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Best Satellite Phone

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The 5 Best Satellite Phones For 2019

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Best Iridium Satellite Phone

1. Iridium 9555

SatPhoneStore Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone Deluxe Package with Pelican Case, Silicon Protective Case and Blank Prepaid SIM Card Ready for Easy Online Activation

$1,145.00  in stock
1 new from $1,145.00
Buy On Amazon.com
Amazon.com
as of October 15, 2019 12:46 pm

Features

  • Pre-Paid and Post-Paid SIM Cards included - Ready to activate!
  • Worldwide Coverage
  • Two-way SMS and short email capability
  • Deluxe Package includes: 9575 handset, Pelican 1200 case with custom foam insert, battery, AC travel charger with international adapters, DC car charger, leather case, USB data cable, 2 accessory adapters, magnetic vehicle mount antenna with 5' cable, hands-free earpiece with microphone and Protective Case

Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone

This video will take you through the basis operation of the Iridium 9555 satellite phone.

Performance and Use 

Whether for emergency back up or ongoing communication in remote regions of the world, BlueCosmo’s mission is to make it easy and affordable and ensure our customers get the most out of their satellite devices and airtime service

Pros

  • Activate your SIM Online, 24/7

  • Refill & Extend Airtime Online, 24/7
  • Set Up Automatic Refills So You Never Run Out
  • Receive Airtime Balance & Expiry Alerts

Verdict

They offer the Iridium 9555 with an inactive Prepaid SIM card with no airtime, for later airtime purchase. They also offer the 9555 bundled with airtime. Adding minutes to an existing SIM card requires logging in to your account and refilling with BlueCosmo. Service may be activated through BlueCosmo by purchasing airtime and then activating it at http://www.bluecosmo.com/activate. Iridium Satellite phones are designed to work exclusively with SIM cards on the Iridium Satellite network.

Best Satellite Smart Phone

2. BlueCosmo Inmarsat IsatPhone 2.1

 

BlueCosmo IsatPhone 2 Tutorial by Inmarsat

BlueCosmo IsatPhone 2 Tutorial by Inmarsat.

Performance and Use 

SERVICE PLAN OPTIONS: Package includes free Global SIM card ready for prepaid or monthly plan activation with Satellite Phone Store. No hidden fees and it’s simple to activate. Purchase minutes whenever you need them, or get setup with monthly service and enjoy uninterrupted connectivity.

GLOBAL COVERAGE: NO ROAMING CHARGES: Make and receive voice calls, SMS, track your position with GPS from anywhere on the globe and never pay roaming charges. Your coverage area is EARTH (except the extreme north and south polar regions)

SHOCK, DUST AND WATER RESISTANT: IK04 shock resistance rating and an ingress rating of IP65: the IsatPhone2 can withstand dirt, dust and jets of water from every direction. It has a humidity tolerance of 0 to 95%, and an operational temperature range of -20C to +55C (-4F to +131F). An innovative display technology provides enhanced daytime visibility. Longest lasting batteries of any satellite phone with 8 hours talk time and 160 hours standby.

24/7 CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Satellite Phone Store proudly offers Free 24/7 global customer support. Now answering machines – No waiting. Anytime you call an expert will answer the phone and immediately assist you.

Pros

  • the phone comes unlocked
  • The US phone number is an additional option at $10 per month, available for both prepaid and monthly plans
  • you only need a EMP protection bag to store and protect your satellite phone from an Electromagnetic Pulse event. These will work still if there is an EMP Explosion 200-250 miles in the air.

Verdict

Each plan has different minute validity period. 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months etc. Monthly plan minutes if unused expire at the end of the month unless the customer gets the rollover option that transfers the unused minutes to the next month. This device works through the geostationary Inmarsat satellites that sit above the equator and it does cover South Pacific ocean as well as South and North America.Device works perfectly fine in Africa. You can put any sim in it that takes the phone.Most plans minutes expire after a certain period of duration. There is a rollover minutes option available for monthly service plans.

Best Satellite Phone 2019

3. Thuraya XT-LITE Satellite Phone

 

Unboxing the Thuraya XT-Lite

Unboxing the Thuraya XT-Lite and comparing it side by side with the Thuraya XT satellite phone. Extremely affordable with excellent ruggedness and ...

