Isatphone pro and 000

There was an Isatphone pro stand at the Melbourne Leasurefest so i thought i would get an update to the 000 issue.

The guy from the distributor told me that it would *never* be able to call 000 but that doesn't matter.

Why is that? I asked.

Because you can't call 000 from an Iridium anyway.

I told the guy I had an Iridium and I had called 000 several times. Then he said well even if that is true, then the operator won't know where I am. I also explained that I had called 000 from my home line and the first question I was asked was "what state are you in?" So what is the difference. And I could tell then where I am.

After a long discussion, he told me that he previously worked as a policeman in 000 and that it was impossible to call 000 from an Iridium and that they could not help me at all even if I got through.

Huh???? It turned me off the company and the phone, what other crap was this guy telling people. Does anyone have an update confirming that they have dropped plans to support 000?

The phone and plans look ok but the support looks very sus.

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Reply By: mike39 - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 08:15

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 08:15
We have the Isatphone and whilst it has been perfect on voice calls/email and sms we have not used it for an emergency call.

Whilst the call from the Isatphone is being made from Au., the call is originating from outside Au. so the international access code to call an Au. number is required.

If the number one wishes to call is 02 67324898 then the procedure is 61 2 67324898.
Perhaps to dial 000 one would dial 61 000? not sure, and not prepared to risk it without an excuse!

However the phone is pre programmed with all the RFDS numbers, so a call to the appropriate RFDS location would be (I think) as good as calling 000 particularly when one reads about the confusion of addresses emergency service is occasionaly dispatched to.

Incidentaly, whilst we have not used it for an o/s voice call (if it works?) we have emailed/received from UK and NZ.
AnswerID: 467059

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 16:06

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 16:06
Mike, no, putting international coding in front of 000 or in front of a 13-- or 1800-- number will not work either. Preprogramming or taking a list of phone numbers you may need is the only way to go with Inmarsat. As most numbers you may need, eg police or roadside assist services are a nationwide 13-- that will not work, a lot of preparation needs to be done.


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Follow Up By: mike39 - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 19:18

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 19:18
Thanks MH.
Very aware of the phone numbers we may require whilst on the road.
But for a REAL emergency the 44mag is a good substitute!
(wounded buffalo et al!)
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Reply By: vk1dx - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 08:37

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 08:37
The only reason, and I mean that, THE ONLY REASON that we kept our Inmarsat Isatphone Pro is because they have a prepaid plan without monthly fees etc that lasts three years. The phone has been used once only when setting it up as a test. I called myself on the home line. It sits in the car and doesn't cost a penny.

If we have an emergency the idea is to call one of the non 000 numbers and ask them to call back. Or call one of our sons and get them to talk to 000.

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Follow Up By: mike39 - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 19:22

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 19:22
Lucky you.
Our prepaid only lasts 2yrs. (730days) before topup/recharge.
But for the features and cost that means, as you say, "doesn't cost apenny".
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 19:29

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 19:29
Whoops. Our's only lasts 730 days as well. I need a maths refresher.

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Reply By: Mick O - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 08:38

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 08:38

There was a stand in the hall that was covering Inmarsat and their Isatphone Pro as well as most other popular brands. They were called MGLSat.

While I always enjoy a look around these exhibitions, I must admit that I was very disappointed to hear some of the advice that was being peddled by some of the sellers there in regards to many products (I'm not talking about the satphones here). There are so many people wandering around there with a little knowledge and a bulging wallet. It was a shame to see people being steered in an unnecessary direction for the sake of the seller reaping more bucks (or just being plain lied to in some cases). Certainly brings home to you the value of a site such as EO where you can tap into a vast pool of knowledge and past experience.

Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Reply By: coral and jussy - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 09:02

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 09:02
On the big loop now and only 6 weeks ago leaving Kakadu we used our Iridium to call 000 when two guys rolled their wicked camper!! Looked long and hard at Iridium vs the rest but you know what when its an emergency I dont want to think about who to call I want to call 000 and I did and was able to help a fellow traveller very quickly and efficiently. I knew where we were and could give the ammos that info myself.
We are able to cancel our monthly contract with Tr Telecom after 4 months so its as good as prepaid for us!! A bit tired of misinformation as well but I guess when it comes to selling products some people will stop at nothing.
AnswerID: 467070

Reply By: olcoolone - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 09:13

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 09:13
We have a Iridium phone with Pivotel and we can dial "000" direct..... just tried it and it connects. Our phone also has a standard local 10 digit mobile phone number making it the same price to phone our sat phone as it is to dial a standard mobile phone....

