Converting from Telstra post-paid to pre-paid for use in sat-phone

Submitted: Monday, Feb 01, 2016 at 18:55
ThreadID: 131525 Views:3690 Replies:9 FollowUps:44
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With Telstra shifting their cheapest post-paid plan from $10 to $20 per month I decided to cancel the plan (I didn't want to because I was happy to pay $10 for set & forget convenience). After calling Telstra to cancel the customer service officer tells me I can move to a pre-paid plan and still use the global roaming and still enable use in the sat-phone. Has anyone experienced moving from post-paid to pre-paid and having the sat-phone work (iridium 9505)?

I know people could not manage this when setting up initially with pre-paid. The pre-paid service is $30 and then you can not top it up when not using it, so long as you top up with 6 months. Works out slightly less than $10 per month. I believe the sat-phone use charges remain the same. If anyone can enlighten me I would be grateful.

Cheers,

Mark
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Monday, Feb 01, 2016 at 20:18

Monday, Feb 01, 2016 at 20:18
I don't know if it has changed or not but everyone has always said that pre paid didn't work. Always been post paid with global roaming. It wouldn't be unusual for the sales person to be wrong.
I hope it has changed for you.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 07:25

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 07:25
Sadly I too cancelled my Sat SIM when it went from $10 to $20 per month ( unannounced I might add). I have decided to just use my main Telstra SIM as a backup for the moment or go get a post paid SIM on a contract and go though that drama for big trips.
To be honest I would be stunned if
1)The Prepaid sim works.
2)Anyone deailing with customers would even have a clue that any SIM would work with a Sat phone.
It could be right though, I guess the only way to know is to test it. It woud be interesting.
Now that Inmarsat has a reliable service again that may be worth considering. User SatPhone sales may be able to shine some light on cheaper plans. I recall that some were nearly as cheap as $10 per month.
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Reply By: Ron A - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 07:49

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 07:49
The information here may help.

Telstra Prepaid International Roaming

Seems that things have changed. This should work in a Sat Phone as what is required is International Roaming ability.

Would pay to check before heading bush.
AnswerID: 595797

Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 12:25

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 12:25
My prepaid phone has had international roaming enabled since 2011. Havent tried the sim in a Sat fone though as when I had one prepaid didnt work and I used my normal postpaid sim.

I understand its the billing as well as the roaming that governs what you can use and that is problably to do with the Sim card not the phone.

Maybe someone can try it and see what happens
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 12:28

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 12:28
After discussion with Telstra's "back-of-house" people last year, it is my clear understanding that only post-paid will be facilitated on Iridium service (I didn't ask about other satellite systems) due to billing requirements/policy. Although it wasn't explicitly stated, I suspect that liability if pre-paid credit was exhausted in a life-threatening situation (aka old-fashioned a##e-covering) was behind that decision.
Whether things have changed in that regard I have no idea, but it would be a welcome addition to the options available to travellers.
I should add that at the time of that discussion (October 2015) I was migrating a pre-paid number to the $10 post-paid plan to replace my then-current satphone post-paid number.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 10:50

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 10:50
000 should work without call credits.
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Reply By: Zippo - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 16:05

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 16:05
As I have mentioned a number of times on this topic, the $10/month post-paid "Mobile Accelerate Casual Plan" is still current/available. This is my latest bill (received yesterday) ....



Telstra mailed all affected account holders last year regarding the $10 increase. Those on a $10/mo plan who weren't contacted were on THIS plan which was one of only a couple NOT affected by the increase. I have in a previous thread provided the links to the relevant Telstra documentation.

Anyone who moved off their $10 plan and did not receive a Telstra advice-of-Nov-22-increase may well have jumped ship unnecessarily.
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Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 16:39

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 16:39
Thanks Zippo, I was going to just give the pre-paid a go but I'll call them back tonight and ask about this plan. I'll report back on the outcome.

Cheers
Mark
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 18:03

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 18:03
Mark, by all means try the pre-paid - we would all benefit from someone exploring that. Telstra $30 starter packs seem almost always available for $10 or $15 at various outlets.