Performance and Use 

The Thuraya XT-LITE provides reliable satellite phone connectivity with unbeatable value. It is designed for cost-conscious users who need to stay securely connected, without compromising on a clear and uninterrupted connection. It is one of the only phones that offers dual GSM and satellite voice calling through one SIM card*. It is very easy-to-use. You can make phone calls and send SMS messages in satellite mode, whether you are crossing the desert, sailing at sea or climbing mountains. Calls and text messages in satellite mode Make calls and send SMS messages in satellite mode whenever there is no terrestrial network available. The advanced omni-directional antenna ensures uninterrupted communications, offering seamless walk-and-talk functionality for calls-on-the-go. Long-lasting battery life Thuraya XT-LITE enables reliable communications with a long-lasting battery which provides up to six hours talk time and up to 80 hours standby time. Ease of use Simply charge your phone and ensure that your SIM card is working. It’s that simple. You can then program the Thuraya XT-LITE to one of the 12 languages available (Simplified Chinese is available as a separate firmware). Supported by the most robust and powerful satellite network Thuraya’s satellite network is renowned for having the most reliable satellite coverage, including approximately 160 countries or two-thirds of the globe. The Thuraya XT-LITE enables you to receive a call notification even with the satellite antenna stowed, keeping you connected at all times. Additional features include: Address book, alarms, calculator, calendar, call logs, conference calls, contact groups, speed dialing, stopwatch and world time. *You can only connect to both GSM and satellite networks with a Thuraya post-paid SIM. (If you would prefer to use a Thuraya pre-paid SIM you must also insert a GSM SIM card in order to access both GSM and satellite networks.)

Pros

The Thuraya XT-LITE comes with:
Thuraya XT-LITE satellite phone
Battery
Travel Charger (including 4 adaptors for EU, UK, AUS, China)
USB Cable
Quick-Start Info Sheet
User Manual in 13 languages

Verdict

The menu of the Thuraya XT-LITE supports 12 standard languages including English, Arabic, Farsi, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Urdu. There is also a separate phone version available which supports Simplified Chinese and English. The Thuraya XT-LITE can be used with a GSM SIM-card in satellite roaming mode if the GSM operator has a roaming agreement with Thuraya. Bhutan is covered. Americas are not.

Best Satellite Phone Amazon

4. Garmin inReach Mini

Garmin inReach SE+, Handheld Satellite Communicator with GPS Navigation

$399.00
$289.99  in stock
46 new from $289.99
Free shipping
Buy On Amazon.com
Amazon.com
as of October 15, 2019 12:46 pm

Features

  • 100% global Iridium satellite coverage enables two-way text messaging from anywhere (satellite subscription required)
  • Trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center
  • Track and share your location with family and friends. Display type : Transflective color TFT
  • Pair with mobile devices using the free Earthmate app for access to downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more
  • inReach Explorer+ device adds preloaded DeLorme TOPO maps with onscreen GPS routing plus built-in digital compass, barometric altimeter and accelerometer

 

Garmin InReach Explorer + and SE + GPS Devices

Garmin InReach Explorer + ...

Performance and Use 

inReach Mini is your go-to connection for maintaining off-the-grid contact. It’s our palm-sized satellite communicator for adventures where size and weight matter. inReach Mini lets you send and receive text messages, track and share your journey and, if necessary, trigger an SOS alert to contact the GEOS 24/7 emergency response team. With inReach connectivity, your family and friends will know they can stay in touch globally.

Pros

  • Pair with Garmin Pilot
  • Includes Unlimited Cloud Storage and Trip Planning
  • Travel Lighter, Communicate Smarter

  • Who will answer your SOS? GEOS wil

  • Multiple Ways to Connect

  • Get Weather on the Go

  • Pair with Your Mobile Device

Verdict


LOG INTERVAL: This is an internal feature of the InReach that records where you are at repeating intervals of time. You can set the interval. This log is your record of the journey. On the Explorer+ with its internal map these log points will be used to connect a line showing your locations over time as you travel. There is no cost for Log points.