The Optus Mobile Sat system we also have; you can dial direct.

Most sat phones you can not dial a "13, 1300 or 1800" either and I think this is due to to calls originating from out side Australia.... even that your in Australia.

With the Optus Mobile Sat and Pivotel Iridium we can dial these number direct.

Plus we don't have to place the international direct dialling prefixes before and numbers unless overseas.... just dial the mobile number as normal and hit send or the fixed line number with the area code (03, 07, 02 etc.)

A lot of companies are going the 13, 1300 or 1800 path for there incoming call making it imposable for most sat phone customers to call them.

The other thing is look at how much it cost for someone making an incoming call to your sat phone ($10.00, $14.00 and in some cases upto $25.00 per minute)

We went to the Pivotel Iridium system due to the fact it's a cost of a standard mobile call to our sat phone.... the guys who work for use can call us anytime from their work mobile at a cost of 7 cents per 30 seconds.... cheap ha!

Pivotel call rates are coming down and you can buy a 9555 for $749 on a 3 year $25.oo per month plan. (I think but check first)

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Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 09:18

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 09:18
If you need to be ringing 000 from a sat phone then I think you would be better off ringing RFDS. As you would be in a remote part of the Australia, otherwise use your mobile, and police, fire and ambulance could get you. Who do you expect to help you out their. I mean if you are broken down or bogged don't expect the police to come and get you. So for what reason do you need to call 000.
The plans are great, you can buy per paid and their last for 15 years, before you have to activate them, giving you another 2 years to use the credit. The phone itself works fine, no problem's with it.
Oh just another thing, don't listen to people at shows as they are all casual staff and know nothing about the product. Best get at card and ring the company direct, as you will be speaking to people who know their product.

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Follow Up By: Member - Jason B (NSW) - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 11:00

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 11:00
"So for what reason do you need to call 000".

Are you kidding???????

I my 17 years of working and travelling through out back NSW I have only had the cause to use the Sat phone on a number of occasions only, however I can assure you that it made a difference in real emergency situations.

These have included,

A number of vehicle crashes where people were injured.
Snake bite (Tiger snake)
Medical emergency (A bloke fitting uncontrolably for over 1 hour) the Southcare chopper responded to this one, flying straight to our location on the GPS co-ordinates provided.

As for the cost who cares, they only cost if you use them and if you need one in an emergency saving a few bucks in the mean time will be insignificant.

At the end of the day if you are unconcious and in an isolated area and someone finds you and your sat phone, chances are that the first thing they are going to do is ring 000 or 112. With an Isatphone this will achieve nothing. By the time they work out how to drive it and work out all of the international codes required to just ring the RFDS you may be dead.

This is why you should not PIN lock any sat phone you plan to use for emergencies.

Accidents can happen to anyone anytime and anywhere.



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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 17:29

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 17:29
I want a phone like yours. That way when I am in the Simpson I can just call home. You can't you say!!!!! Thats why we use sat phones and HF.

And thats exactly why we have a sat phone. We can. And they do not need how to use the HF radio either. Just call the stored numbers same as a mobile phone.

Lets say we get bogged in the "real outback". We have a cheap winch and it packs it in. We have tried digging but no luck. Or like me you have a cancer that takes away most of the oxygen in the blood and there is no way I could dig the car out. Bugger the 3G or 4G mobile does not have access. Use the sat phone to call for a tow.

Like Jas said above: "Accidents can happen to anyone, at any time and anywhere".

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Follow Up By: Member Andys Adventures - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 21:08

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 21:08
Hi Jason, No I'm not kidding. You shouldn't have to ring 000, When in the outback you should already have the number and not let someone else find it for you, oh and then find you yourself. Just take time to think about it. If anyone was going to go into remote areas of Australia, one would think about Planning their trip first. EG: phone numbers to the local police,RFDS, farm stations, recovery etc, before they went out and hurt themselves. If you are able to get 3G then your close enough to town to yell for help. So when you come across a car accident, you already have the number, (I'm not looking for it, it's ALREADY in my sat phone). And for another person to come along and use the sat phone it would show the RFDS or police on speed dial, that's if you know how to use it. People that need to ring 000 on a Sat phone have NOT done the homework or preparations needed before leaving home,and should not be out their, as the main reason for a sat phone is for emergencies contact where nothing else works.
I Would just love to try and tell the 000 operator on the end of the phone where I am and how to get their, that alone would kill you. I, on the other hand would have already spoken to a policeman or RFDS. Why wait for the connection when you can speed dial it yourself.
Moral of the story... BE PREPARED.

