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Thread: Satellite Phone Rental Free Incoming?

  1. #1
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    Default Satellite Phone Rental Free Incoming?

    We will be hunting the entire month of September and will not have any cell coverage where we will be. Looking to get a satellite phone and while looking online I saw a number of rental places offer free incoming calls if they are direct dial. So basically whoever calls you pays the bill. The phone would have an international number so my question is, if you were to have the caller use a calling card to call the satellite phone would you avoid all the big expense or would they still get stuck with a big bill? If this saves on cash over the almost $2 a minute cost it would be the way to go.

    Looking to get one from satellitephonestore.com. Anyone use them?

  2. #2

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    I read it too and it sounds like the person calling you will pay the $2 per minute fee. Anchorage Satalite phones has free incoming text messages. Has anybody used satellitephonestore.com, they had very low rates.

  3. #3

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    If you're just using it to check in, dial the number of the person you're checking in with and hang up after one ring. The call will show on the caller ID and the time it was made. If you need to say something, then spend the money to chat. If it's just an "I'm in camp for the evening" check in then save the $$

  4. #4
    Member akjeff's Avatar
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    http://www.satellitephonestore.com/support/faq

    FREE doesn't exist. Someone will be paying. If you have a two stage number plan the caller calls a US based number and the satphone user pays. If the caller calls the satphone direct, it will cost the caller up to $9 per minute. You do the math.

    Some phones and plans have texting for a reduced rate. You can text to an email.

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    Everytime I've rented a sat phone, I was advised that though outgoing calls would run me around $2/minute, incoming calls would run closer to $12/minute. If they are actually FREE, that would be the way to go.

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    Well I realize that it won't be free and someone has to pay, but since it is free to take incoming calls I was wondering about a calling card. The person calling would be calling an international number which is expensive, but if you call international with a calling card it can be cheap. That's why I'm wondering if it is possible. My girlfriend is just gettin licensed and will be applying for jobs that may require some relocation, so I was wanting her to call and let me know if she gets any job offers as moving is somewhat of a big decision and I don't want her to miss out on anything just because I can't give any input. Bad time to be gone hunting for a month. Probably won't be a lot of calls, but a few 10-15 minute call adds up fast. If using a calling card works then that would be the clear ticket.

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    Is it an Iridium phone you're looking at?

    The first issue is that nobody will be able to call you on the phone unless you leave the phone outside with the antenna extended and pointing to the sky - or if you use an external antenna.

    When I rented my phone from Mobal (www.mobal.com), they included a magnetic antenna that I stuck on the roof of my truck.

    I also found that some people couldn't call me via direct dial. This wasn't a problem with the phone, but it was because the caller's phone network blocked the call because it was too expensive. I could however, always be contacted using the 2 stage dialing process, where I paid for the incoming call ($1.99 /min ?? can't remember).

    Incoming texts were free too, and doesn't rely on the phone being switched on and connected to the satellite signal.

    Satellitephonestore seem OK from what I can tell, but I did the math and once you add in the cost of shipping and return they work out more expensive.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter_powell View Post
    Is it an Iridium phone you're looking at?


    Satellitephonestore seem OK from what I can tell, but I did the math and once you add in the cost of shipping and return they work out more expensive.
    Yes, Iam looking at an Iridium.

    I am also going to have to pay to ship one from Anc anyway, so I didn't find the shipping that bad. I haven't found anyplace in the Kenai that rents them, that would be a lot simpler.

  9. #9
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    Surveyors Exchange in Anchorage rents phones and will ship it to you for $10 I believe (I don't remember I made my reservation months ago). We have used them for years very easy to deal with and their equipment has always worked for us. It's been stated already but do not have anybody call you it is ~$9 a minute on the other end. I usually burn 100 minutes or so over the total trip and it is well worth it keeping business going.

    The other two things I have learned while renting sat phones.
    1. Only rent phones on the Iridium network. Anything based on GlobalStar is useless. I talking stand on top of the highest peak you can find, aiming the antenna, don't move your head or the call will drop useless.
    2. Test your equipment before you leave town. Seems like something you will always do but when you are slammed trying to get out the door it's an easy thing to forget. Seven or eight years ago we rented a phone (not from Surveyor's, this is actually why we switched to them) that they forgot to turn the account on. Didn't find out until we were in the field. Luckily crossed paths with another camp that let us use their phone to call it in and turn account on.

  10. #10
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    You can recieve incoming texts for free on the Iridum system. The texter sends the message via the link below and when the Sat phone next attemps to dail a number the text is downloaded. To avoid any charges be sure to dial a number you know willl not be answered.
    http://messaging.iridium.com/

  11. #11
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Matt W,
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    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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