SatPhone Users - a Question for You

Submitted: Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:37
ThreadID: 66809 Views:2681 Replies:7 FollowUps:18
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I use a Motorola 9505A on the Iridium network. I don't have it on a contract, I just slip my Next G SIMcard in and it works fine.

To make a call I have to emulate international dialing ie, if I was ringing a fixed phone I would select:

+ 61 (drop the zero from the area code) 8 9567 9567.

Ringing a mobile also requires the first zero of the number to be dropped.

So my question is: if I have to select + 61 (drop the zero) then use the rest of the number, How do I ring 000 (triple zero) if I'm in trouble?

What is the emergency number for satphone users?



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Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:44

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:44
Hi Gone Bush , I will be watching this one as well as this was a query that I had, in the meantime I have written down the number for the Emergency services and keep it with the phone at all times.

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Reply By: timglobal - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:45

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:45
112 is the global mobile emergency number for GSM and Iridium networks.

Cheers,

Tim
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:47

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 21:47
Thanks Tim, so just confirm it would be +61 112 ?
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:20

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:20
Would be nice to confirm with some official documentation, as i notice the user guide for the 9505A states:

========================================
The Iridium service does not currently interact with E911 or E112 or other public emergency services. Such calls are not able to be made on the Iridium system.
========================================

This information may be old though (circa 2004), hence the need for confirmed information.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: timglobal - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:51

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:51
No - just 112. Anywhere in the world. GSM, Iridium or Globalstar. Intrinsic part of GSM standards which Iridium is based on. Best to remember 112 if you travel at all as 000 will do nothing outside Oz.

Slightly off-topic, for GSM, if you're outside your service coverage it will automatically roam onto any available network, even when abroad and often with no SIM in the phone either. You don't even need to unlock the keypad. It's an approval requirement that all phones are able to call at least 112 and whatever local numbers are (such as 000) with keylock activated. Try it, but don't hit dial!

So my iPhone on Optus will roam onto the Next G network for emergency calls :)

Andrew's information is outdated. At the risk of introducing confusion you can also, within US states, call 911 (or 112) from Iridium (and GSM).

Globalstar is a different kettle of fish technically, but you can still use 000 or 112 in Australia. No +61 required, but it will likely route the call anyway.

Vaguely official reference is here Iridium Plans
Latest version of he 9500 manual (search Google) also contain this information.

Cheers,

Tim
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:20

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:20
Different service providers phones will only roam to other service providers networks in an emergency so long as the phone is capable of using multi frequencies or the same freq as available on other networks.

This may mean that you won't be able to access the Next G Network as it runs on very different freq to the normal 3G networks.
??? 850 meg (Next G) Vs 2150 meg (3G) I think are the radio freq used by the phone companies??
Someone may be able to supply the exact frequencies applicable.

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Follow Up By: timglobal - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:53

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:53
Correct, but the iPhone does 3G 850 (Next G frq) as well as 1900 and 2100. It also does 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 GSM.

Not all phones have these frequencies - some may have more or less - and the iPhone notably cannot access the new Optus 900 rural 3G frequency.

In Australia, 3G is available on 850 (Telstra), 900 (Optus) and 2100 (all) with 1900 being a largely US frequency.

Cheers,

Tim
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:26

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 22:26
Why not +61 000?

I use a Globalstar and I simply dial 000 (and it is a free call), but that signal stays in Oz.

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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:10

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:10
If you are using a 3G card, then why is it necessary to use an +61 ? Surely you can just dial your normal numbers with the prefixes eg 08 123456?
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:22

Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 23:22
Footy I think that, because it's via a satellite, and it is not contracted and therefore not known to the system, the system needs to know which country to send your call to.

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Follow Up By: timglobal - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 00:05

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 00:05
Whilst the Iridium network knows pretty well where the call is coming from, they have chosen to do this so that call syntax are uniform and a user may not know precisely where they are - ie - where does it stop being Oz and start being Indo, NZ, etc.

You can get special regional tariffs from certain suppliers, but the call set-up remains the same.

Cheers,

Tim
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Follow Up By: George_M - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 09:10

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 09:10
For calls within Australia, my 9505A works fine without the "+61" prefix. In fact the manual makes no mention of the Australian country code at all.

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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 10:48

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 10:48
George it all depends on whether you are on a contract or not. I'm not and I have to operate the phone like it's overseas to ring Australia, even if I'm standing in my front yard.

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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 11:22

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 11:22
GoneBush, can't see it.
I ring my place from the front yard using a 9505a and a 3G card. Normal prefix and number. My customers ring from within Australia using the same system.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 11:38

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 11:38
OK. more research required.

Maybe, while inside normal mobile coverage it operates like that but outside that coverage it needs the prefix?

Not sure. I'll drag my satphone out and play around next time I think of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 11:51

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 11:51
I'd be very interested in knowing the story. The only time I've needed the country code was when I was in NZ.
The customers also go into remote areas and tell me that they just use it normally ie normal Telstra numbers. The phones aren't on any contract by the way.
Not saying you're wrong, but I'd love to know why the disparity?
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 11:57

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 11:57
I'll certainly follow this up next time I have the phone out.

Interesting little snippet from Telstra's Terms and Conditions for Mobile Satellite:

6.7 If you use a Telstra Mobile (GSM) SIM card in a satellite service handset/device your service coverage:
(a) in Australia will be limited to the coverage of Telstra’s GSM mobile network; and
(b) outside Australia will be limited to the coverage of Telstra’s GSM mobile network and international roaming service.

I'm not sure what para (a) really means but it's possible that the phone could operate like a normal handset while IN normal coverage and OUTSIDE it needs the prefix. Like most "Terms and Conditions" documents it's as clear as mud.

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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 12:20

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 12:20
Yes, that's why all the 3g cards in use on Iririum have to have international roaming. Perhaps that's what you didn't do ?
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Follow Up By: George_M - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 15:21

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 15:21
Ahhhh! My head hurts.

Thanks GB and Footie.

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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 18:18

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 18:18
George, sorry about your head !! Is that why it's covered up??

Footy, while I still intend to put all this to the test next time I'm in the bush, that para from Telstra makes me think that possibly while you are in GSM (Next G) coverage it operates as you say but outside you need to operate like you are overseas.... maybe.

And yes, my SIM is activated for international roaming.

Stay tuned....
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 18:53

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 18:53
Why would being in a terrestrial mobile area make any difference to a sat phone??

The Iridium Sat Phones work on a Freq of 1616 to 1626.5 Mhz different frequency to the normal mobile networks??
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Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 09:05

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 09:05
Gone Bush, I am very glad you asked this question - as I had forgotten I needed to know the answer (that sounds a bit Irish, doesn't it?). I have straight away written the info on my book with the sat phone - thank you.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 10:47

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 10:47
Glad Oi could help Roothey, after all 'tis St Paddy's Day on Toosdie.

cheers

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Reply By: slammin - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 14:12

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 14:12
It's simple.

Any phone can dial 000 or 112 without a sim card.

Just remove the card.
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 20:05

Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 20:05
If you use a Telstra SIMcard in a Motorola Satphone when in Australia then you just dial the national number (02 xxxx xxxx, 04xx xxx xxx, 112, 000).

This facility was set up specifically to make it easy for Telstra customers to have mobile-equivalent access anywhere in Australia, using the same numbering.

When someone calls you, they just dial your Mobile number, exactly as if the SIMcard were in your mobile phone. They don't need to know if you are in a NextG coverage area or not.

When the Iridium network validates your Telstra SIM, it knows how to recognise the numbers you dial. The satellites can determine your location so they know if you're in Australia.

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