A satphone dummy needs info

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 12:48
ThreadID: 25133 Views:1836 Replies:10 FollowUps:12
This Thread has been Archived
Yep, have to admit I don't know a lot about em except that they need an in car kit for when mobile ?
Anyway, a little birdie whispered in my ear that a certain new satphone could be had for around $5-600. Sat/normal one. I askd for details and he said something about Vodophone. Now I do realize that I'd need a bit more info than this for people to answer any sensible questions.
But what's the feeling , is it a desireable thing (given that I'll get one sooner or later) or is the Vodophone thing on the wrong team so to speak ? :))
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Nudenut - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 13:18

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 13:18
their is federal gov subsidy that can reduce the cost of the phone substantially....
from my experience the phones seem to be around the same price from all dealers.

i am on the globalstar network. doubt if vodaphone would be much cheaper
AnswerID: 122534

Follow Up By: Robert Greene - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 14:25

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 14:25
The grant only aplied to telephones bought in australia thought.

You have to be away from normal lines to yous the system to work on without the lines and saterlight.

GSM is better as it used the Telstra network.

EVERYWHERE ?

I dont think so!
0
FollowupID: 377707

Follow Up By: Member - Jay Gee (WA) - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 14:55

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 14:55
Vodaphone and Globalstar are the same.

We use them at work. It is a dual system - Globalster for satellte reception - and CDMA when in range of CDMA network. And the CDMA coverage for Vodaphone is just as good as Telstra - I suspect that Vodaphone must piggyback on the Telstra System rather using their own towers.

Everywhere ? YES !
At work we drive around the whole South West of W.A. - which in satellelite terms is extreme. Older systems which use fixed satellites over the Pacific and Inian Oceans simply could not reach many of the areas we go to. But Globlstar does.

We use Globalstar in some really tough conditions (reception wise) such as deep river valleys and under Karri tree cover - and it works. The older fixed satellite systems would have no hope.

There is also the Telstra- Irridium system which works on a similar system to Globalstar - and you give as good a performance - probably even better. We haven't tried it yet.

One thing to note - the hands free kits costs just as much (maybe even more) than the phone itself. At work where we change vehicles every 60000km (which equates to less than a year for us) - we decided it isn't worth it. So we have to stop the car - get out and make the call.
0
FollowupID: 377720

Follow Up By: Robert Greene - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 15:34

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 15:34
I know! And the telstra people think it is better than the one they dont even have control of. Yhats wyh the share prices are down. I will never buy T2 shares. Its the other network if you know what i mean.
0
FollowupID: 377727

Reply By: Member - Geoff M (Newcastle) - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 13:38

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 13:38
Hello Jim,
My Motorola on Telstra has a magnetic based external aerial. It requires you to unplug the built in aerial and connect an adaptor.
To that you attach a piece of co-ax which has a magnetic disk about 50mm in diameter and probably 16mm thick on the end.
There are really only 2 or 3 manufacturers of satellite hardware in the world so no matter which carrier it's on the availability of features won't change much.

Apart from that, what Nudey said,

Geoff.
Geoff,
Landcruiser HDJ78,
Grey hair is hereditary, you get it from children. Baldness is caused by watching the Wallabies.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 122539

Reply By: Longreach - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 14:45

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 14:45
Vodafone used to sell Globalstar but they split up and now you deal with Globalstar direct. I don't think Vodafone have anything to do with Sat phones anymore except that if you have a Globalstar Sat/GSM (duel mode) phone, Vodafone provide the GSM network (but you are billed by and deal with Globalstar).
AnswerID: 122552

Follow Up By: Longreach - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 14:47

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 14:47
Sorry, that should have been 'dual' not 'duel', and also, speaking of dual, you can now get dual Sat/CDMA which I expect would be more useful than Sat/GSM when travelling in the outback.
0
FollowupID: 377715

Follow Up By: Member - Landie - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 15:52

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 15:52
Hi

That is correct, except if you were a globalstar client through Vodaphone (when they owned it) you are still billed direct by Vodaphone.

New customers are directed to Globalstar.

We are still through Vodaphone as we pay only $10.00 per month to be connected to Globalstar (and call costs of $2.97 per minute).

Cheers
0
FollowupID: 377731

Reply By: Member - Andy Q (VIC) - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 15:55

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 15:55
G'day Footloose, We bought a Sat Phone last year through ebay(Ericsson R290- $500) great phone ...dual mode. We travelled from Melbourne to Normanton, Darwin....well all over really. We were away 131/2 weeks and used the phone in a lot of places, worked everywhere except Roper Bar( satellight down) and a few other places.
Overall we had reasonable reception, being a dual mode we were able to go onto normal GSM when in towns and in range.
Just a point if you or anybody else are intending to travel with your sat phones, make inquires before you go as to whether there is any work being done on the satellights. As in our case Globalstar were upgrading some systems and we didn't get the coverage we thought we would .........it's worth ring your service provider/phone company ....I rang Globalstar when we got back and explained the lack of reception or service, they apologised and sent me a months plan refund and did'nt charge me for the last months calls ...they were very apologetic.
I'm still with them and am considering just having the sat phone, I don't get much(read non-exsistant) service where I live even with my CDMA phone
andy
AnswerID: 122559

Reply By: Bega Photographer - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 16:08

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 16:08
G'day,

Would someone please comment on my understanding of some issues relating to satellite phones. I also would like to get one.

The phone costs about $1900. To get the government subsidy which brings the cost down to about $600 you have to live or work outside of the regular phone network (digital and fixed).

