Need a Sat Phone

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 15:16
ThreadID: 29787 Views:1872 Replies:7 FollowUps:17
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G'day all.

I am about to purchase a sat phone, have relied on HF to date but will add Sat Phone as well now.
I can get the rebate, so wondering if any knowledgeable people on here can guide me to the best deal.

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Reply By: the real chopper - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 16:54

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 16:54
we bought an iridium (of course) in late 04 (for work) and Telstra had the best deals for our expected usage
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Reply By: Member - David 0- Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 17:36

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 17:36
I expect mine will be very low usage-emergency
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Reply By: johannagoanna - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 23:14

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 23:14
I phone telstra the other day about one and the quoted me $1900, and a $50/month connection fee. I didn't even get the details, as I knew it was way to expensive for us! What do you have to do to qualify for the rebate? - Jo
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Follow Up By: gramps - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 23:47

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 23:47
johannagoanna,

Check the Telstra site and check with your local Telstra supplier. Sorry, I can't help you with any definite advice.

Regards
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Follow Up By: gramps - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 23:55

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 23:55
They should be able to supply you with the info you need as to whether you are eligible for the subsidy. You may have to be a bit 'creative' :)))
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Reply By: Member - David 0- Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 23:36

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 23:36
I run tours and do other work in remote locations.

I looked into Telstra plans just a few hours ago. The lower cost plan will have to be it for me.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 23:48

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 23:48
David,

Wife & I bought an iridium last year, through Nixon Communications in Gladstone. Got the full rebate, but are on $50/month, to do so. Total cost was around $500.

Later in year, bought a globalstar for use on station, & as was company purchase, cost $1999, or thereabouts. globalstar is dead easy to use, and also has CDMA, but believe their accounting services can be a little inflexible. Late with payment, and you're off-line. Conjures up some scary thoughts, if caught in the Simpson!

Haven't used the iridium much, but we had battery software problems, mid-2005, and Telstra credited us for the months we were without phone. iridium also has full kit, with external aerial, for mobile work, leather case etc, that are all extra's with globalstar. Globalstar car kit costs as much as the phone.

Hooroo...
Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 23:51

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2006 at 23:51
Bob

Thanks for that info, that helps.

David
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Reply By: Trekkie - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:34

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:34
Purchased an Ericsson R290 on ebay from some mob in Manchester UK several years ago - No problems - arrived about 5 days after. Cost about $500
Connected to Globalstar (Never had any problems with late payments - have been one month late several times - they never cut me off)
They are on dual band GSM/satellite and I have never had any problems.
Keep in mind that Telstra will be doing away with CDMA in a few years and I doubt they will give you a new handpiece.
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Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:34

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:34
If you aren't planning to use it much. Buy a second hand Iridium phone - either 9500 or 9505 (some models required return for firmware upgrade - see Iridium.com for details).

Then get a regular TELSTRA SIM card for a digital mobile on a $10 plan - if you don't already have a GSM mobile with TELSTRA - if you do disregard this bit.

Set it up for global roaming - 125111 "I'm going overseas can you...."

Put it in the phone & away you go.

You'll pay about a dollar a minute more than the "Satphone Plan" call rate, and if you leave the Satphone on you'll pay the same for incoming calls. (You don' t pay for incoming calls if you get a Sat plan, the caller does.)

If it's for emergency use only and the occassional 5 minute phone call you will be hundreds and hundreds of dollars in front over 12 months. (Save between $20 & $40 a month.)

Higher call rates apply if the call originates outside Australia.

Dave
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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:43

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:43
Not sure I understand that.

I would have a satphone with my GSM SIM and becasue it is set for global roaming I can call via satellite using the GSM SIM??? but it costs e $1/minute more.???

Do I have this right?

Msg me if you prefer.

Dave O
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Follow Up By: Trekkie - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:50

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:50
Geocacher, I'm with Dave O, I dont believe you would have Satellite access by doing what you are suggesting.
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Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:51

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:51
Yep. Got it in one. Took a lot of research to work it out. Telstra don't really want you to know. They'd rather sign you up for $30 to $50 a month in guaranteed income.

There's fine print in the Telstra Iridium documentation that reads something like "Calls made from a GSM SIM with an 04 prefix will incur a higher call rate" or similar.

Dave
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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:58

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:58
Well if you are right, that is the answer.

It shouldn't be too hard to test either, just need a sat phone (already have a GSM SIM )and ask for global roaming to test it out. Oh and be out of range of GSM service while having a view of the sky.

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Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:59

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 00:59
Trekkie,

David O didn't accuse me of lying. Merely clarification of details. Your post however is different.

Are you suggesting I would post on something like this without having a clue what I'm talking about.

A written apology here will suffice. Otherwise go and get.....

There are numerous posts over the past few years where I have given gratefull members and guests this info.

