Satellite phone and next g

Submitted: Monday, May 19, 2008 at 19:12
ThreadID: 57778 Views:4890 Replies:6 FollowUps:20
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Rang the telstra satellite phone crowd today to get pricing on using the next g sim card in the sat phone.

They were unhelpful to say the least. Wouldn't discuss it at all, just kept saying telstra does not support the use of using the next g sim card in the iridium sat phone.

So I still don't know what the exact costs will be.
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Reply By: Peter 2 - Monday, May 19, 2008 at 19:25

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 19:25
When I use the Telstra GSM sim in my Iridium Motorola 9500 the call costs are roughly twice the call cost on the Iridium satellite sim.
I have yet to try the Next G sim in the satphone.
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Follow Up By: TD100 - Monday, May 19, 2008 at 19:45

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 19:45
on my last bill,the sat phone with a gsm card in it was $5.50 for 1 min 30 seconds.cheers Paul
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Reply By: Austravel - Monday, May 19, 2008 at 21:34

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 21:34
Thanks, just rang the next g general info line. Guess what? They said they can't tell me the price and would have to ring the sat section again tomorrow. Aaaaah well shouldn't be surprised.

If I can't get an answer I'll go on what figures you've given.

Is there anything I need to do bar put the next g sim card in the sat phone and see if it accepts it??
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Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Monday, May 19, 2008 at 22:04

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 22:04
You must first ensure that the Next G sim card has had International Roaming activated.

I went through the same frustrations that you have as far as Telstra is concerned and for what it is worth;

1) the knowledge of Sat phones and how they interact with the telstra network by testra sales people is pathetic - they just don't understand - even in country towns like Wagga where a) sat phones are used and b) there are lots of 4x4 enthusiasts - they just do not have any real knowledge - I really think that the Telstra shops are just fronts for signing up new contracts (do you want chips with that? :-) - product knowledge (in most cases) takes second place to this function (IMHO)

2) You will get more sensible and 'real life' answers about Sat/Telstra from this forum than you will from Telstra - what have I just said!! - I know I will live to regret that statement one day :-)))

3) Unless you are using the sat phone for 'general calling' rather than 'emergency only' then (in my opinion) the cost isn't relevent. I have had sat phones now for about 5 years and in all honesty I have only 'had' to use it for real once. And I have no idea what that call cost me. Have never even bothered to check the account. But I wouldnt go anywhere without it.

hope this helps
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 08:54

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 08:54
I Like the idea of using my Next G SIM but can someone help me out on how this works for someone wanting to give me a call?

When on straight iridium it was 0011 61 and the number is this still the case when I'm in Oz using my next G sim in my iriduim phone? And I presume that they are dailing the next G number.

Kind regards
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 09:18

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 09:18
Thanks Kiwi,

Have the sim set to int roaming. I've also only ever used it once for a breakdown and call costs were worth it.

Thanks again.
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Reply By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Monday, May 19, 2008 at 22:36

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 22:36
You may have already seen this doc MobileSat pricing page 21 refers to the use of a GSM SIM and has that calls are $2.00 per 30s plus 40c connection. Perhaps (and without any better information) NextG is the same?

An Iridium prepaid card from the US is around A$180 delivered for 75mins which must be used within a month. Depends where and what you want the phone for. The $10 Telstra casual setup that can be canceled and reactivated at anytime suits my use best. Phone's for emergencies and the "we've arrived at x - all's well" SMSs.

Adrian
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 09:20

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 09:20
Thanks Adrian,

I'll check into the casual setup plan, sounds like the plan I need for the use I have.

Thanks.
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:51

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:51
Hi Adrian,

Is your casual plan for gsm?? I spoke to the sat mob and they don't have one so assume it's for the gsm network.
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Follow Up By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 22:09

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 22:09
Yes, GSM (or NextG) in a 9505a. Sorry about the confusion.

Adrian
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 22:51

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 22:51
Thanks for that.

So when you don't need the sat phone you simply cancel the $10 next g sim/phone plan.

I'm guessing you either don't need it for a mobile phone or have another plan for a mobile phone.

Thanks
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Follow Up By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 00:12

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 00:12
Yes, that's right. My mobile is provided for work with "fair personal use" permitted. A couple of long satphone calls (albeit in an emergency) wouldn't be a good look so for the sake of $10 it's an easy solution.
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 22:29

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 22:29
Thanks Adrian. Looks like it's a good set up.
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Monday, May 19, 2008 at 23:18

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 23:18
My local T shop reluctantly ordered a Sat handset for me and simply refused to believe that my SIM would work in it and has persistently tried to get me onto a contract.

I will use my Next G SIM because I don't want a separate phone number and it's use will be minimal.



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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 09:29

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 09:29
AdrianLR posted a link to a Telstra pricing document.

In that document, on page 22, it says:

"if you are using a Telstra Mobile (GSM) SIM card in a satellite service handset your service coverage will be limited to the coverage of Telstra's GSM mobile network."

Can anyone confirm they have used their Next G simcard, in their satphone, OUTSIDE the Next G coverage areas?