For a person such as myself, simply wanting the phone for recreational purposes when I travel, I would have to make a false declaration to get the subsidy. This doesn't sit well with me.

To connect to the network costs $200 one off, and there is a monthly fee of about $30. Then there is the call cost at about $4 per minute.

Some informed feedback would be appreciated.

With thanks,
Laurie.
AnswerID: 122566

Follow Up By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 16:34

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 16:34
I don't have a satellite phone but when I looked into the subsidy you were eligible for travel in the outback if you were travelling through the desert areas. Apply they can only say no. You must apply and get the subsidy before purchase.

Subsidy is different for WA compared to the rest of Australia. There was also a deadline for the subsidy. It runs out in the next year or two.

I'd encourage you to dig out the facts because if you travel out west and planning to purchase soon, you may well be eligible and legal.

Alan
0
FollowupID: 377736

Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 16:53

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 16:53
My sat phone is a Motorola using Iridium network.

To use it I simply take the SIM card out of my Telstra GSM phone (which is setup for International Roaming) and put it in my Sat phone. Turn it on, wait for it to connect and away I go.

No connection fee, no monthly fee other than what I pay for the normal GSM service.
Follow me via SPOT:

https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=2d464de362759825a

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 377740

Reply By: Member - Pennywise - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 16:53

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 16:53
Mate, we have returned from round oz trip with a Erickson R290 and reception was good everywhere we used it, no problems at all.

Its now for sale, post a reply if you are interested in buying, only $300!!

cheers
AnswerID: 122574

Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 17:07

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 17:07
I'd like a few details if possible so that I could at least consider it...email jimshire1 at iprimus.com.au.
Thanks
0
FollowupID: 377742

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 17:43

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 17:43
Well, Im clearly behind Footloose in the que.

I'd be pleased also to have more info.

E-mail: laurie_m48 at yahoo dot com

Regards,
Laurie.
0
FollowupID: 377750

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 18:46

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 18:46
I have Motorola 9500 standard model no frills.

When I decided on getting a Satphone I applied for the subsidy which is available to anybody who applies. All you need to state is that you travel in remote areas where there are no communication links and you are eligible for the subsidy. The subsidy expires in April 2007.

I was going to go with Globalstar but at that time, 2003, their contracts were not competitive. Then a second hand Satphone became available and I bought it without the subsidy and linked up to Telstra $30 per month plan(which includes $10 worth of calls).

So far I have used the Satphone in remote places of the country as well as overseas. Have not had a problem with it and have not had a connection failure.

The Satphone/GSM/CDMA combo units are maybe a better option. I will upgrade when the technology improves a bit.

AnswerID: 122593

Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 20:01

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 20:01
Late query. Can different kinds of satphone be connected to different providers, or if you have say an R290 does it have to be connected to a particular service ??
AnswerID: 122611

Follow Up By: Member - Geoff M (Newcastle) - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 21:11

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 21:11
Jim,
The R290 is for Globalstar network. Motorola's for the Iridium network.
From my enquiries they are two seperate systems and standards so if you buy a particular brand of phone you are tied to a particular base network.

Geoff.
Geoff,
Landcruiser HDJ78,
Grey hair is hereditary, you get it from children. Baldness is caused by watching the Wallabies.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 377789

Follow Up By: Member - Landie - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 21:21

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 21:21
Hi Footloose / Geoff

That is correct. Phones are unique to particular networks. The Ericsson R290 will only work with Globalstar.

We have a R290 and have not experienced any problems. However, the R290 is no longer in production, so in time parts/service may be an issue.

Cheers
0
FollowupID: 377791

Reply By: carson - Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 22:42

Thursday, Jul 28, 2005 at 22:42
Ive been using the globalstar cdma/sat phone for about a year now and i cant fault it ,i believe the satellites orbit at a lower altitude than the iridium thus there is less likely hood of drop out and the clarity is excellent and another plus is the qualcomm GSP 1600 phone operates without a battery you can just plug it into a 12 volt supply .The only down fall as i can see compared to the iridium is it is not as yet a world wide phone it only extends to 200 miles off the australian mainland .I think globalstar are working on getting a wider reach with the phone ,i think it only a matter of time before it will be a truly global phone .
AnswerID: 122643

Reply By: Dean (SA) - Friday, Jul 29, 2005 at 13:09

Friday, Jul 29, 2005 at 13:09
Gday Footloose,

I purchased a Motorola 9505A Iridium phone 3 months ago.
Retail prices for the phone only ranged between $1995-$2995.
I payed the lesser price, how could there be such variation.
The Globalstar phone was the same price but their plans were not competetive compared to Iridium.
As mentioned your GSM sim card can be used in an Iridium phone, not Globalstar.
With my current plan I can use my GSM card for 112 calls only, not that I need to use it, the company must put some kind of block on the phone.
I asked at Vodaphone in my research and they referred me to Globalstar.
The gov subsidy has 2 levels.
50% or $1100 off for the lowest priced plan or phone only purchase.(no plan)
80% or $1500 for all other plans.
This is where some shopping around comes into it. So many options to choose, too many to mention.
So far mine has worked in every situation, even in skinny high cliffed gorges with very little sight to the sky.
Bloody wife kept ringing and sending emails, so much for getting away on my own.
Be warned if you buy one you will become a satellite junkie, fascinating stuff once you start reading about how these things work and whats happening up above.
Dean
AnswerID: 122707

Follow Up By: Footloose - Friday, Jul 29, 2005 at 13:25

Friday, Jul 29, 2005 at 13:25
Thanks Dean and all, info much appreciated.
Cheers
0
FollowupID: 377889

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (14)