I read the fine print. Wondered what it meant. Researched it very VERY thoroughly. Got my SIM set for global roaming and put it in my 9500.

Timed several two minute phone calls to and from the 9500 with the sim it. From a home phone with IPrimus $3 per minute on my mobile bill for the incoming call and normal charge for the home phone to the mobile. For the outgoing call $3 a minute. Same call with Iridium account $1.98 per minute plus flag fall.

It bl00dy well works, and be careful who you suggest is a liar on a public forum. It's very late and I'm a bit grumpy now.

Dave

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Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 01:00

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 01:00
A 9500 won't look for GSM unless it has the GSM back on it. I'm not sure about the 9505 - I think it's the same. They aren't dual mode phones like the global star.

No point buying those either as they dual mode to CDMA and it's going to be turned off.

Dave
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Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 01:07

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 01:07
Terms & Conditions from Telstra site

You cannot apply your included calls amount to charges incurred using a Telstra Mobile (GSM) SIM card for a service (with a telephone
number beginning with “04”) in your Handset or incurred using a SIM card in a cellular mobile handset or device.

Further from pricing info page on site:
If an "04" GSM SIM card with International Roaming capabilities is used in a Telstra Mobile Satellite handset to make or receive calls using Telstra Mobile Satellite, higher call charges to those in this table will apply and customers will also be charged for receiving calls using Telstra Mobile Satellite.

Dave

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Follow Up By: Trekkie - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 01:24

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 01:24
Dave (geocacher), I was not suggesting you were lying, I only said I agreed with Dave O in seeking more information. I will certainly try what you are suggesting. The reason I questioned you was because I have tried what you suggested with my R290 and it did not work. Maybe I did it wrong or it will not work in a R290. My apologies are tendered.
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Follow Up By: myfourby - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 13:07

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 13:07
Trekkie - the R290 will only work on the Globalstar network - only a globalstar SIM will work in these phones on the satellite network.

You need a Telstra/Iridium sat phone before you can try using a Telstra GSM sim to dial on the Satellite network.

-myfourby
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Follow Up By: Dean (SA) - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 14:04

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 14:04
Just to clarify the call rates exactly.
Using a gsm sim in an iridium phone will cost $2.36 per 30 seconds with a .50c ff. The same rate is charged for an incoming call plus whatever the caller is being charged ( their problem not yours )
Also depending on the phone you may need a non-gem plus sim card, thats the pretty blue and yellow one, free from telstra.
Dean
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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 14:16

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 14:16
"You may need a no-gem plus sim gard."

Is that a non-gem-plus?
or a non-gem plus sim card?

which is pretty blue? The non-gem or the gem?

It may just be me but your clarification requires further clarification for me.
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Follow Up By: Dean (SA) - Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 13:39

Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 13:39
David O,
Ive got a bit more time now, hopefully this makes sense.
If you qualify for the subsidy buying a second hand phone is a waste of time.
You can get a brand new Motorola 9505A Iridium saphone for $1,995 minus $1100 subsidy. This a phone only and no contract.
The 9500 and 9505 use what is called a gem-plus gsm sim card, what is in the majority of gsm mobiles.
The 9505A needs what is called a non gem-plus gsm sim ( telstra lingo not mine ) This sim card is blank where the other has gem-plus written.
If you have a gsm phone, whip out the sim card and in tiny writing it may say gem plus on it.
If you buy a 9505A you will need Telstra to swap it over, as mentioned its free including transferring all your info from your old sim. It took 3 gsm sim cards before my 9505A worked, 2 gem-plus and finally the non gem-plus.
When I mentioned all this to the young lass in the Telstra shop she was completely bamboozled. All this info came from Telstra countrywide, call them they know more than the shops.
Finally, you can buy the phone from other retailers, not only Telstra, they will match Telstra's price. I'm in Adelaide but bought mine in Melbourne.
Beware, last year ( April ) when I bought mine I had to wait a few weeks as there was a problem with the phones software.
Apparently some places are still flogging off the buggered ones, then you have to get it fixed under warranty.
Once again Telstra countrywide will give you the dodgy serial numbers too watch out for.
If you decide too buy a phone attached to a contract there are numerous plans etc too choose from.
Hope this is more clear than my other rambling.
Dean

Sorry one other thought. I wouldnt do this but, if you are absolutely 100% sure you only want to dial the emergency number, these things are the same as gsm mobiles, no sim required.
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Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 19:02

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 19:02
Guys, great Sat phone info available on ExploreOz. Try this link:
http://www.exploroz.com/OntheRoad/Communications/SatelliteTechnology.asp

Includes the fact that a GSM SIM can be used in a TMS Telstra Iridium handset.

I'm still trying to work my way through the buy/hire dilemma before heading off on some big trips later this year.
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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 19:30

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 19:30
Doh ! That is what the site is for after all.
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