It's a bit harder to get onto that $10 plan nowadays. It is not available for provisioning through T-shops, or normal phone avenues. There is a particular approach required. I can't message you but if you contact me via "mynick" at westnet-dot-com-dot-au I'll be able to give you the required heads-up.
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Follow Up By: Supersi - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 19:25

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 19:25
You can only get a $10 post paid plan at a genuine Telstra store. Most are franchises, don't ask me how to tell the difference. Or do it online.

The franchise stores will tell you that the minimum casual post paid is $20 per month.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 19:55

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 19:55
Even online you will be lucky to strike someone who actually knows ANYTHING about Satfones.

Tried and tried to find out so in the end after being told a postpaid sim wouldnt work just bought a phone and tried it. It did but they wouldnt believe it.

Most Telstra shops are just agencies and only some of the big high traffic o nes are actual Telstra run shops
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 19:58

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 19:58
You may have trouble doing it online...cant even find a $10 plan of any type and "chat" service refused to offer anything not offered online ie I assume $10 plan therefore not offered online . Have to go to a shop I think.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Supersi - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 20:06

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 20:06
Here is a link to the $10 plan.

DO NOT mention / discuss using it in a sat phone. The poor dears at Telstra will tell you it won't work........

Just get the $10 plan, enable international roaming and away you go. You may want to disable message bank etc too.

https://www.telstra.com.au/help/download/document/personal-critical-information-summary-mobile-casual-10.pdf
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 20:12

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 20:12
That's the one I currently have and it is now $20

According to Zippo this is the $10 plan that is still current...



Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 20:21

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 20:21
Links dont work on my machine Get a 404
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 20:58

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 20:58
Guys, the Mobile Accelerate Casual Plan - which is still available and still $10/mo - is NOT available for provisioning in store whether franchise or corporate. It is officially not available on-line. It is NOT a plan you can demand. It is ONLY available to be OFFERED at the discretion of Telstra people in certain situations, and Level 1 CSR's rarely even know it exists let alone have the authority to provision it.
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 21:00

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 21:00
Explorer, that plan referenced by Supersi is NOT the Mobile Accelerate Casual Plan. There were more than just the one $10/mo plan, and the one you were on was subject to the Nov-22 price increase, but the M-A-C-P was not as I have mentioned in an earlier thread.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 21:08

Tuesday, Feb 02, 2016 at 21:08
Hi not sure we are on same page but here is my last bill



I assume its is the same plan as posted by Supersi but now $20.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: dean ( SA ) - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 08:29

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 08:29
The accelerate plan looks good but I think the other casual plan is better as it includes all local calls/sms.
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 09:50

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 09:50
Greg, no that isn't the Mobile Accelerate Casual Plan. That's why it is $20/mo now.

Dean, the Accelerate is better if the SIM is ONLY for a Satphone, where call costs aren't related to the plan itself but are determined by Iridium and passed on (no doubt inflated) by Telstra. If a SIM plan is for dual use (mobile mostly and satphone on occasional trips) then the Accelerate would not be the best choice.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 10:53

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 10:53
? I never said I had the "Mobile Accelerate Casual Plan" - I was referring to the link posted by Supersi for the "Telstra Mobile Casual Plan" (which is what I have) and pointing out that it is now $20/month not $10/month, as the link to the pdf he posted indicates (i.e. the pdf for the "Mobile Casual Plan" is out of date).

You need to read the posts in order..think you skipped one or two and have become confused (easy enough)

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 15:39

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 15:39
Greg, when you mentioned being on the same page I thought you meant me/my_bill and you/your_bill.

Anyway, what matters is there are two plans being discussed - one was/is $10/mo and one was $10 and is now $20. Plan names are similar enough to cause confusion.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 15:41

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 15:41
No worries

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 17:05

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 17:05
Ok Thanks Zippo.

I was on the Telstra casual plan, the one that went up to $20 per month. So I called the Telstra number 132200. Luckily, despite me cancelling it 2 weeks ago, Telstra didn't do it for some reason.

They confirmed that I could transfer to the Mobile Accelerate Casual Plan and that it is $10 per month.

