How easy is Satellite Phone to use?

To most of us the concept of the uses and benefits of a satellite phone may be something new. These marvels of technology simply work in places where regular mobile phones won't.




Most of us, in fact if you believe the statistics nearly all Adult and many younger people have joined the ranks of ownership of a mobile or cell phone. It is common place to see most people walking the streets phone glued to ear or at your workplace, home and even when traveling abroad. However mobile / cell phones suffer from coverage issues, meaning once you get out of GSM or 3G range the more traditional phone cannot be used. So communications stop when you get to sea, on mountains, on a desert and other remote places. In such places, coverage for the normal cell/mobile phone is limited or non-existent and these are the places where satellite phones work their magic.




Satellite phone send and receive calls via orbiting a number of roaming satellites. Although Satellite technology is not new, it has only recently become available at affordably prices to the like of you and me. As you can imagine building up a service to cover most of the earth's surface with a clear reception is a very technologically challenging and expensive project.  Though it may seem feasible for everyone to use these instead of cell phones, there are some disadvantages that have to be considered. The main disadvantage is related to its coverage and the fact that it does not work indoors at all. Satellite phones have limited coverage near tall trees too or inclement weather. This means that they often won't work in buildings, shopping centers or even be used in the home.




Other disadvantages are that they are, because of cell phone technology, larger than the normal mobile phone, and difficult to carry with you when you go shopping, although recent years handsets became very popular and more and more retailers are offering these relatively smaller mobile units. The ideal purpose to use a satellite phone is when traveling to remote places like the desert, seas or when you go mountain climbing as regular cell phones don't work in such locations.




Although handheld units are very convenient to carry with you, most owners or users have them secured in a shock proof case, called a pelican case for protection against the elements. If you need the better voice quality and longer call duration you will need more powerful antennas or larger units.  Most satellite phones include incoming phone number and voicemail with indicator which helps in situations where the phone does not ring due to low signal strength.  Due to the rotation of satellites, or decreased coverage due to clouds or other obstacles, incoming calls will not always ring the phone, but caller may leave voicemail for callback.  Even with all the limitations of a satellite phone it's the most ideal communication tool for travelers, 4 wheel drivers, grey nomads, adventure seekers and business people who need the most portable and economical solution.




You not only maintain contact with family and friends on remote trips, it proves to be essential in an emergency. You never know when something bad happens to you while you go on a trip. Wherever you may be, as long as there is a clear line of sight to the sky, you will receive coverage and you can make emergency calls if you need to. People who go on frequent adventures in remote places and the sea should buy or rent a satellite phone. The cost of the calls although dearer than most mobile cellular networks,  the more minutes you buy the cheaper your rates will be. However if you are going for a 'one time adventure', instead of buying a phone, it is better for you to rent one. The daily rental rates range from $11 to about $21 a day and the longer you rent the phone the cheaper your rates will be.




There are two main network providers such as Thuraya, Iridium  satellite phones. However remember that the cost of satellite phones, and the per minute charges are much higher than using regular mobile phone. So it is better to compare features, rental rates and minute charges and than decide if it is better for you to rent or buy before you head out on your next dream vacation or business trip.

You may also like View all