Iridium Prepaid SIM for 1 year

Hi experts,
me again with another important question (for me).

I've bought a Motorola 9500 Iridium Satphone (yep, old but it works), cause i don't wanna have an EPIRB and wanna have the possibility to make a phonecall in the desert.

I knew there's a Prepaid-Card-Solution for Iridum but dont have the right idea where to buy this.

It should be a solution for one year within some free minutes.

Anybody an idea ?

thx.
cheers

(sorry for my basic and broken english, still learning)
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 07:41

Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 07:41
Heiner

Can't help with the prepaid sim, don't think Telstra who are the Aussie provider for Iridium do them. You might be better off getting one in your country.
But a satphone isn't a replacement for a PLB/EPIRB and vice versa, they perform different functions.
Picture this, you have a vehicle accident at speed, roll the vehicle and are trapped/incapacitated/injured badly in the accident.
As a result of the accident the satphone is damaged/can't find it but the PLB/EPIRB is right there beside you strapped to the cargo barrier, all you have to do is turn it on and preferably throw it out the window so it can radiate its signal as to your location and the fact that life is in danger.
Once it is activated it will work continuously and you can fade into unconciousness etc while it does its work.
There are plenty of scenarios along similar lines and a PLB is far more robust in construction than any phone so is less likely to be damaged in an accident.
You should carry BOTH especially if travelling solo or in a solo vehicle.
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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 21:02

Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 21:02
Peter

I here what you say but there is only a narrow band of accident severity between that in which the satphone is destroyed but you survive and the epirb survives, and the accident where the satphone dies and you die (in which case rescue becomes less imperative so it doesn't matter if the epirb has died too).

Certainly, HF is a tenuous means of communication because of the vulnerability of the antenna. But I reckon the hand held satphone is fine for most land based crises. I used to carry an epirb but now HF, satphone and Spot.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:23

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:23
There are many ways a Satphone can fail, the aerial connection is fragile, batteries can fail.

If your life depends on it, it's worth spending $500 on a device and service designed ONLY to give that emergency signal.

An Emergency Beacon contains a homing transmitter - it allows search aircraft to fly directly to the beacon, even if the Beacon signal could not be localised exactly.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 08:06

Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 08:06
You can get them here



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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 08:10

Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 08:10
Oops

You can get them here

Or try Pivotel.

Also there are some reasonable US based prepaids.
like this

Best bet though is a post paid Telstra normal mobile ( Next G) plan with international roaming enabled. Lots of posts on this.
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Follow Up By: Spana - Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 08:51

Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 08:51
Are you saying that my N95 phone connected to the nextG on int roaming will function the same?
or do i still need an iridium handset or similar?

I'm in the same boat, hope to do a solo tour of oz and will be getting a sat phone of sorts. I did find somewhere yesterday where you can buy ex rentals for about $1500, not too bad

cheers
Troy
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 09:03

Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 09:03
No your N95 wont work as a SATPHONE its a cellfone and neets the network to function

Look on Ebay I bought a Motorola 9505A and all the bits for under $1000


Only an IRIDIUM handset is worth having No matter how cheap anything else is.

Do a search on the threads as there have been hundreds of threads about satfones.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:02

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 12:02
Boobook , Pivotel ? Your having a laugh are you not ? Now what was Pivotels name before the change ? Oh thats right ,was the company who continued to sell satphone time when its satellites had failed miserably making the phone less usefull than an empty can of beer.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 13:25

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 13:25
Alloy

can you elaborate, I am not aware of the history.

I am talking about Iridium as sold through Pivotel.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 14:54

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 14:54
Boobook , previous name of Pivotel was Globalstar , if you believe that a leopard can change its spots ,go for it.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 17:51

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 17:51
Alloy, I may be wrong but I think they were just a reseller of Globalstar.

Today they resell Iridium, Thuraya (?) and Globalstar. I don't think you can hold them responsible for US based Satellites screwing up. Unless there is something I am missing.

Usual disclaimer etc.



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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 19:48

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 19:48
Boobook , Globalstar became Pivotel , Globalstar in Aus was so unreliable it wasnt a laughing matter ,promises of more sats that never eventuated ect , signal dropouts if you moved the handset 1cm ect ,$billings for calls that dropped out within 1second of answering, was a name on here and other forums for Globalstar that you cant print now [modsquad would delete.]
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 10:26

Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 10:26
The only Satphone that will currently give Australia-wide coverage is a Motorola 9500/9505/9555 which connects only to the Iridium Satellites.

You can get two types of SIM card to put in them -

1. Iridium International Satellite Number - an International call from anywhere in the world. Available from Telstra and many others. Monthly charge.

2. Telstra national mobile SIM card (not prepaid, no 1900 barring, International Roaming enabled). Called using normal mobile number. No extra monthly charge. Pay about $4 a minute for outgoing and INCOMING calls. SMS about 50 cents (9500 can't send SMS).
AnswerID: 402798

Follow Up By: WinstonT - Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 14:49

Sunday, Mar 14, 2010 at 14:49
I wouldn't be sure that the Motorola Iridium phones are the only satphones you can use in Australia. What about the Thuraya XT, or any other Thuraya satellite phone as a matter of fact (SG-2520, SO-2510, etc.).

I haven't used a Thuraya phone yet, but the Thuraya coverage map for Australia would suggest that there shouldn't be any problems. Anybody can confirm this?

