Satphones confused!

I have read up on Satphones .Confused about all the systems and plans,call costs etc And can you only buy sim card that is same as satphone Also wondering if a refurbished unit would be any good.Seen a couple places that sell them.I am planning to go to some remote National Parks .in WA e.g.Rudall N.P.driving from Alice Springs .Thanks
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Reply By: Tony I - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 21:59

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 21:59
You need to buy a dedicated sat phone- a satellite sim card wont work in a normal phone. Refurbed units can be ok, alot of hire units are refurbed. I know here in WA there have been a number of auctions with equipment from exploration mining companies and there are always sat phones available.
FYI you can buy satellite sleeves that fit an iphone- not sure how well they work.
Tony
AnswerID: 598567

Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 22:46

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 22:46
Thanks Tony What I mean is e.g. if you buy Iridium satphone can you only use Iridium sim??cheers
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 23:07

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 23:07
Hi

Telstra post paid sim cards work in Iridium phones as Telstra have arrangement with Iridium. Telstra have "proper" sat plans + sims but allow "normal" gsm sim cards (post paid + international roaming..at least) to work in Iridium sat phones as well.

As far as I am aware no other "normal" mobile phone company (Optus etc) has same set up despite some having sat phone options i.e. you need separate sat phone plan with dedicated sim card....and one of their compatible sat phones.

Cheer
Greg
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 12:57

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 12:57
This is the same one that we have and we bung in a few dollars prepaid just before we go way. But we have been known to not use the funds. We treat it as insurance as the phone is for emergencies only. Not to talk to home or keep in touch.

Our family are not Borg (Star Trek fame) entity members and don't worry about being out of touch for a few weeks etc. Our moto is "No news = Good news".

Phil

Inmarsat phone auction on ebay.

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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 13:17

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 13:17
We use Inmarsat as well.

Never had a problem with coverage, connection or dropout. Very cheap insurance really.

We have one hard wired into the 4WD and one in the grab bag back pack in the back of the 4WD.

Buy a heap of credit (when deals are on - need to keep an eye out as they don't happen very often) and only activate before we go away. If needed send a text on the sat phone and service provider will activate the next credit.

Cheers

Anthony
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 05:58

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 05:58
Not sure how many threads there are here on ExplorOz, but a lot of analysing has gone on over at 4x4 Earth !!
Hope it's ok to put a few links up here for the OP, I also link good threads from here to there quite often . . .

The most relevant and latest ones a quick search found . . .

http://4x4earth.com/forum/index.php?threads/iphone-to-satphone-case.28659/

http://4x4earth.com/forum/index.php?threads/sat-phones.28961/
Lots of good banter between Iridium and Inmarsat systems.

http://4x4earth.com/forum/index.php?threads/satellite-phones-for-touring.35770/
2015 thread, really good info again on reception / drop outs etc.

http://4x4earth.com/forum/index.php?threads/the-real-cost-my-bill-using-gsm-sim-in-iridium-satellite-phone.36717/
AnswerID: 598573

Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 09:33

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 09:33
Thanks PK will check em out .
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 12:29

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 12:29
Les, there is unfortunately also quite a bit of misinformation in those threads.
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 06:11

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 06:11
Have a read of this site.

I got a refurb globalstar phone and have been very happy with it. It is all about money you are prepared to spend on it

http://www.satphonesales.com.au/

Alan
AnswerID: 598574

Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 12:13

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 12:13
I 100% agree with Alan H, a great solution.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 08:09

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 08:09
I renew my prepaid Inmarsat satphone about this time every year before we travel. 6mths and 100 units costs $160 through satphonesales.com.au but there are all sorts of options for airtime.
You can purchase in advance and just activate before you leave.
But even with an expired SIM, the phone can make 000 emergency calls and it will still receive SMS messages which cost nothing for someone to send from the Inmarsat website. Just can't reply from the satphone.
We turn it on at beer o'çlock to check for messages.
AnswerID: 598583

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2016 at 17:41

Thursday, Apr 14, 2016 at 17:41
Just to add that if you top up the prepaid before the expiry date, then the unused units will rollover with Inmarsat. Found that out today when I purchased our winter satphone airtime!
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Reply By: PeterInSa - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 10:34

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 10:34
I have had a 2nd hand Sat phone on the Globastar Network for a number of years when they had fewer sats in the sky, phone was out of the UK/Iraq. Kids phoned me for free during their Telstra My Hour, do not know if this is still available.

