Satellite phones

Submitted: Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 00:30
ThreadID: 33739 Views:2462 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
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While my husband is keen to get one before the Government subsidy runs out at the end of this year, I would like to question why it is running out - must be a reason. Will the system change like it is going to with CDMA & GSM? Also to qualify for the subsidy, you have to live or work in an area without regular coverage. Wanting to travel in the outback isn't a good enough reason. Who has a sat. phone? What is your experience? Is yours one you can put your SIM card from your regular mobile in it? Can you have a SAT phone not on a plan but activate it only when travelling? What are the running costs (aside from calls)? Any feedback appreciated.

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Reply By: Muzzgit (WA) - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 00:50

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 00:50
I was talking to a gentleman (that's being kind) at a CB shop today who recons it's worth looking at hiring one and splitting the cost between all involved in the trip.

Obviously this could get tricky if some will not be with you for the whole trip, and working out "who pays what" may need some discussion, but these issues aside, the cost may not be so bad if split with others.

If for work only, then at least it's a tax deduction.
AnswerID: 171848

Reply By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 06:52

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 06:52
I looked at the idea of haveing a dual system phone as like the Globalstar ,CDMA/Sat and would have got the Subsidty because as part of my business i do go to remote coverage area's but my decision was no because shortly all you would have left on that phone is Satellite cover, CDMA will be gone in 18 months, Somthing new and better will replace it before then, maybe G3/Sat so I would be hanging off until then.
And also you would not get the subsidy just for very occasional trips or holiday journey's to the outback, Of course you could get a 1 system Satellite phone but I don't see any subsidies there either.What ever we buy these days is obsolete in a very short time , some will scoff at this prediction but CDs are going to vanish ,I don't use them anymore in my car for music, I use an SD card of 1GB about the size of a 20c bit with 320 songs on it .

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AnswerID: 171850

Reply By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 08:04

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 08:04
Hi there Motherhen

we've just gotten a Sat phone and did qualify for the subsidy, the subsidy is running out [so I am told] because there is only a certain amount of money allocated for it. We chose after much research and comparison, a Motorola Irridium Sat phone, which is just purely a sat phone, we are on a $30 month plan, the phone cost us $500 after the subsidy, and we got a heap of extras with it. We decided against the globalstar as we felt the call costs too high on the gsm/sat, and the gsm network was vodaphone and we felt we wouldn't use that network.

Travelling into the outback is a valid reason, provided you are able to provide them with your upcoming trips, if you are going for a one off trip totalling say 8 weeks, you won't qualify, but if you provide them with all the trips you intend to do over the course of the year, they total them up. When working it out, the fella told me to include weekends, as well as long trips and add them all up, provided it was about 6 months worth, you should qualify. You also need to make it clear that you intend to travel for the next year or so as well.

call costs are on the telstra countrywide, not sure about sim cards, but, we believe if you have international roaming you might be able to use a normal sim.

Hope all that is clear, feel free to contact me if you'd like to chat further about it.


AnswerID: 171862

Follow Up By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 08:22

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 08:22
hi ya budeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
FollowupID: 427362

Follow Up By: HK - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 18:00

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 18:00
Hi Lyn
I am also looking at getting the Motorola Sat phone .Please advise where and how you got the subsidy as I have been told cost would be $70.00 per month and phone $1000.00 with subsidy.

Thanks HK
FollowupID: 427501

Follow Up By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 18:04

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 18:04
Hi, I got it through Telstra,..and applied for the subsidy via the satelite phone subsidy website - you can download the docs, I went to the store with the letter, and I got the phone, and to be honest, the telstra people I dealt with didn't know what they were doing, so I may have gotten a bargain!...Crazie got the same deal
FollowupID: 427503

Follow Up By: HK - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 11:26

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 11:26
Hi Lyn Thanks for replying,could you tell me to which Telstra store you went and what you told them. Thanks
FollowupID: 427675

Follow Up By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 14:10

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 14:10
hi HK, email me and I'll give you details...

click on the rig pic, you'll get the addy..


FollowupID: 427708

Reply By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 08:14

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 08:14
Hi Motherhen

I just got my sat Phone. I live in Melbourne and the subsidy is not just about living outside the gsm/cdma network. I detailed our trips/weekends and was able to get the subsidy.
I got the same phone as Lyn and it was the best package, as it came with all of the accessories you could need.
You can have a sat phone if you buy it outright not attached to a plan. You need to be careful that a connection fee does not apply everytime you want to use it or you could get the GSM/SAT phone and go on a plan and use the sim as your normal digital phone and put it into your sat phone when travelling.

Good luck

AnswerID: 171867

Reply By: the real chopper - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 08:37

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 08:37
Two years ago I applied for a subsidy for the school at which I was the Outdoor Education Teacher, we got the subsidy and the phone, no worries.

I applied again for my own business two months ago, and despite specifying much the same areas and longer durations I was knocked back.

Go figure
AnswerID: 171874

Reply By: phantom - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 12:41

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 12:41
Hi Motherhen,
I have a Globalstar Sat Phone with GSM which I got with subsidy. I chose the Globalstar as it was the only phone for which you could get a car kit (about $1200).
I used to pay 15.00 per month but that has gone up to 25.00 now. I still believe it is good value. With Globalstar you can nominate (i think) 3 months in any one year that you wont use the phone and they don't charge you for it.
The call costs to me were irrelevant as it is only really to be used for emergencys.
Mine has well and truly paid for itself in the two times I used it in 4 years. I snapped an axle on the Cruiser in the middle of nowhere and callled the RAC.
Mine doesn't have a sim card that is uasable on anything else.
I do also have a second GSM phone with car kit and have recently installed a CDMA with car kit. I have a HF radio and UHF radio too. There is not much room left in the front of the car.
Good luck!
AnswerID: 171911

Follow Up By: Member - Andy Q (VIC) - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 15:32

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 15:32
Yeah, G'day Motherhen, Phantom has a point, I to am with Globalstar and have been for 2years, never had any trouble, dealing with them is straight forward.
My phone is an Ericsson R290, probably 4years old by now, bought it through ebay as did a few others on this site.
FollowupID: 427471

Reply By: Kenell - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 19:52

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 19:52

I bought a secondhand Motorola last year before my trip. Cost me $1000 but I didn't bother with the plan. I arranged global roaming on my Telstra sim and used the plastic card the sim was attached to originally to insert it into the phone. A bit of sticky tape on the back works ok. The call costs were about $3.50 for 30 secs from memory but we only used it when we needed to and in the scheme of things it was nothing. We had no emergencies but it was nice to talk to the kids on Father's Day and to tell my sons about the huge fish I'd caught etc. We now take it with us on weekends into the high country. Sometimes we have had situations that would have prevented our trip but with communications we can still disappear and keep in touch.

Hope this helps.

AnswerID: 171991

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 11:38

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 11:38
G'day Kenell,

I can verify the fish, have a go,

Motherhen, we also had a sat phone and used it only a couple of times in 3 months. I feel it is not something that is used often but well worth having even with a plan for the peace of mind that it gives.

Kind regards
FollowupID: 427678

Reply By: Kenell - Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 18:21

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 18:21

I think you are off the Xmas card list with that photo. Liz was thrilled !!!!!

AnswerID: 172163

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