They did it all on the phone. All good though I will check that I don't have to get interntional roaming etc enabled again.

Thanks Zippo.

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 19:11

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 19:11
Just changed mine over to the Mobile Accelerate Casual Plan via 132200 as well after being unable to do it online yesterday. Thanks Zippo and Boobook for tips and motivation.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 20:59

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 20:59
Change over complete (existing international roaming setting not affected). Now just have to try and turn off incoming SMS's and Message Bank notifications which have been a cause of unsolicited costs in the past.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 21:17

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 21:17
Neither should cost you anything unless you access the messagebank
Inward SMS are free to recipient Calling your message bank is 25c I think

The only reason I got extra costs was because it was trying to connect to the internet endlessly so I turned access off. Stopped that quickly.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 21:26

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 21:26
Not my experience - once GSM sim is placed into a sat phone (and turned on at least once) its is completely different set of rules/cost to the same sim when in a "normal" phone as calls/sms need to be transferred from digital network to iridium sat network - for which you get charged extra.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 21:31

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 21:31
What Greg said.

$1.50 per received SMS.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 08:22

Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 08:22
Having followed this and previous discussions on the cost of monthly access, which I ‘m still unsure of whether it is $10 or $20 – what is the cost of accessing the network for voice and SMS contact under this particular plan and do you pay for incoming calls?

My point, which may not be applicable to some, is that whilst you are getting cheap monthly access is it false economy, when compared to alternatives available (Pivotal for example) given the cost of outgoing and incoming calls?

I use mine regularly, and access the Iridium network via a Pivotel $40 per month plan (the cost of a litre of diesel per day or can of VB). For that I get $0.50 cent SMS, which means I can SMS someone, ask them to call me and speak to them all night (if I want to) for no additional cost.

I also divert my GSM phone to the Satphone when outside the normal GSM network, at no additional cost whatsoever on my “normal phone or satphone” – mind you, I fully understand this is not what others may want!!

And for sure, there are times I go bush to get away from the phone, and when I need to I switch it off...

So just putting it out there for those with an interest, and can I reiterate, I fully understand my point may not be applicable to some and will be dependent on how you want to use your satphone…!


Cheers, Baz – The Landy


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Follow Up By: TomH - Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 08:44

Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 08:44
To the Explorer Oh you didnt say it was in the Satphone Maybe my incorrect reading of what you meant
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 08:49

Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 08:49
You make a good point Baz, ( 2 if you include is it $10 or 20? The thread does somehow manage to make Zippo's clear advice quite confusing).
The upside of using a Telstra SIM is that it is probably the lowest cost way to access a Satellite network. ( or POSSIBLY even less if you use you normal Telstra SIM and put up with swapping in and out). I should qualify it and say the cheapest access to a satellite service where you can leave the phone switched on.....
The downside is that any savings are quickly eaten up as soon as you use the phone.
At $4.00/min to make or receive a call and at $1.50 to make or receive a text, it doesn't take much to eat into any savings that you may make on the monthly plan.
Like any telco monthly plan, the more you pay, the more you can play. And your reminder is worth considering.
Basically if people intend to use their sat phone for anything much more than emergency calls or very ocassional use, then the Telstra $10 plan is false economy.
For me, I hate using phones, but I like having them - if that makes sense.
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 11:42

Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 11:42
Agree completely with Boobook and the latest from Baz. Whether the $10/mo plan is right for you depends entirely on your usage, and not all that can be guestimated up front.

In our case (we aren't on Telstra on our mobiles btw) the $10/mo is for our emergency needs on a typically annual expedition of 8-12 weeks, so it represents $120 p.a. standing cost. On our trips we pick up a standard Telstra pre-paid SIM ($30 value, $15 most places) which extends our coverage and gives us 60 days of credit life. The satphone is for emergency situations only, and to date has done nothing more than be tested.