Now have an Inmarasat Phone, to me its expensive, especially as my sim is locked onto the org I purchased the phone from, other dealers have sat time at a cheaper rate, but not much cheaper. We seem to only use the phone to do the yearly test out to see if its working.( Thankfully)

Doing it again I would purchase a 2nd hand Iridium Sat phone and put in a Telstra from memory post paid sim card with roaming that can make calls ( We have a Telstra phone so would just remove the sim) , maybe a bit more cost if you make a lot of calls, but who cares for emergencies.

With roof top broomstick mobile phone aerials on top of the cruiser and caravan this still gives a lot of Telstra phone coverage when in remote locations.
AnswerID: 598590

Reply By: Steve B32 - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 11:44

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 11:44
Our sat phone setup

Bought a thuraya sat phone
$15 / month pivotel casual plan

Setup sat phone each night in camp

tell friends & family who want to catchup to call us
sat phone number is an aust mobile number
cost for calling sat phone the same as a mobile

cheap and easy

AnswerID: 598591

Follow Up By: Member - johntoyo - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 12:48

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 12:48
Same system and set up for us, allthough we leave Sat phone on all the time.
If some one finds they can't reach us on the mobile they can on the Sat phone.

There can be emergencies both ways!.

John.
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FollowupID: 867774

Reply By: TomH - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 17:31

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 17:31
Depends on how you want to use it If its ONLY for YOUR emergencies you can use your sim card out of a Telstra mobile thats on a plan and has roaming enabled.

You can buy a Motorola 9505A or a 9555 and when out of mobile range just change the sim into the sat fone.
Only downside is the cost of the calls which is about $4 a minute both IN AND OUTWARDS
That is someone rings you on the satfone it costs them the usual mobile cost and costs YOU a diversion fee to the satfone.

Good if thats what you want or otherwise SEARCH Satfones on here and you will find a $10 a month plan on Iridium from Telstra. Thats the cheapest plan if you want to have it one for calls to and from home.
Our friends were told only to ring if some was dieing. Dont worry if they were dead an email would do.
AnswerID: 598603

Follow Up By: dean ( SA ) - Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 19:34

Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016 at 19:34
As you know the casual plan recently increased to $20pm and the accelerator plan remained at $10pm but neither are now available as new plans.
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Thursday, Apr 14, 2016 at 01:47

Thursday, Apr 14, 2016 at 01:47
Dean, that is incorrect. The $10 Mobile Accelerate Casual Plan IS still available. It is NOT publicised, it is not available "on demand", it is a "back-of-house" plan which Telstra *may* offer at their discretion. This has largely been the case for a long time now (years). It requires a certain approach to be offered the plan. And it certainly ISN'T offered for satphone use, so people wishing to get onto it need to avoid any reference to satellites in their discussions.
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FollowupID: 867800

Follow Up By: dean ( SA ) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2016 at 09:18

Thursday, Apr 14, 2016 at 09:18
It was removed some months back for new plans.
If an individual in some circumstances could access it through a back room deal with Telstra would be to say the least...staggering.
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FollowupID: 867813

Follow Up By: Zippo - Thursday, Apr 14, 2016 at 10:59

Thursday, Apr 14, 2016 at 10:59
Dean, I'm not going to argue the toss with you. That particular plan was not flushed with the May 2015 purge/cleanout. Unless you are a Telstra "saver" who knows something that has changed in the LAST TWO months, I would refer you to thread# 130063 and my followup# 858766. I'm not going to bother to relocate the relevant docs on Telstra's labyrinthine site again.
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FollowupID: 867815

Follow Up By: dean ( SA ) - Thursday, Apr 14, 2016 at 15:14

Thursday, Apr 14, 2016 at 15:14
As I originally said in follow up 867791 it is not available now.....April 2016
The other post you referred me to was Aug/Sept last year....maybe it was available then but not now. :)
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FollowupID: 867822

Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 09:38

Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 09:38
Hiya TomH so the 9505A phone is a reliable one
I have seen a couple for sale for $400- $600 and was thinking of Iridium as has good coverage up north and their costs about $1 a minute. Cheers
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FollowupID: 867888

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 20:38

Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 20:38
Hate to tell you Dean.

Zippo is spot on the Money.

I just got the $10 plan recently. It's still available for sure. I just called up and got it over the phone.



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FollowupID: 867915

Reply By: Member - Ray Dool - Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 18:25

Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 18:25
Hi everyone.

I just bought a refurbed Sat phone from Sat Phone sales for 4375. I am on a casual plan of $20 per month plus calls with Globalstar. current call rate is $0.99 per minute. Great unit for the southern half of Oz. Its a bit marginal from about S.A Border north. Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 598734

Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 19:51

Saturday, Apr 16, 2016 at 19:51
Thanks Ray Dool yes contacted them before they told me to go with another company as you say up north not so great.cheers
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