Help with Sat phone purchase

Wrench77

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2013
Messages
464
Location
Longmont, CO
So the wife wants me to get a Sat phone since I usually hunt solo. However having never used a Sat phone I need a little help. I'm looking at the Iridium Extreme and the Iridium 9555. Are there any other models I should be looking at? For those of you with one how about a recommendation on where to purchase. Thanks in advance
 

jherald

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
Messages
810
Location
Alaska
I've rented the Iridium 9555 often from the local sat phone place here and it has worked great. I want a Extreme though, it's totally worth the money in my position because I can write it off for work related equipment which is required for my job, but not provided by my employer.

I don't think you can go wrong with either one but the Extreme is only slightly larger than most modern cell phones and only weighs slightly more, plus it's waterproof/windproof/drop resistant. No need to worry about carrying a special case or bag just for the phone, just drop it in your pack with your GPS,Compass,Etc whatever your carrying in your kit.

The Extreme is going to be my next investment because most places I'm hunting or fishing have no cell reception, hell even where I'm working it's spotty at best around the outskirts of town and there is NO reception outside of town for several hundred miles in either direction unless you happen across one of the scattered villages which are spread miles apart.

The plan for the phone is the kicker though, the local place offers 500 minutes for 250 bucks and it's good for 6 months but the minutes don't roll over unless you renew your contract, then the minute roll over into whatever minutes you had left over. So if you continue to renew every 6 months, eventually you will end up with several thousand minutes of talk time.
 

Craig4791

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
2,142
Location
Soldotna,AK
I have the iridium extreme. I just got it this year though so other than fooling around with it at home I haven't got to test it real world yet.

Just by playing with it at home though it seems pretty rugged and its easy to use.

I bought mine from sat phone city.com
 
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Leopard

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2012
Messages
11
Location
Newbury, UK
I have an Iridium Extreme. It's a superb piece of kit. One of my most valuable pieces of kit.

If you're going to purchase one, don't look at other brands as they don't have as good coverage as the Iridium. I've used mine on trips to the following and its performed flawlessly:
Limpopo Province, South Africa
Northern Territory, Australia
Kariba, Zimbabwe
Colorado, USA
Rede, Hungary

I bought mine at the beginning of 2012 while I was preparing for a very remote trip to hunt water buffalo in Northern Territory, Australia. My main purpose for getting it was the remoteness of this particular trip, incase we needed to get a fly-in doctor or something, and also in case my staff needed to get me as I run my own business and left them at a critical time in a project.

I also looked at renting one, but made the decision to buy as it meant that I had one handy for other trips.
I have no regrets buying mine and take it on every trip I go on, even if I get "normal cell reception", it's nice to have it "just in case".

Also, I've had great dealings with the UK authorised dealer of Iridium and with Iridium HQ in the US, so can vouch for their customer service.

Hope this helps. Please shout if you have any more questions.
 

Leopard

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2012
Messages
11
Location
Newbury, UK
Thought of one flaw with Iridium that I forgot to mention.

It costs quite a lot to phone the Iridium numbers from a UK phone - considerably more than you pay for airtime from Iridium.

What I do is make sure I have ample airtime to make all the calls from my phone to reduce the cost. If my family or staff need to get me, they send a text to my phone via email (free service Iridium offer) and I call them usually. Sometimes I would get family to phone a USA number that Iridium provide, which has a system linked to it and allows the caller to enter your sat phone number and it basically costs them the cost of a normal call to that number (which is pretty cheap from the UK - about 1.5 cents per minute) and then it also calls off your airtime minutes.

It's important that you warn potential callers of the potential cost to call your day phone and research what it'll cost from where you live to phone a sat number. I didn't check and it was a bit of a shock for me. I naively thought it would be pricey, but not THAT pricey. Thank-fully there were work arounds. I can't remember exactly the cost, but it was something like £8 ($12) per minute, if I remember correctly. Whereas here in the UK it costs me £0.65 ($1) per minute for airtime.
 
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