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Follow Up By: Member - Jason B (NSW) - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 23:29

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 23:29
You have lost the plot. Any person that finds YOU, and the chances are it will be an international who is on the adventure of a life time will pick up your phone and dial 000 or 112 on instinct alone, especially under the pressure and stress of a real emergency. As for your location issue surely one as prepared as you has a GPS, just give the operator your co-ordinates. I have doen this and the chopper landed at our location without issue.

Of course YOU would be prepared for YOU using YOUR phone, however in an accident that can and may happen to YOU good luck with your system by the sound of it would probably be pin locked and useless to any one else any way...........Bye bye.
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Reply By: Member - Jason B (NSW) - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 10:26

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 10:26
I have just returned 5 Isatphone Pro's and exchanged them for Iridium 9555's. They were sold to us as emergency use only phones however the sales people failed to tell us that no matter what you do with the Isatphone you CANNOT DIAL OOO or 112. It doesn't matter what you do, the international dial codes etc before OOO it will not work. You must dial a police station or the RFDS direct and you must have all of those numbers with you. A very CRAP system in my opinion, especially if you are the one lying half dead and cannot explain to mr good samaritan that has come to your rescue that he cannot dial 000 from your phone. What the??????

I have now replaced the 5 Icrapphone Pro with Iridium 9555's and I can CONFIRM that 000 gets you straight through to the emergency operator. They accept calls from these phones all of the time and will direct you to the appropriate emergency service when you call as is normal. It also works when you dial 112. I have made these calls personally so can verify this.

If you have an Iridium 9555 I suggest you call 000 yourself and just tell the operator it is a test call from a sat phone, as I did they were more than happy to provide this service.


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Follow Up By: Life Member Dick B - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 23:17

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 23:17

You can only dial 000 from an Iridium phone if you are using an Australian provider. If you are using an Iridium phone with an overseas provider (we use Satcom Direct in the US) you can't use 000.

As has been stated above by other posters, we don't consider the lack of the 000 emergency number a problem. Our phones a programmed with enough critical numbers to contact RFDS or Police. In addition we have the RFDS numbers taped to the back of the phones.



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Follow Up By: Member - Jason B (NSW) - Sunday, Oct 09, 2011 at 18:53

Sunday, Oct 09, 2011 at 18:53
Why wouldn't you use an Australian provider? Ours are on telstra pre paid plans and cost very little. The availiability of 000 and 112 is a no brainer in my opinion. I have seen passers by try and contact emergency services on HF radios when they have no idea how to use or tune one. To the simplest option in an emergency is the best as you are catering for the off chance that some thing may happen to you and to only people around to help may not have much idea or understanding of specialist equiptment. Of course you would have all of the relevent direct and specialist number programmed into your phone, however I want to make it as simple as possible for some one else to assist if required.



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Follow Up By: Life Member Dick B - Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 00:04

Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 00:04

You have very strong views on this subject and everybody is entitled to their opinion.

I don't use an Australian Provider as I use the phone more outside of Australia in connection with my business. I don't consider it worthwhile changing providers for the few months of the year I use it in Australia. I travel with other people in separate vehicles who know how to use my phone.

In the event of an emergency we would first try the HF as there is always the possibility that help is closer to us from another vehicle. I consider the HF to be a very valuable communication medium and my first preference. There is a lot of Australia that the emergency services may not be able to reach the same day.

Dialling 000 is great if you get a smart operator but there are a lot of them who have no knowledge of the remote areas of Australia.

In an extreme emergency, I would hit the switch on the EPIRB which is always beside me.


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Reply By: Livin On The Road - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 13:21

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 13:21
Definately can ring 000 from an Iridian. And the whole point of 000 is that they connect you through to the local operators, because when your in unfamiliar country, how are you to know the direct land line number for the appropriate RFDS, ambulance, or police.

Most of us carry the sat phones so that if someone is seriously injured we can call for the RFDS or ambulance to come and help us out. Time is of the essence, you don't want to have to find the phone numbers first. 000 or 112 is vitally important, and it is available as of 2 months ago when we needed to ring them.

If the car has broken down, then I'd just be ringing family and ask them to help me out making the phone calls and tracking down the numbers. Totally different situation.
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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 22:51

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 22:51
There are many resellers of this product so I don't think you can blame the whole system due to the experience you have had with one reseller.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jason B (NSW) - Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 23:31

Saturday, Oct 08, 2011 at 23:31
The Isatphone Pro cannot be set uo to dial 000.
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