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Old 04-09-2012, 10:25 AM   #1
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WHAT SATELLITE PHONE TO BUY ? or SATELLITE INTERNET ?

I am going to Alaska this summer and would feel better if I had a satellite phone. I have been researching them on line. Looks like there are several satellite phones and quite a few satellite phone service companies, some with their own satellites.

I do not want to buy a used phone. I can rent a phone. Looks like the break even point is around three months, depending of course, on which phone and service you get. I think renting will be best for me. I may not need one again for a long time.

Phones for which the manufactures also provide the satellite service are Iridium, Global Star, Thauraya, and Irimmarsat. Some service providers offer cheaper rates and a US phone number you go through, which would be great while in Canada. Some offer internet service.

Does anyone have any experience or recommendations? I am looking for reliable rather than just the cheapest.

OR

Maybe I am going about this wrong. If I had satellite internet I could make calls through Skype. Also, I can dial up anyone for free on my gmail account.

Thanks,
Angel
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:02 PM   #2
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Re: WHAT SATELLITE PHONE TO BUY ? or SATELLITE INTERNET ?

Maybe look at this. Sorry but I know nothing about it. I was just told about it.
http://findmespot.com/en/pressroom/inde ... &Itemid=45
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:15 PM   #3
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Re: WHAT SATELLITE PHONE TO BUY ? or SATELLITE INTERNET ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Maybe look at this. Sorry but I know nothing about it. I was just told about it.
http://findmespot.com/en/pressroom/inde ... &Itemid=45
I have just about that same setup, but instead of SPOT being paired with a smartphone, my SPOT is paired with a GPS unit. On my trip last year with my son, my wife could track my progress on the computer. Messaging is somewhat limited, and you do have to pay for service.

http://www.delorme.com/about/pressrelea ... icator.htm


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Old 04-09-2012, 05:11 PM   #4
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Re: WHAT SATELLITE PHONE TO BUY ? or SATELLITE INTERNET ?

I have spot and have used it on all my trips into the backcountry. I have the Delorme GPS unit that is paired with the spot and my smartphone. With the Delorme I can text message via sattellite to anyone I want however it is a one way communication from me only.

I am doing a big trip this summer and we are going to rent a sattelite phone for the week since it is much cheaper than buying them...

http://www.roadpost.com/Iridium-Sate...-P704C279.aspx
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:43 PM   #5
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Re: WHAT SATELLITE PHONE TO BUY ? or SATELLITE INTERNET ?

Delorme now has inReach that has two way text messaging.

http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELi...inisite=10020/
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:28 PM   #6
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Re: WHAT SATELLITE PHONE TO BUY ? or SATELLITE INTERNET ?

I've been an Iridium subscriber for 3-4 years and use the phone on every trip. I always take the kids and my wife is not a camper, so daily calls are a necessity.

Iridium's service is excellent. The signal lock is quick and calls seldom drop. And when they do, I can always call again in 2-3 minutes. Before Iridium, I used Globalstar, which was a joke and literally worked about 1% of the time.

There is no such thing as a good and cheap sat phone. But the ability to communicate from anywhere at ant time is a big comfort for me.

R
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
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Re: WHAT SATELLITE PHONE TO BUY ? or SATELLITE INTERNET ?

We like Em have used the Iridium for a number of years with great success . You might consider the rental as suggested
Roadpost is a very quality oriented company that make the rental process very simple . I have a couple of friends that I talked into renting prior to purchasing and both ended up with their own phones and custom tailored plans . We have the 9555 model with grab and go package with one more additional battery even though we never seem to run the battery down .
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:30 PM   #8
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Re: WHAT SATELLITE PHONE TO BUY ? or SATELLITE INTERNET ?

As others have said above, I'd say renting an Irridium-network satellite phone is the way to go. Spot is cheap, but 1-way communication just isn't going to cut it sometimes.

I've rented an Iridium 9555 from Mobal a few times, and it's worked out well. Mobal's prices have gone up since then, however. Mobal provides free shipping, but their daily rental rate is a bit high -- so it makes the most sense for short-term (<1 week) rentals.

I've been researching sat phone rental prices for an upcoming 2-week Baja trip. Roadpost (mentioned above) seems to be one of the best deals right now, with their sale prices. Global Satcom is another similarly-priced choice worth considering. I'll probably go with Roadpost or Global Satcom on my next trip.

Mobal
SatPhone Store
All Road Sat
Global Satcom
Roadpost
Sat Phone Direct
Outfitter Satellite

Anyone rented an Iridium 9505A phone? Cheaper to rent. Is it really that much worse than the 9555 in practice?
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:42 PM   #9
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Re: WHAT SATELLITE PHONE TO BUY ? or SATELLITE INTERNET ?

I have the same question as geofff. Anyone have this one? 9505/A iridium. I think it looks good.

http://www.roadpost.com/Iridium-9505A-S ... 5C311.aspx

What about in Canada-does the phone care if you are in the US or Canada? My Verizon is not an option for me in Canada

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Old 04-10-2012, 07:53 AM   #10
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Re: WHAT SATELLITE PHONE TO BUY ? or SATELLITE INTERNET ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel
I have the same question as geofff. Anyone have this one? 9505/A iridium. I think it looks good.

http://www.roadpost.com/Iridium-9505A-S ... 5C311.aspx

What about in Canada-does the phone care if you are in the US or Canada? My Verizon is not an option for me in Canada

Angel
I'm not sure about Iridium but Globalstar works in Canada and Mexico. The service was indeed quite poor for a couple of years but has recently gotten better. I don't know if they have access to more satellites or what but sometimes on Grand Canyon river trips I'd have to wait an hour or more to get a call out.
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