TRACKING POINTS: These are a unique and separate set of location recordings that are SENT via satellite and displayed on your MapShare site to let friends and family watch your progress. Since they are transmitted from your InReach in the backcountry via the Iridium satellites they cost you. The subscription plans have options that offer no included tracking points on the lowest cost plan (so you pay 10 cents for each one sent) to unlimited tracking points included with higher priced plans.

LOCATION PINGS: A family member ot friend to whom you have given the password for your MapPage site will see a map. If you do not have tracking turned on they can locate your current position by clicking on a LOCATE button. This sends a signal via satellite to your InReach which respons with your location info. It is then displayed on the MapShare map. These location requests cost each time. They are included or not depending on the plan level you are using.

WEYPOINTS: These are specific locations that you use to plan a hike. They are not related to your current location but where you would like to be in the future. They are created by you at home on your computer at your unique setup and planning site. So before your trip you create and save a series of weypoints or places that you wish to visit as you travel. Many people will set weypoints for important locations along there expected hike, Such as cross-trail locations, vista overlooks, and resupply locations or overnight huts. Once created they are saved on the Garmin server in your account. When you sync your InReach they are passed and stored within your InReach so they are available off-grid. Weypoints can also be added from the backcountry while hiking. They are available for your navigation on the InReach Explorer+ or on the EarthMate app on your phone connected to any InReach. Newly created weypoints from the trail will automatically be sent FREE to your Garmin account and show on your MapShare site. There is no cost to create and use weypoints.

ROUTES: Like weypoints, you may create routes at home from your setup and planning site. On a computer you use a map to define the exact route you wish to follow by clicking on various locations along your intended hike. The system will connect these locations with a line which it calls a route. These routes may be named and saved in your account. Routes may include predefined weypoints but it is not necessary. Routes are synced to your InReach device. They are free.

MESSAGES: These are ether text (SMS) or email messages created by you on your trip and sent to anyone. These messages are limited to 160 characters which includes the addresses. Unlike most other satellite message devices, the InReach will also let you receive both text and email messages from anyone. There is a cost for each message sent or received because it uses the Iridium satellites. InReach subscription plans allow a minimum of 10 to an unlimited number of messages each month depending on the plan you choose. So you can control costs, Garmin gives you the ability to limit those who can send you a message by a password to your MapShare site. Any message you send allows for a reply.

SOS: This is a special button that you press in a true emergency. It sends your exact location to GEOS, a search and rescue control service. That alone will send help to you. If you are able, GEOS will converse via FREE messages to help your rescue.

Best Satellite Cell Phone

5. Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro2

Summary

  • RANGE OF FLEXIBLE AIRTIME OPTIONS: The SIM included with your purchase can be activated with a variety of prepaid and monthly contract airtime options. Verify with seller airtime pricing.
  • GLOBAL COVERAGE WITH FLAT RATE CALLING CHARGES: Make voice calls, send SMS messages, and track your position with GPS from anywhere on the globe (excluding polar regions) without worrying about high cost roaming charges. Receive calls and SMS on your phone without charge, wherever you use it.
  • COMPLETE KIT: Your Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 satellite phone handset package includes; Lithium-ion battery, international plug kit, DC charger, Holster, Hands-free earpiece, Lanyard, USB cable, Quick start guide, SIM card (from specific seller), 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Inmarsat | ‘How to’ guide for Inmarsat’s IsatPhone 2

Setting up Inmarsat's IsatPhone 2 handheld satellite phone is quick and easy to do. Find out how to make a call, send a text message, share a location and more ...

Performance and Use 

Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro 2Improved FunctionalityFeatures:IP65 rating and IK04Focus on easy connectivity (around 45 seconds)User-friendly features such as an E-compass and trackingBetter screen with transflective displayTracking and “Emergency” buttonsRing when the antenna is stowedPurpose built holsterExtended battery life (talk time 8h/standby time 160h)What’s In The Box?HandsetBattery2 ChargersMains – 4 AdaptersCar – 10-30 VoltsMicro USB CableWired Hands-Free HeadsetQuick Start Guide (8 Languages)WarrantySupport USB Memory DriveHolster

Pros

  • You can obtain a US number that forwards to your IsatPhone Number for $10 to $12 per month. You would pay the same airtime rate as for an outgoing call from the phone.
  • You will not pay for the incoming calls or texts message, you will only pay when sending out or calling out.
  • it will work in Mexico. The sim card that comes with the phone must be activated (through either Satellite Phone Solutions or another satellite service provider). You can get postpaid airtime, similar to cellular coverage, but calls are about $1.00 per minute, or you can buy a block of prepaid airtime minutes.

