Satilite phone questions?

Submitted: Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 12:38
ThreadID: 57066 Views:3265 Replies:2 FollowUps:14
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Team, I know this has been done to death but I have done some searches and it’s not clear to me what I need to do. I find myself without reception more often theses days as we try to go away at least once a month for a weekend or 2.
I don’t want to be on a plan I want a pay as you go type service if and when I do need to use the phone for a emergency. Is there something like that out there? From what I can see and read the answer is no and the only way to get close to that is to outright buy a Iridium phone and go on some cheap Telstra plan with international roaming enabled?
Am I on the right track?
We don’t really travel that far from Brisbane but it’s just far enough to not have normal mobile phone reception and just far enough out where the UHF is very quite. At the end of the day it’s to have piece of mind that I can make a call if I need to. It’s not going to be on so people won’t be able to call me

Thanks
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Reply By: Member - John R (QLD) - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 12:53

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 12:53
If you're not in a hurry, an option is to wait and see what Thuraya (link) provides from their latest geostationary satellite. Their coverage maps now show Australia covered, but as yet nobody listed to contact in Australia re service. Pre-paid seems to be one option with them.
Cheers, John
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Follow Up By: Vivid Adventures - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 13:03

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 13:03
without a connection into the Australian network people calling you will need to make an international call...

plus, you wouldn't get the government rebate...
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Follow Up By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 13:15

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 13:15
John,

I did some reading on their site and it looks very promising, for about $1000 you can get a phone and then for $200 you get your prepaid including internet access…that you can use over a 12 month period. Might look into a bit more

Thanks for the link
Cornel Basson - Operations
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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 15:01

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 15:01
Why not just use your normal Telstra card in an Irridium satphone?
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FollowupID: 567036

Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 15:31

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 15:31
I agree - this is one of the best options imho

buy an iridium sat phone off the net (without any plan ) and then u r independent of any plan etc other than your current telstra plan

Another option is to get a Telstra broadband data plan, get it set for IR and use that sim in your sat phone - this is a good option if u r also looking for limited internet connectivity whilst away from home

The data plan costs $29/month (80mb data allowance), you can turn on/off the plan without incurring any fees to do so.

so for 11 months of the year the plan can just 'hibernate' and then when u do your big trip u simply ring up and reactivate the account - if that is what u want
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Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 15:33

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 15:33
sorry meant to add 0-

if you are getting away once a month for a couple of weeks at a time then you wouldnt worry about turning the plan on/off as i have stated - it was just an example to show the flexibility of your options
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Follow Up By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 15:45

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 15:45
I am currently with 3 through work and that uses Telstra if you are out of the 3 zone will my current simcard work or will I have to get a dedicated Telstra plan?

Thanks again
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 23:26

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 23:26
The only way to get Iridium network access without monthly charges is to have a Telstra Simcard with International roaming enabled.
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Reply By: Member - Tim - Stratford (VIC) - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 15:38

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 15:38
Troll,

Your orginal question was spot on. You can buy a Motorola 9505a on the net or ebay that is out of contract. I got mine for $750 a few weeks ago.

As long as you have a Telstra SIM card - can be 3G/GSM or Next G, and it is internationally roamed - then you can use it in the sat phone.

When I'm out of range I just put my SIM card into the sat phone. I generally communicate via SMS so the cost isn't much worse - phone calls are!


Tim
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Follow Up By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 15:44

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 15:44
Tim

Does it matter what type of sat phone or can you use any sat phone with a telstra sim?
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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 16:00

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 16:00
AFAIK just the Irridium phones.
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Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 16:31

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 16:31
It doesnt matter what TYPE of sat phone you use but you must have a Telstra account to use the Telstra sim set to IR option to access the Iridium network

Just a note about txt msg - the Motorola 9500 cannot send txt only receive but I do belive the motorla 9500a and above can do both

What other SAT phones can/cannot do in regard to txt messages I am not sure
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Follow Up By: Member - Tim - Stratford (VIC) - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 16:54

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 16:54
Troll,

Like the others above say - I don't THINK it matters what satphone you use - as long as it is compatible with the Iridium network. The reason why the Telstra SIM works with Iridium is that there is an agreement/partnership in Australia with Telstra/Iridium.

I'm not sure of other phones on the Iridium network - only the 9500 series Motorola.


Tim
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Follow Up By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 22:43

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 22:43
Tim,

$750 - that's a GREAT price! Was that the Buy-it-now one that came and went in the blink of an eye a few weeks back? They all seem to be going for $1100 to $1400 at the moment. Must be the outback travel season.

Anyone want to sell theirs for $750? :)

Adrian
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Follow Up By: Member - Tim - Stratford (VIC) - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 23:16

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 23:16
Adrian,

Yep - lucky Buy-it-now - I saw it originally - by the time SWMBO authorised purchase it was gone - luckily to a Nigerian (I think) it got re-listed a week or so later and I had the 'saved search' active - got it straight away.....phew......I'm now being reminded my loving wife pointed it out!!!

LOL

Tim
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 23:29

Monday, Apr 28, 2008 at 23:29
The ONLY phones currently available to operate on the Iridium network (using Iridium or Telstra SIM cards) are the Motorola 9500, 9505 or 9505a.
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