And last but not least, Inmarsat's new Isatphone is coming this summer, and it will cover Oz too. I'm not sure how these phones compare to each other, but it seems Iridium isn't/won't be the only choice after all.
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:17

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:17
Thuraya does NOT give Australia-wide coverage as the single satellite is only 20 degrees above the horizon in South East Australia.

I've tested a Thuraya satphone and it will not work in South East Australia in valleys or behind hills where you can't see the sky to the North West 20 degrees above the horizon.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 15:27

Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 15:27
Hi Heiner

We chose a satellite phone, and this is probably what you need. Have you compared the cost of hiring a satellite phone? It did work out cheaper for us to purchase.

Recent thread 75768 talks about Spot messenger. Not able to ring out, but better than an EPIRB as you can call emergency services as well as send an "I'm OK" or a "i need help" message to chosen numbers.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 17:16

Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 17:16
I know the OP already has a satphone but others may be interested to know that there are 2 for sale in the EO Trader:

http://www.exploroz.com/Trader/Phone_TV.aspx

One (maybe 2) clicks away.

And they are not mine so it's not self promotion. It's actually promoting the Trader section.

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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Feb 26, 2010 at 15:21

Friday, Feb 26, 2010 at 15:21
GB one is a Sat phone (Mine) and the other is a Sat Tv service. :-))

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Reply By: Member - Heiner B (INT) - Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 19:55

Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 19:55
answering all replys and follow-ups..

@Peter, yes you're right, that scenario wasn't in my head, so i have to think about buying a new version of EPIRB. Do i get one in a shop or do i hve to order one and must wait until delivering (Sydney) ?

@Boobook, thx for the links, a little expensive (prepaid for 12 month)...

@MIKE DID, yep, i have an old 9500, but no GSM-CASSETTE so GSM is impossible.

@Motherhen, interesting information, i will read this thread, thx.



@ALL, I found this Fastwave

PrePaid200
200 Minute * PrePaid SIM Card - Valid 12 months $398.00
* based on call charge of $1.99 min for Australian originated calls

sounds good ? !
AnswerID: 402893

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 21:07

Friday, Feb 05, 2010 at 21:07
$398 sounds reasonable Heiner, if it offers full flexibility of use. We put ours on a Telstra 'plan' and paid the cheapest monthly fee of $30 per month, with calls being dearer than if we had paid a higher monthly fee. We didn't need to make any calls and that is all it cost us.

We 'suspended' the monthly payments until we went away again. We did need to use the phone. I have now cancelled the plan as Telstra will now only suspend for three months and it may be some time before we go away again.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:20

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:20
"yep, i have an old 9500, but no GSM-CASSETTE so GSM is impossible. "

- but your cheapest option for 12 months may still be to get a Telstra post-paid service and put the Mobile phone SIM card in the Satphone.
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Reply By: Realtime Platform Satellite Phone Hire- Friday, Feb 26, 2010 at 15:06

Friday, Feb 26, 2010 at 15:06
HI, you can get a prepaid sim card for your Iridium phone, however it would be a lot cheaper on call rates to go with a 12 month contract which you've indicated is the timeframe you need one for. You're welcome to give me a call to discuss further or alternatively email me at mike@realtimeplatform.com and we'll be happy to assist. FYI - We also do rental phones.
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Follow Up By: ModSquad - Friday, Feb 26, 2010 at 16:17

Friday, Feb 26, 2010 at 16:17
Mike,

Great to see you actively participating in the Forum, We are sure you will bring a wealth of knowledge to the forum.

Just an advisory note so that you avoid being moderated for Self Promotion. Your Business Member Profile contains all your contact details which is where prospective clients can contact you. Providing additional contact information into the forum is not permitted, ie your direct email address etc.
Allowing prospective clients to contact you through your member profile also enables ExplorOz Management to be able to provide you with real life data for traffic directed to you via the ExplorOz site.

Regards
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Reply By: out141 - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:58

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 10:58
Mike, you mentioned using a Next G Sim Card (postpaid) in a motorolla, I have read about this before on this website (archived item)

Do you or anyone else know if it works on any Motorola Iridium phone purchased from either the states (USA) or the UK? presumably they are on the same bandwiths?

Next G (blue tick) is Tri-Band - will this work in a phone purchased from overseas??

Thanks in anticipation,
John
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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 20:54

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 20:54
John

Yes, it will work provided you activate international roaming.

I do this. Calls are expensive, but you don't use it for long chats.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:29

Monday, Mar 15, 2010 at 09:29
All Motorola Satphones around the world are the same (9500-no SMS send, 9505, 9505a, 9555) they will work if you have a SIM card in them that's valid for the Iridium Satellite service.

Any Telstra Mobile phone SIMcard will be recognised on the Iridium Satellite Network provided that -
- it's NOT prepaid
- it allows International Roaming
- it's not barred for 1900 etc services.
- the phone is within Australia
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Reply By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 13:19

Monday, Mar 01, 2010 at 13:19
Heiner, I did a small spreadsheet a couple of years back to look at the way I should address the issue of a SIM card or Global Roaming enabled. We have a similar phone. I use Telstra SIM with roaming enabled.

The break even point was if I was going to make over 50-60 calls totalling +120 minutes approximately. That had to assume I was able to use the $10 of free calls each month. If those calls weren't to be part of your normal regime, the break-even cost was higher again and allow you more calls or minutes.

Look to see what you pay for your own roaming solution cost as the sat phone will probably be pretty close to normal international calls from your own provider. It has to be part of your mix in your decision.
Cheers,
Who?
John

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