgot about the change of time zones and were much later than we thought.

The Sat phone to use a Telstra Sim has to be an Iridium model like a Motorloa 9505. The sim has to be on a Plan (not prepaid) and internationally roamed and can be taken out of your cellular phone and put in the satfone.
Calls will cost $4 a minute both to and from the satfone.

If you drive carefully and dont speed you shouldnt have any problems but be prepared for a wait for other traffic at times.
0
FollowupID: 856733

Follow Up By: Member - KBAD - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 09:58

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 09:58
Ania you still need the sat phone to use the sat system but you can use a telstra sim card with international roaming enabled in the satellite phone instead of a sim card from telstra with the satellite setup, which can be fairly expensive depending on the plan you have chosen.
0
FollowupID: 856741

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 10:07

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 10:07
Karl, a prepaid sim won't work and international travelers have a hard time getting a sim on a plan.
0
FollowupID: 856744

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 22:33

Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 at 22:33
Yep. Haven't used ours also. But it fits nicely in the first aid box.

Phil
0
FollowupID: 857720

Reply By: Member - tommo05 - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 11:09

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 11:09
While I agree with the sentiments that you really don't need one for where you are going, if you do choose to hire I found these guys excellent when I hired one for Cape York last year:
http://www.satellitehire.com.au/

They can organise pick up and drop off, probably at Broome or Kunnunnurra, their service is excellent and I highly recommend them.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 588919

Reply By: Member - Chargergirl76 - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 11:21

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 11:21
As has been mentioned, maybe consider buying a second hand one. And yes they work on post-paid (plan) with Telstra. We have a $10 per month plan and it all works fine with our sat phone. We've only had to use it once in about the six years we've had it, but we were glad we had it. We also carry a SPOT Personal Tracker with us as a backup, as well as our normal phones and CB. We have broken down previously and if there are people around they will stop and do whatever they can to help, we had road trains pulling up to make sure we were ok! so I'm sure you'll be fine.

AnswerID: 588921

Reply By: 1952 - Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 13:49

Thursday, Aug 06, 2015 at 13:49
We purchased an InReach satellite communicator for our travels in outback SA and across the Simpson Desert. Not as costly as a Sat Phone, but allows for messages to be sent AND received.
Thought it was better than devices that are only for use in life - threatening situations .. being delayed from expected arrival times due to a flat tyre or a flooded track can be notified to family easily.
We had family and friends following our progress on a map .. way points can be updated from as little as every 10 mins (good if hiking in rough terrain), to every 4 hours ( suitable for general driving on designated roads,) and other frequencies, as seem appropriate.
Can send normal SMS messages if desired, although, not photos.
We have lent it to friends at the moment, and they are about to head south from Gregory National Park in the N.T. into far more remote tracks .. hopefully there will be no emergency, but if there is, they can notify us, or in a life - threatening event, push the red button and notify the appropriate rescue authority.
Our last bill was $24.
Should emphasize that we wanted a device that allowed for an acknowledgement of a sent message .. gives great reassurance!
AnswerID: 588927

Reply By: Sat Phone Sales - Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 18:41

Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 18:41
Hi Ania, we're probably a bit late in seeing your post now, but if you haven't left already we can offer you a great deal on a Sat Phone.

For the Kimberley's we'd normally recommend a Thuraya XT Lite. These normally retail for $799, but for anyone purchasing and connecting, as an Exploroz member, before the end of August we're offering these at $729. (We have a limited number at this price)

Pop it on a $15 per month plan with no lock in contract, outbound calls are just 99c / min, inbound calls are free and the caller pays just the cost of calling an ordinary Australian mobile number.

For areas, like central Australia we reckon the Globalstar GSP1600 is great. Same no lock in contract plans at $20 per month. The GSP1600's are normally $499 but we can provide refurbished units (6 month warranty) at $325, or demo units (retail packaging, presenting like new, and new phone warranty) for $375

Again these prices are only until the end of August, and we have limited stock at this price.

To get these great prices just navigate to our website www.satphonesales.com.au , register, pop the item in your cart and use the following promo codes:

For the XT Lite explorozxtlaug, and for the GSP1600's explorozgspaug

Enjoy your trip and stay safe on the way.

Kevin

AnswerID: 589760

Follow Up By: TomH - Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 21:54

Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 21:54
They only want one for 2 WEEKS so hardly economical to spend $799 to buy one would you think.
0
FollowupID: 857701

Follow Up By: Sat Phone Sales - Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 22:34

Friday, Aug 28, 2015 at 22:34
You are quite right. But we've found most people will probably have on going intermittent usage - when an outright purchase is about the cost of a two to three week rental (GSP1600), people often swing that way.

The XT-Lite is not $799, right now it's $729. This is what we recommend for the far north, the GSP1600 will work in that area but with reduced availability.

All in all, it depends what you want. Emergency only, stay in touch 24/7, the occasional catch up... There is no "best phone", "best plan" or "best rental" - it depends on what your short term and longer term needs are.

Just made a suggestion.. and member offer.



0
FollowupID: 857703

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)