Otherwise it IS a plan for me and the T shop will be gloating. We can't have that.



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Follow Up By: Member - John H (WA) - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 10:40

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 10:40
I can't comment on the NextG sim cards, but have definitely used my regular telstra GSM sim card (intl roaming enabled) in my sat phone (9505a) well outside the GSM network coverage with no problems.

Hopefully somebody else can confirm that the NextG sim's work the same for you.

John
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Follow Up By: Member - Tim - Stratford (VIC) - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 19:49

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 19:49
Gone Bush & John,

I can confirm the NextG (Telstra) SIM card will work outside the coverage area when in an Iridium satphone.

Used our 9505a all around the High Country this month - no probs - apart from in valleys with steep and narrow 'walls' - it cuts down reception a bit - can still make a call/SMS though.


Tim
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:55

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:55
Hi Tim,

Tonight I put my inter roaming enabled next g sim into the sat phone and tried ringing. The message I get is that the phone can only be used for emergency phone calls. Tried removing the card, clean and reinsert. Still no good, "this phone can only be used for emergency calls".

Any ideas?

Did you have to do anything else to get your's to work?

Thanks
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Follow Up By: Member - Tim - Stratford (VIC) - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 21:26

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 21:26
Austravel,

What sort of sat phone do you have?

I believe that the only NextG SIM/Satphone combination works with a Motorola Sat Phone and a Telstra NextG SIM. I may be wrong but I think the NextG SIM must be contract and not pre-paid.

Telstra and Iridium have a partnership that allows the billing of calls from Iridium to Telstra - hence your NextG SIM works.

I don't think any other sat phones , apart from Motorola, can access the Iridium network.

Tim
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 22:58

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 22:58
Hi,

Yep that's what I've got, a motorola on the telstra/iridium network and a next g sim card from a mobile phone plan of $20/mth.

Tried again didn't work so rang Telstra. Got passed to a few other departments, finally told you've got to ring the sat phone mob. Told them they can't/won't help and they said ring you, they said we can't help try the sat mob again. The sat phone mob say they won't give support as they don't offer this as an option. Best way is to have a plan in their opinion. Of course.

I'll try again tomorrow but if it doesn't work I'm stuck, telstra won't give advice and I've no idea how to sort it out. If all you've done is put your next g sim in and it worked then there's a glitch in mine somewhere.
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Follow Up By: Member - Tim - Stratford (VIC) - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 00:02

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 00:02
Austravel,

Hmmm, I'm starting to run out of ideas....

The only couple of things I can add is, when you put your SIM card in, don't turn the phone on until you're outside in a strong signal spot, ie - clear view of sky. When I power mine up it starts then the display reads registering (with satellite system) and after a few seconds 'locks on'. The signal strength meter will then display the appropriate strength.

The last thing is to check your battery is ok. The earlier Motorola 9505a's had a glitch in the ROM/Software. This was fixed free of charge by Motorola. I know a few on issue to AFP members in Timor died and had to have the software upgraded.

If you do a 'Google' on 9505a recall or similar you will find the serial numbers of the effected phones. The problem would manifest itself as a battery error as if the battery was dead.

Hopefully I've helped a bit. :-)



Tim - Stratford.
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Follow Up By: Member - Tim - Stratford (VIC) - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 00:07

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 00:07
Austravel,

I just found the site with the recall serial numbers. If your phone serial number begins with "300014xxxxxxx" then it may be effected. It is recommended not to let the battery run completely flat.

I don't think this would give the problems you are experiencing.


Tim
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 22:36

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 22:36
THanks Tim, I'll try as you suggest with powering up. I agree, I doubt the battery will be the cause of my dramas. However thanks for the tip. I'm pretty sure this has been checked when the phone was in for a small drama we had but will certainly double check.

Will let you know if I sort out the problem. Telstra is still resisting helping as they want me on a plan. Keep giving me all sorts of reasons, "not tested using non sat phone sim so if they help could be liable if it fails when I need it". I replied so if the sat phone on a plan and correct sim fails when I need it they will then be liable. There was a bit of back peddling at that point.

In reality they want me on a plan and the best way is to give no support for anything else. Even though they'll still get $$ from calls at a higher rate.

Sadly I won't get it sorted before I head off Friday morning but will follow through when I get back in a few weeks.

Thanks again.
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Reply By: MartyB - Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:34

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 20:34
Does anyone know if it is possible to use a Next G card in a Globalstar handset & make sat calls?
I have just tried the Next g sim in a Tellit Sat 550 and made a GSM call ok. Is it worth trying to use it for sat calls?

Marty.
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Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 08:47

Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 08:47
It is my understanding that Telstra has the agreement with Iridium ONLY not with Globalstar.

It would be worth doing a thread search on this as I have seen the answer posted previously, but not having a Global unit I didnt really take note.

I am pretty sure what I have posted above was the 'guts' of the post though.
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Follow Up By: MartyB - Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 20:43

Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 20:43
Thanks Kiwiangler,
That's what I thought. I tried my NextG sim in the handset & could only make GSM calls.
from Marty.
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