For Baz types who use it regularly, the usage charges would suggest other deals would be noticeably better.
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Reply By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 09:34

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 09:34
Like Zippo, I have the Telstra Mobile Accelerater Mobile Plan
I received my latest bill last week and it is still $10pm but I have had it for less than 12 months and can't remember if it was on a 12 mth plan or not.
Ross
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 09:52

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 09:52
The Accelerate is a month-by-month plan. No long term commitment.
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Reply By: TomH - Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 18:06

Wednesday, Feb 03, 2016 at 18:06
Ok we have had a good argue about plans now can someone take their prepaid sim and try it in an Iridium satfone and tell us if it works, which after all is what the original poster wanted to know
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 08:53

Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 08:53
Ha,
The OP should get his own thread.
.
.
.
Yes I have been waiting for that too.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 10:29

Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 10:29
Your question has me thinking Silkwood. It also prompted me to change plans thanks to Zippo's response....

The cost of a call on Telstra goes pretty quickly. at $4.00 per minute. Those minutes fly past, once I loaned my sat phone to someone who had a small medical issue. By the time he got some initial advice it was about $65.00

So.. If you have a pre-paid, it will eat your credit then stop working - I guess.
The question the question then arises, do you leave $30, $60, $100, $200 in the credit. Once you are out of credit, I guess you can't call them, and they can't call you. If my friend's problem was any more complicated, I could have easily run up a $200 call.

If the problem is extremely urgent then I guess it will still work on 000.

Having a sat phone that can only call 000 is one step up from an PLB. If The problem wasn't of that nature, like ordering spare parts or non life threatening then a prepaid probably wouldn't cut it.

I guess a better scenario for this is to just take the sim out of your Telstra phone and use that.

My point is....maybe a pre paid sounds like a good idea, until you quickly eat your credit in the middle of nowhere.

It does merit looking into but I think it will have limited value.




AnswerID: 595894

Follow Up By: TomH - Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 13:00

Thursday, Feb 04, 2016 at 13:00
As I have said before I used the sim out of my cellular phone when I needed to have use of Satfone.

Total cost for Satfone use over two years was $8.00.

Family knew not to ring me unless dire emergency so no inward calls ever.
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Reply By: Mark - Thursday, Feb 18, 2016 at 21:25

Thursday, Feb 18, 2016 at 21:25
Apparently you don't need a sim in an iridium phone to make an emergency call to 000/112. I've not tried it however so can't say for sure.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 18, 2016 at 21:54

Thursday, Feb 18, 2016 at 21:54
I think the legislation says that you don't need a SIM in ANY phone to make a 000/112 call.

Or if you do need a SIM to make the phone work, you don't need a plan or credit on the network that is providing the connection.

Cheers
FrankP

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 08:05

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 08:05
Re 000, the rule about being able to call 000 ( or 112) without a SIM or with the wrong SIM applies to GSM and 3G / 4G networks which are technically capable of that and inherent in the networks and phones. In fact you can call even if the phone is locked. All mobile networks and mobile phones are capable of this PROVIDED you have the right frequencies in your phone. Many Optus and Vodafone phones simply won't work on Telstra's 850mhz Next G network, come hell or high water.

For you to be able to call 000 on an Iridium it is different, the phone must first be registered with a suitable SIM, even if it has no credit in it. If you don't have a sim, or have a wrong sm, it won't register. It is different technology.

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Follow Up By: Mark - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 14:42

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 14:42
"Calls to Australian emergency service number 000 are now permitted when no SIM card is present in the handset" - See more at: http://support.roadpost.com/kb/articles/385-iridium-extreme-firmware-update-version-hl15002#sthash.97BTHSDO.dpuf" So could depend on your handset and version of firmware but looks like emergency calls are permitted without a sim in some Iridium phones at least.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 16:37

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 16:37
That is for one model of phone ONLY An Iridium Extreme It seems a lot if not most are using Motorola phones of various models and they must register to the network before you can do anything so they will need a sim in them to dial anything.
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Follow Up By: Mark - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 18:25