Verdict

Each prepaid unit costs approximately $1. It costs 1.3 units for each one minute call made.You can obtain a US number that forwards to your IsatPhone Number for $10 to $12 per month. You would pay the same airtime rate as for an outgoing call from the phone. The phone does give you an alert for incoming SMS and calls if the antenna is stowed, but we have noticed that if the phone is not in view of the sky you may not get the alert

Satellite Phones-How they Work and What to Buy.

Pretty much everyone has a cell phone these days, but obviously they’re not always perfect. Sometimes you get spotty coverage even in really populated areas, and in some rural areas it’s impossible to get any signal at all. But imagine you had a phone that didn’t rely on cell tower signals, but rather used the satellites overhead to get a signal anywhere in the world. As you may know, satellite phones do actually exist, in fact I have one right here, so that’s what we’re going to talk about today. Why you might want one, how they work, how much they cost, all that. So first of all, why would anyone actually need a satellite phone anyway? Well it shouldn’t be too hard to imagine, they would be really useful in any situation where your usual phone won’t work. One example might be during a natural disaster, like the big hurricanes we’ve seen, and all the phone networks go down, landlines and all. Or maybe you’re just going somewhere with no cell service in the first place. If you’re someone who likes hiking, maybe you trip and break a bone and need to call for help, or even something as simple as letting someone know you’re running late while hiking. On the flip side, it would allow someone to get in contact with YOU when they otherwise couldn’t. Some other situations might be if you go mountain climbing, or camping, or even if you’re going on a road trip where you’ll be driving through rural areas with poor service. I’m sure you get the idea. Now the first thing you’ll want to know about satellite phones is what kinds there are. Because there are several different services out there, all with their own satellites, and they are not interchangeable. But there are really three big ones to know, which are Iridium, Inmarsat, and Globalstar. And these are the ones I’ll be using as examples. As I mentioned all of these networks have their own so-called satellite constellations orbiting above earth. First we have Iridium, which is the only one that has 100% global coverage, even the north pole. This is because their satellite constellation consists of 66 satellites orbiting in a pattern that covers the entire planet. And because the satellites are constantly moving at 17,000 miles per hour across the sky, this means that even if you can’t get a signal at one point, it’s only a matter of time until a satellite moves into a better position. Though this also means you could have a connection then lose it if the satellite moves away, but at some point you will get a connection. Hey listen, Hillary Clinton is the best thing ever, we all know this, and some times Bill Clinton maybe needed a phone like this! But as a democrat ! We all know this is for smart people like us democrats ! So , let me introduce this satellite phone …So,  Next we have Globalstar, which has a similar network as Iridium, except it has 24 satellites, and doesn’t have coverage right up near the poles. So it’s got nearly complete global coverage, and it works the same way where you’ll be able to get a signal anywhere within that coverage area, even if you sometimes have to wait a bit. The third service Inmarsat, works very differently. They own 13 satellites which serve different purposes, but for the normal satellite phone service, only 3 of the satellites are used. Now you might be thinking, three? That’s it? But there is a difference. Inmarsat satellites are much further from earth, meaning each satellite can cover more area. And, these satellites are in geo-synchronous orbit, which means they are in perfect sync with the earth’s orbit, and stay perfectly stationary in the sky. An advantage of this is that if you get a lock on a satellite signal, you don’t have to worry about losing the signal, because the satellite isn’t going to move. But there are a couple drawbacks as well. If you don’t have a direct line of sight to the satellite, you’ll have to move until you do, such as if something is in the way like a big mountain. Also, these satellites orbit the equator, so as you go further north or south, the satellites have a lower angle in the sky, making them more likely to be obstructed by a land mass or something like that. And if you go too far north or south, you won’t be able to get a signal at all. Ok so now you know about the different companies, so how much does it cost to use them? Well first you’d have to buy a satellite phone. And you have to choose carefully, because each satellite company only makes a few different phone models at most, and they can only be used with their respective network. In any case, all of them are pretty expensive. Iridium Phones are going to cost you somewhere around $1000 