Was thinking about buying a Sat Phone, or should I just rent?. when you start adding things up it looks like its better for someone who would need one say 3 times a year to rent.
I can get one off Ebay (used) say for 300-400 dallors. Then you have to have a Service Plan, thats where they get you. I cant find one that doesnt require a 1 yr contract at a min of $120.00 and you pay for additional for minutes used.
Anyone have a economical Sat phone plan or better options?
Word of Caution!!!
I bought a sat phone on ebay last year that was black listed. Iridium would not let me use the phone. Was able to get most of my money back. So if you do buy from ebay. Ask for the phones serial number and call Iridium and check to make sure it is not black listed. I use mine all the time. I buy 500 minutes prepaid a year. They last all year and the minutes roll over if you renew before they expire. It works out to be around 50 bucks a month. Money well spent to have a feeling of safety.
Ive seen the prepaid cards, do you have to have a service plan and the card, or just the card? What about activation fees?
I used to get a $300 prepaid card for 200 minutes with a one year use limit. If I "recharged" the card with another 200 minutes prior to the expiration date I'd also keep my unused minutes from the previous term. It required a $60 one-time activation fee. That was one time, not every year. Iridium killed that plan as far as I can tell. The current 500 minute plan is excessive for me and I carry my phone at least two days a week year-round. When my renewal comes due I'll choose the cheapest access plan regardless of minutes and take the hit for minutes as I use them. That will change if I can find another 200 minute annual plan or an extension option to keep my current unused minutes. Personally I hate paying a monthly access fee. I have no issue buying prepaid minutes with the one year limit, but still I'm reluctant to buy a one month card or even a six month card. I like annual plans.
I'm a pretty active Iridium user. I do my math allowing 100 minutes in a year. Whichever plan provides me 100 minutes for the least money over 12 months is the best plan for me. Sat phones aren't used to chat up minutes like cell phones. Don't overestimate your airtime use.
Last edited by Mr. Pid; 05-30-2007 at 08:57.
Reason: Because I could.
My sat phone goes with me on every little weekend trip and the hunting trips. Great peace of mind. I did the pre-pay on the minutes and renew each year. Initial cost is relatively high, after that it is minimal...EricL
I figured as much, for someone like me that will only use it for 3 weeks a year, just for my hunts, it doesnt make sense to buy.
One more thing. Some companies don't allow their dealers to advertise rates that are less than the manufacturer's published rates. You can see that quite often on the internet, where a dealer will advertise a price but can often beat their own advertised price if you call and talk to them. I've found the same thing to be true for some Iridium plans.
In the Brooks Range, the only sat sig you will get is from an Iridium.
I was just talking with my co-worker on this and this is what we discussed.
You could rent a sat phone for $75 a week, $2.50 per minute... but there are now cheaper monthly plans as well.
Here in Fairbanks, the only place to get them are:
I know that supplies run out fast up here come hunting season, so you should plan to reserve, rent, or buy one quick.
As a wife of an avid hunter, please get one. The hus had to cover for another guide and ended up getting stuck because of rain and flash floods up towards Healy.
You can also rent iridium in Fairbanks at the surveyer's exchange.
Radio Fairbanks rents them also for 75 bucks a week. You need to call in ahead of time and reserve one though. They only have so many and they go during hunting season.
Akhunter, buy the iridium 9505A, I used mine from Atigun pass last year, and for 6 months while I was in Iraq, very good reception and no delay or echo. bought mine thru satphonestore.com, once you get the phone, you can purchase pre-paid minutes, mine came out to a dollar a minute. By the time you figure out the renting of the phone and deposit, then minutes you might as well purchase...trust me i know....K
Iridium - Northern Lights plan
If you're just looking to use your Iridium phone in Alaska or Canada, ask your dealer about the Northern Lights plan. It's reasonably cheap and gives 200 minutes of talk time. Not all dealers carry it, so you may need to call around.
As far as buying equipment, you've got a pretty good range of options from cheap (old Kyocera or Iridium 9500 handsets) to more expensive (new Iridium 9505A). Ebay can be a good place to buy, but check to make sure the handset isn't blacklisted.