Sat phone plan change

Submitted: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 19:48
ThreadID: 34224 Views:1794 Replies:3 FollowUps:5
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Just brought a sat phone on the $50 plan and intended changing back to the $30 plan. You get the max subsidy on the $50 plan and quite a few people have been then changing back to the lower plan. Telstra and their agents will oblige and you generally won't be changed the $100 fee. I was told no dramas last month however things have now changed and the gov deparment responsible for the subsidy now know what's been happening.

The group I brought it off have been informed that if they do it again they will be in strife. On top of that I'm told they are systematically checking all subsidy phone holders to check if they have done this. If you have a bill is being issued for $1500 with no chance to rectify the change in plan and the guy I spoke to in Melbourne when registering the phone said they intend getting it.

Don't have first hand knowledge of anyone being billed but thought I'd pass on the conversations I had.

The reality is that the $50 plan is better anyway. The $50 plan costs an extra $480 over the 2years, but you get an extra $400 subsidy plus $10 extra in free calls per month plus 70 cents cheaper per min on call costs.

And I know HF is theoretically cheaper but if you intend making phone calls it's not as a total cost and I found there's more chance of HF not working in many areas on the east coast or near any interference. But each to their own, not knocking anyone.
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 20:25

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 20:25
So what is the per minute call cost on a $50 per month plan?? Michael
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 20:52

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 20:52
45 cents connection and $1.30 per minute. Only 30 cents extra than my cdma.
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Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 22:13

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 22:13

Versus the $1.00 per minute cost on Radtel the HF is still cheaper. Monthly access still works out to only $10 per month. ($110 a year)

Dunno how you figure HF won't work as well on the East Coast. It'll work anywhere. Land, Sea, East or West.

I've got both, and I use the Radtel for phone calls more than the Satphone.

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Follow Up By: Austravel - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 08:54

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 08:54
Hi Geocacher,

True but I made a point of saying total costs. Buying a new HF compared to a new sat phone even without the subsidy can be 2-3 times more expensive. Add in the subsidy and that's a damn lot of calls. I priced the new Codan compared to a subsidised sat phone and difference was up to $5k.

I figured it didn't work from experience with my own set, plus a mates and his fathers etc, etc. We found that anywhere near minor to major power systems and we would have a lot of dramas.

Horse for courses, if you like the radio scene then great, if your after pure one on one or emergency communications then I really can't see how any phone systems can be beaten.
FollowupID: 430689

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:31

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 16:31
Hi Austravel,

I really can't work out how you come up with that figure of 5K when even the most expensive option for HF purchase is less than that, and there's still an outlay for a subsidised satphone. There are still people who can't get subsidised on the Satphone also.

The new NGT Venturer without even haggling can be purchased for $3700. Once you have it there are next to no ongoing operating costs unlike a satphone.

There is no call cost of something like $2 per minute for getting onto scheds, friends or weather info/news.

A good second hand unit can be had for a little over half that. And a 9323 can now be bought for under $2000. A recent equipment broker was selling them for $1500 with autotune.

The Satphone with full subsidy still costs $500 plus $50 a month over 2 years if I'm not wrong from my recollection of what I was quoted some time ago. That's still $1700 over the first 2 years and ongoing costs of minimum $360 per year after that to continue to use it.

Calls to Iridium phones from home cost between $4 & $20 per minute depending on your land line provider, where home can leave a message on a sched for me and I can collect it for free. If I need to return the call via a HF Radtel call it's $1 per minute.

Even if you own your own Satphone (buy second hand) and want Telstra to connect it they want a two year contract with all of it's penalties for getting out if you decide you don't like it.

The HF can be used for so much more than the phone.

It's hard to argue. I only have both as I picked the Satphone up second hand & cheaply, and now I have it I might as well keep it. But if I make a phone call from the sticks I'll generally use the HF.

FollowupID: 430750

Follow Up By: Austravel - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 09:26

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 09:26
Hi Dave,

Only my view point as I don't have any real love of any particular communications, only there for an emergency in our circumstances. Not interested in scheds or chatting with people on air that I don't know. Even doubt the believe that help is just around the corner with a HF as opposed to other forms of communications, again only my thoughts.

Might have been a touch heavy on the initial cost, when I got a quote I thougt it was well over $4k for a new Codan, auto tune aerial, fitting, licience plus phone access and then around $1.00 per minute call costs plus connection fee.

From what the subsidy people told me they really want to give the ok to all applicants but some people really don't help themselves when filling in the documents. Not saying to lie but give full, detailed answers. So comparing to that: Sat phone, Iridium, cost me $500, plan for 2 years at $50 per month (can get as low as $30). Call costs are $1.35 for me to call out plus connection fee of 45 cents. You get $20 free calls per month for that. All up costs for the phone on $30 plan is $1615 if you get the subsidy and on a $50 plan is $1695 if you get the subsidy.

In fact I'm glad you questioned my statement as I've just rung the sat phone service number and found out a couple of great options. If someone rings me from a telstra land line it costs them 70 cents per minute (connection fee of 40 cents), if they ring from a telstra mobile phone with my hour option it costs them nothing for the hour to ring me (in 20 min intervals). There were a few other options but not as good as the above.

So still glad I went with my setup. I've checked this out for sometime now and for my use the sat phone wins hands down. May not for others.
FollowupID: 430921

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 21:02

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 21:02
Yeah!! not too bad considering the poor service thats available from GSM and CDMA!! Michael
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Reply By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 08:35

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 08:35

I know myself and at least one other person, got the full subsidy on the $30 plan straight up. More the mistake of the shops as the took $1500 off the $1995 retail. Happy days.

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