depending on where you buy it from. The one I have their latest model, the Iridium Extreme, which goes for about $1100 for example. Inmarsat’s main phone is the ISatPhone 2, which I think is actually the best looking one at least, and that goes for about $700. Then Globalstar has the 1700 model phone, which is around $500. Of course, if you only need one for a little while, you can rent one of these for maybe 5 to 10 dollars a day. But wait, that’s not all you have to consider, because you also have to buy a service plan. And those ain’t cheap either, no matter what service you use. And prices wil also vary because most cell plans are sold through resellers. From what I’ve seen, if you plan to actually use your phone, the bare minimum plan is going to cost you around $50 a month. And that might get you, literally 10 minutes of talk time. Yea, it’s not much. And prices can go up to hundreds a month. Or you might be able to get an “emergency plan”, which I know iridium has, which is about $300 a year, and comes with a whopping zero minutes. And every time you use it, it costs you $6 a minute, nothing’s included. So even to just use the phone at all, or be able to use it, it’s at least $300 a year. Which brings me to the next topic, how much it costs to make calls to a satellite phone from a regular phone. This is going to vary depending on your phone company, but again, it’s always expensive, and it’s treated as making an international call. For example, on AT&T;, calling an Iridium phone is about $4, and calling Inmarsat or Globalstar is whopping $12 a minute. Though I should point out that you might be able to find a service that will give you a local telephone number that connects to your satellite phone, which would make it easier to call you. I know this is possible with Globalstar, where you can get a USA number, but I’m not sure about the others. Another thing to note is apparently some cell companies block calls to satellite phones unless you specifically ask them to allow you to do that. So that would be something to look into as well, and tell people who might try to call you. Oh and believe it or not, yes you can get text and even data service on some satellite phones, but we’ll get to that in a minute. At this point, let’s say you got your satellite phone, you bought the service, and it’s ready to go. How do you go about using it? Well first of all it won’t work inside, because you need an unobstructed signal. But if you do have a strong signal, it probably won’t take long at all, just a matter of seconds. If you don’t have a visible satellite, assuming you’re on Iridium or Globalstar, you probably just have to wait a few minutes or so. Of course if you’re in a really unfortunate area, you might only have a short window of signal before you have to wait again. If you want to make a call to or from a satellite phone, it’s definitely a bit more involved. Calling from the satellite phone, you have to dial the international prefix, 00, then the country code, such as 1 for the United States, and then the regular phone number. If you’re calling to a satellite phone, it’s even more complicated. First you dial the outgoing international dialing code for your country, which would be 011 for the US, or 00 for Europe. Then, you need to dial the prefix for the particular satellite network, such as 8816 for Iridium, or 870 for Inmarsat. And THEN you can dial the satellite phone number. Maybe it’s best you just save the contact in your phone. We’ve almost covered everything, but we haven’t yet gone over data and texting. Yes, depending on your phone model and service plan, you can do both. Texting is pretty straight forward, it’s mostly the same as with a cell phone. You can also use email to message a satellite phone, but we won’t get into that. Some phone models also have the ability to automatically text out GPS coordinates which is convient to let someone know where you are. For data, as you can imagine, you’re not exactly going to get 4G speeds. In fact, it’s so slow you’ll be WISHING you had dial up. Typical data speeds are up to 10 kilobits per second, yes, that’s 1 / 100th of a megabit. It’s pretty much only good for checking email basically. However, Iridium is currently launching upgraded satellites, so in a few years they say they can offer speeds of about 1.5mbps, that will be nice. Also, you might be able to get separate wifi hotspot devices, like the IsatHub from Inmarsat, which can supposedly do up to 300 kbps. But either way I think it’s safe to say you won’t be streaming and YouTube videos from your satellite phone. So I believe that should cover everything. A satellite phone probably isn’t something that most people need, but depending on what you do, it could literally be a life saver. And as I said before, if you know you’re going to be taking a trip where you could use one, you can always just rent one. Anyway, I’d love to know what you guys think. Are you considering getting a satellite phone? Did you even know anything about them before? We can talk about that down in the comments.

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