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 18:25
I have a Motorola 9505a but like I said I've never tried to make an emergency call with or without sim so can't say for sure and certainly would not rely on it. There is an older post on here that someone suggested you could make calls on the same phone without a sim but once again I can't say for sure.
http://www.exploroz.com/Forum/Topic/81387/Emergency_Calling-Sat_phones_Iridium_and_Globalstar.aspx
I guess the message is if you end up in trouble and you have a sat phone on hand but it has no valid sim then give it a go. However a Sat phone with a valid sim would be much more reliable.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 19:55

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 19:55
Why dont you try it I did when I bought my phone to make sure I could get 000 and they were Ok about it as I explained it was a test call from a new Satfone user.
They said it s good to find out before you are in trouble
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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 20:17

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 20:17
This 5 year old thread says it can without a sim but I would like it tested just to make sure.
Why When I had mine it wouldnt register on the network without the correct sim in it so if the satellite doesnt accept it, it wont know its there so how can you make ANY type of call.

http://www.exploroz.com/Forum/Topic/81387/Emergency_Calling-Sat_phones_Iridium_and_Globalstar.aspx.

I tried various sim cards and the only one that would work was my normal one on a plan with Telstra.

I could send texts to my friends on Optus and Vodafail but they could NOT send texts to me. Tried several times to check.

Some will say it will pick up 000 via the Cellular network Well it wont because it uses a frequency far different to what cellular phones use.
The new model with the backpack and the Thuraya dual type MAY IF YOU ARE IN RANGE OF A TOWER and if you are why do you need a satfone.

The other furfhy is that no matter where you are you can get 112 from a Cellular phone. Good luck with that No tower, no reception, no luck. A few years a go a Ambulance guy told a group of people that. His knuckles are still sore.
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Reply By: TomH - Thursday, Feb 18, 2016 at 22:17

Thursday, Feb 18, 2016 at 22:17
After all this discussion it appears that no one has bothered to actually try a prepaid sim in an Iridium phone to see if it will work.

Shame as thats what the original question was.

I would but I no longer have a Satfone but would try if anyone nearby has one to lend me for 5 mins
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 05:58

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 05:58
Tom, did you see my post above? While it doesn't specifically address the technical issue of a pre paid working. It really isn't practical anyway. As soo as you run out of credit, which is pretty quick as $4.00 per minute in or out going calls no one can contact you. A typical credit of $40 will only last 10 mins, or even less if people have left you a few messages beforehand.

I do agree that it would be nice to test it as a back up though.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 08:18

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 08:18
Yes I saw it and it still doesnt alter my question. Its all very well to theorise about it, what we need is someone to try and do it to prove it one way or the other.

Whether you need oodles of credit will be moot if it doesnt work.

$10 would have done me for the time I actually used mine.
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 19:10

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 19:10
Tom, you'd be welcome to borrow my satphone to try if you want to drop by.

Of course I have no idea where you are, but I'm in Perth.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 20:13

Friday, Feb 19, 2016 at 20:13
Maybe a bit far from Brisbane LOL I could send you a sim card but you can probably buy one from Telstra for $10 or less for a starter pack which would be a bit less than my fuel cost LOL
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 18:43

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 18:43
..I know you are joking a bit but...make sure its the right size sim card (or have adapter handy) - there's about 3 different size SIM cards these days.

My Iridium 9555 uses the "old" big one.

Also international roaming must be activated..sometimes this can be an issue with new customers, maybe not with pre-paid but it can be with post-paid.

As far as using pre-paid goes have to agree with Boobook - not a good idea.

Even it does work (I am doubtful) you can have all your credit burnt up with the phone turned off if people try to ring (and leave a message) or if they send you an SMS as YOU get charged for these messages as they happen (i.e your sat phone doesn't have to be turned on).

I have had my sat phone turned off for months and still get billed for messages/SMS as they are transferred from the digital network to the sat network (this is what you are paying for) in anticipation of you turning your sat phone on.

You will burn all of your $10 pre-paid credit if you get 3 or 4 SMS messages.

When not travelling work around is to take SIM card out of sat phone and put into normal phone (and turn on at least once) if not using it for extended periods.

When traveling with your sat phone there is no work around, just have post-paid or prepaid (if it works ???) with lots of credit. (or "proper" sat phone plan :)

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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