satellite phones

Submitted: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 14:35
ThreadID: 78216 Views:4561 Replies:6 FollowUps:13
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There are new satellite phones emerging on the market. I would be interested to talk with anyone who has used a satellite phone in the last year or so. What's it been like? How and where did it work?

I'm researching the subject and would like some practical views and experiences.

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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 16:56

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 16:56
They work any where you can see the sky. Except at the bottom of a gorge may cause problems

Iridium is the ONLY network to be on as it has many (72 ???) satellites constantly circling the earth

Most of us are probably still using older model Motorola 9505A,9505,9500 models

The new 9555 is about $2495 so is rather expensive for just emergency use.

To get the government subsidy you must be out of ALL like ALL phone contact for at least 120 days at a time ??? or perhaps per year

I just use my cellphone sim card in it when I want to use it.

Call cost is $3.77 per m out and IN

If you do a search on the forum you will find a weekends worth of reading on the subject of "Satphones"

A bit more information on your intended use will get some more specific answers
AnswerID: 415361

Follow Up By:- Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 20:45

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 20:45
new motorola sat phones available from t.r.telecom in melbourne rebate up to about 700 dollars
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Follow Up By:- Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 20:47

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 20:47
new motorola sat phones available from t.r.telecom in melbourne rebate up to about 700 dollars phone cost is just under 2000 dollars before rebate
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Follow Up By: Linda B - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 10:47

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 10:47
Thanks to your wonderful advice, Graham, I am purchasing our new phone today. Obtained the $700 rebate which has brought the purchase price of a 9555 down to $1,225 + $20 delivery. No complaints from us!

Going to do as you suggest with our Telstra sim. For anybody contemplating this, a friend has also suggested that when you use the Telstra sim, ensure you ring Telstra and request ALL call barring services to be turned off and ensure that global roaming is on. Apparently it took Telstra 6 goes to get it right.
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Follow Up By: lollylegs - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 14:03

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 14:03
The govt have tightened up. 6 years ago the rebate was 1,500.
Go iridium and forget about the rest.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 19:08

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 19:08
Graham, in theory 77 sats, ( The iridium atom has 77 electrons), in practice 66 satellites after they went bankrupt and 1 or 2 fell out of the sky. Still the only usable sat phone ( from the east coast anyway)
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Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 19:42

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 19:42
I just checked out the Application Form for the Govt Rebate, it's not a bad deal re: what they are offering, in my case a small business, around 15 days to assess the application and you must apply before purchasing the phone, I could get around the bit where the applicant must be in a no phone zone for 180 day out of 2 years, might look at it in the very near future.

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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 20:32

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 20:32
I knew some one would pick up on that Why do you think I put the ???? after it

Who cares as long as its a lot more than Global+**** one that dosent always work.

Was trying to emphasise the advantage of Iridium

Thank you for the science lesson
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 05:50

Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 05:50
Pleasure
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 19:31

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 19:31
Tried a 9505 in heavy mist and cloud in a valley in N.E. Victoria and while we made a connection it was to poor to get a message thru.

This was considered unusal by the onwer , reminded me of a HF radio on a poor propagation day.
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 415395

Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 23:46

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 23:46
Hi Discoverer

We use the 9050A on the Iridium network, and get clearer reception using the magnetic on car roof antenna than the short portable antenna.

Previously on a Telstra contract, we will take out a four months (minimum four months) with TR Telecom before our next trip, as Telstra did not allow us to suspend for more than three months.

As the phone is principally for emergencies, we only needed to use it when in open country and it was clear weather.

We purchased the phone two years ago for $2,000. We were not eligible for the Government Subsidy.

We could not use the SIM card trick as our mobile phones are pre-paid and cannot have international roaming.

Motherhen
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AnswerID: 415441

Follow Up By: Steve and Viv - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 14:44

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 14:44
Same. Actually, exactly the same..
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 19:04

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 19:04
Discoverer posted
"There are new satellite phones emerging on the market. "

Discoverer can you point me to these, I have researched Sat phones a lot, and can't find anything new that comes close to a 9555 on Iridium and they aren't releasing anything new from what I can see.

What is coming?
AnswerID: 415540

Follow Up By: Discoverer - Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 09:16

Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 09:16
Apparently one new one is the INMARSAT IsatPhone - I wonder if you've heard about it.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 11:25

Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 11:25
Nice Discovery "Discoverer".

The phone looks very nice with full Australian ( and 95% global) coverage. It seems to be really feature packed and light / small. Bluetooth, Outlook sync etc etc.

Satphone pro

The Australian distributor said it will be released in June / July and wait for it... is expected to be $699 USD.


Very nice.

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 11:32

Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 11:32
More info here.

Press release announcement

From the press release - this should put the cat amongst the pigeons.

"Competitive airtime
The handset has an intuitive GSM-style interface with a high-visibility colour screen, and a larger keypad for easy dialling in gloves.

The suggested retail price for IsatPhone Pro is US$699, although pricing promotions are expected to bring the end-user price to US$500-600. In addition, it will offer competitive retail airtime rates of around US$1 per minute. "


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Reply By: Steve and Viv - Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 00:11

Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 00:11
We certainly have not been given any indication there is a new phone to be released. We are a Telstra Dealer - not that that means much :-)
AnswerID: 415584

Follow Up By: Discoverer - Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 09:14

Thursday, May 06, 2010 at 09:14
I understand that INMARSAT have a new phone called IsatPhone which has a convenient size handset and good coverage.
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Reply By: Mike DiD - Friday, May 07, 2010 at 13:52

Friday, May 07, 2010 at 13:52
Be aware of the coverage limitations of Thuraya phones if you'll be using it in South Eastern Australia.

There is only ONE satellite that's fixed in the sky, 20 degrees above the horizon from SE Aus. If there's a mountain or cliff in the way of your location, you will NEVER get a signal.

With other systems the satellites move across the sky, so you will eventually get coverage.
AnswerID: 415728

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