YD Scuba Diving Forums banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
East coast, think I dive there !
Joined
·
1,993 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for any advice on satellite phones, does anyone use one or have any experience with the modern versions out there now?

It will only be for emergency use but I believe you can now get duel sims for sat and normal operation for £80 per year and a phone for about £500.

Any info on operation and quality of service would be great.
 

·
Guru
Joined
·
7,112 Posts
Iridium is pretty much where it's at, around £1000 all in for a handheld - covers about 90% of the world enhabited land mass. Calls are roughly the same cost as having a ferocious crack habit
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ivon

·
Sponsored by The Betty Ford Clinic and Prozac
Joined
·
4,501 Posts
I used one back in Nov to make an urgent call from the Southern Red Sea (days away from GSM coverage). 5 text messages and call lasting 4 minutes cost me about $30USDs - which was *well* worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,795 Posts
Used an Iridium for a few weeks sailing. Brilliant piece of kit. Not too expensive - about £2/min IIRC, but seeing as we were crossing the Atlantic, nothing else would cut the mustard.

Bought and sold on ebay as soon as the trip was over.

Adrian
 

·
East coast, think I dive there !
Joined
·
1,993 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Used an Iridium for a few weeks sailing. Brilliant piece of kit. Not too expensive - about £2/min IIRC, but seeing as we were crossing the Atlantic, nothing else would cut the mustard.

Bought and sold on ebay as soon as the trip was over.

Adrian
That's the sort of thing I'm looking at but long term for the RIB, was there any other line rental or do you just buy the sim?
 

·
I went DIR... but my bungies pulled me back!
Joined
·
400 Posts
Iridum phones cover most of the globe but can be expensive to buy and use. I've not seen a dual GSM/Sat Iridum handset yet. I used these alot while working in Oz, heavy and brick like with an appetite for batteries

Depending on where you want to use the handset, look at Thuria (I think that how you spell it). They are based in the UAE and cover most of the middle east, central Asia, Europe and Africa (could be more by now). The Thuria handsets are all dual GSM/Sat and switch seamlessly between the two systems even during a call. Due to the lower orbit of the satelites the handsets are lower powered and so smaller than the Iridium. I used these across East Africa with no problems and would be my peronal choice. Much cheaper to use with the Dual GSM/Sat, using any available GSM when available.

HTH

Darren
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ivon

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,795 Posts
That's the sort of thing I'm looking at but long term for the RIB, was there any other line rental or do you just buy the sim?
I really don't know. We had it just for the trip and paid costs pro rata.

The actual phone was quite large, almost brick sized. But it did what we needed.

We had some s/w on a PC to check satellite availability, but you would probably be OK 99% of the time. Is there a local problem with VHF? I would not want to rely on ANY phone system to contact emergency services. The other end can be engaged... The services probably don't have access to location info either which they can now get for normal mobiles.

Adrian
 

·
East coast, think I dive there !
Joined
·
1,993 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I really don't know. We had it just for the trip and paid costs pro rata.

The actual phone was quite large, almost brick sized. But it did what we needed.

We had some s/w on a PC to check satellite availability, but you would probably be OK 99% of the time. Is there a local problem with VHF? I would not want to rely on ANY phone system to contact emergency services. The other end can be engaged... The services probably don't have access to location info either which they can now get for normal mobiles.

Adrian
VHF does not have the distance we are going off, last year there we had an incident on a hardboat off Cornwall and the VHF didn't have the range, with a portable sat phone there wouldn't have been the problem of having to come closer in to shore to contact the emergency services.

Iridum phones cover most of the globe but can be expensive to buy and use. I've not seen a dual GSM/Sat Iridum handset yet. I used these alot while working in Oz, heavy and brick like with an appetite for batteries

Depending on where you want to use the handset, look at Thuria (I think that how you spell it). They are based in the UAE and cover most of the middle east, central Asia, Europe and Africa (could be more by now). The Thuria handsets are all dual GSM/Sat and switch seamlessly between the two systems even during a call. Due to the lower orbit of the satelites the handsets are lower powered and so smaller than the Iridium. I used these across East Africa with no problems and would be my peronal choice. Much cheaper to use with the Dual GSM/Sat, using any available GSM when available.

HTH

Darren
Darren, this is one I have been looking at, we will be using it in the North sea and the rest of the UK, Ireland and Europe, it looks as though the network covers these areas.
 

·
I went DIR... but my bungies pulled me back!
Joined
·
400 Posts
If its for use offshore, would you be better with a HF or MF radio along side the VHF?

I guess they would require extra licence to use but you would be in contact with the CG and other shipping directly.
 

·
East coast, think I dive there !
Joined
·
1,993 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It is possible but it's not easily transportable for use on other boats.
 

·
I went DIR... but my bungies pulled me back!
Joined
·
400 Posts
True,

The Sat phone handset would fit into a waterproof peli type case and provide a simple back up system.

The handsets on ebay are a good price too, I seam to remember that we (the company that is) payed over £600 for the handsets we had (much bigger). Call costs were about $1 - 2 USD / min.

Cheers

Darren
 

·
East coast, think I dive there !
Joined
·
1,993 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm going to plug my previous employers now as they may be useful.

Cellhire do rental satellite handsets, and sales too. They are Stratos's UK SP (Stratos being the people who manage the iridium airtime for Inmarsat).

Iridium is one of the products they stock.

They have massive stock of handsets and it's convenient if you only want it for a short time each time cos you don't have the per month outlay and capital cost.

They also do inmarsat (the old BT Global) handsets and thuraya too.
Thanks but there quoting £125 a month just for renting, you can buy a new one on pay as you go for £400 + £65 SIM for the year :redface:
 

·
Make mine a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster.
Joined
·
1,763 Posts
Iridum phones cover most of the globe but can be expensive to buy and use. I've not seen a dual GSM/Sat Iridum handset yet. I used these alot while working in Oz, heavy and brick like with an appetite for batteries


HTH

Darren
My brother in Dubai who spends lots of time in the desert (playing in his 4wd) uses a combined gsm/sat phone that switches to sat mode when it loses gsm coverage. Also had built in GPS which would transmit your lat and long in a text message if you wanted.

If you want more info on make and model, PM me and I'll make enquiries.

I remember, it was a Thuraya
 

·
Mod 2.5 apparently
Joined
·
703 Posts
Iridium is the one that covers the world but be careful of charges as they are time limited and it costs to re-activate if you happen to lapse. A typical top up is $75 - 3months valid and a $500 top up is valid for one year. These are on top of owning the phone. The kit i got was Phone , charger, sim, hands free kit and mobile antenna, works perfectly in all areas i been to thats Oz, indonesia, offshore, Europe, US, Canada. A call is costing approx $1.45 a min to anywhere (landline).
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top