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Thread: Which satellite phone?

  1. #1
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    Default Which satellite phone?

    I am coming up to a remote lodge by Sea Otter Sound at northern POW Island. Due to several reasons, I was thinking about renting a satellite phone. Does anyone have info on Globalstar versus Iridium in terms of coverage in this area? Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Go Iridium...

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    Surveyors Exchange is the authority on sattelite phones in Alaska. Give them a call. 800-770-5500 or 561 6501
    USN Seabee '90-'95, NRA Life Member

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 270ti View Post
    Go Iridium...

    Another vote for Iridium.

    Global Star had a bunch of satellites die a few years ago and the service was horrible. For two years up at our lodge in the NWT we were only able to get about 2 or 3 minutes per hour of service. I don't know how it is now 3 years later, but I wouldn't risk relying on one.

    Our lodges now use satellite internet and Vonage Voip devices.

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    Another vote for Iridium. i was on Kodiak a couple years ago with a friend that had a globestar. I could make calls and, although he was standing right next to me, he could not get a sattelite lock. He used my phone to make his calls. And come to think of it, never repaid me for the minutes!

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Never used one, but been reading on this forum for years from folks that have. NO question. Iridium. You can rent them online, Sat Phone Rental (or similar) .com. They will mail you the phone a few days before your trip (2nd day air), you take the trip, mail it back to them. My buddy rented one for a float trip a few years back. It came in a waterproof pelican case and an extra battery. Nice set up. A quick google search would show the website. Try "Satellite phone rental".
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Default Iridium

    The National Guard did a test of the Globalstar a few years ago ( I got to take one free to hunting camp south of the Denali Hwy)


    The sucked, they don't even issue them anymore to troop for the reason that they are so unreliable.
    We took one last weekend to McClure Bay and for the 2 days we were there we had exactly 2, 1 minute 15 second calls make it through, The rest of the time was spent searching for a signal.

    Quote Originally Posted by torpedo View Post
    I am coming up to a remote lodge by Sea Otter Sound at northern POW Island. Due to several reasons, I was thinking about renting a satellite phone. Does anyone have info on Globalstar versus Iridium in terms of coverage in this area? Thanks.

  8. #8
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I was just in Sea Otter Sound last week and used an Iriduim phone from there and it worked fine, as it did everywhere in SE. The only thing is that you need to be outside if you are using it with the built in antenna.

    There were a couple of occasions when the signal was weak, but you wait a few minutes and apparently another satellite comes into range and then it is fine.

    Jim

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    Default phone

    Iridium The only one that works off the road system. Used one from anchorage to Nome and all along the coastal area. Never had a problem. As some one already said you have to have a clear view of the sky. A couple of very deep valleys and there was no signal until we got closer to the top or until a satelite was directly over head. Surveyers Exchange is the place to go to get the phone.

  10. #10

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    what lodge are you going too? they may have a land line phone. and you may get cell service if you are out neer cornation island out of craig. its spoty but you can some times.

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    Thanks for all your input. I guess Iridium is clearly the choice. I will rent one via internet as suggested. The lodge I am visiting is Bear Valley Lodge(new ownership) and currently they are putting in a satellite phone for the lodge as there is no land line. I know its terribly wrong to go to a remote location and still need to be in contact with the outside world but its the price I have to pay if I want to go. Torpedo

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    This is where my buddy rented his. He got the optional rental of a pelican case fitted for the phone and an extra battery.

    http://www.satellitephonestore.com/s...one-rental.php

    Here is the rental agreement....

    http://www.satellitephonestore.com/i..._Agreement.pdf
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Question, do cell phones work up there, like verizon?

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doski View Post
    Question, do cell phones work up there, like verizon?
    Yes they do in the populated areas and travel corridors.
    AT&T is starting to upgrade their network in Alaska this week. Soon there will be 3G service.
    Reception is spotty in some places like down on the Anchor river and you may need to move around a bit to get service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    AT&T is starting to upgrade their network in Alaska this week. Soon there will be 3G service.
    3G came online in Palmer Wednesday. I sure it will change as it gets more saturated but right now it is crazy fast.

  16. #16
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    Default iridium

    Iridium, it's what I carry.

  17. #17

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    Lookin forward to meeting you, I will be your guide for this adveture.and they are getting a phone put in real soon. and you can get cell service out there if you drive down the road up on a hill and climb a very large tree and sit on a limb. just kidding but there is cell sevice down the road a bit.I am going out there in a few days to start getting the boat ready and start tracking down the fish.

  18. #18

    Default Mobal Iridium . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by bentfin View Post
    Lookin forward to meeting you, I will be your guide for this adveture.and they are getting a phone put in real soon. and you can get cell service out there if you drive down the road up on a hill and climb a very large tree and sit on a limb. just kidding but there is cell sevice down the road a bit.I am going out there in a few days to start getting the boat ready and start tracking down the fish.
    bentfin-
    Love your sense of humor! And your 'comforting touch' as a guide!

    torpedo-

    I researched the same topic ~18 months ago, for a medical brigade trip to Honduras. I, too, was advised to steer away from Globalstar...
    Perhaps the most convincing evidence was when I read on THEIR website that they were experiencing satellite issues!

    I opted for Mobal... you speak to peeps in the UK, but they ship phone out of NY office. Phone can be reached by a US #, however.
    AND you can text, if you feel so inclined. . .

    At the time, they were the most straight forward re: charges and lack of hidden fees. FWIW - I was also advised not to pay for the insurance...
    then my luggage was lost on a connector flight... Fortunately MOST of the phone and accessories were in my carry-on!

    MOBAL IRIDIUM SAT PHONE LINK

    Safe Travels. . . sounds like a fun guided trip, so far!
    Doc

  19. #19

    Default Wherever You May Roam....

    Quote Originally Posted by Doski View Post
    Question, do cell phones work up there, like verizon?
    Check with Verizon directly for the areas you will be traveling to... I was with Sprint on my first trip to AK...
    They wanted to connect me to the international service for hooking up in AK.

    I assured them that AK was, indeed, part of the USA!

    Another time, they charged me over $500 for roaming charges, for internet and phone... On a plan that had NO roaming...
    That charge got dropped, but only after my blood pressure went up when I saw it!

    Gotta love / hate relationship with technology. . .

  20. #20
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    RSKY, Sprint is an absolutly terrible company! They are no friend to soldiers either. I have known many who got stuck with constant charges and emails as well as threats of collections and credit damage. Very bad company to deal with and they will never get another dollar from me or anyone I a can convince to go elswhere.

    When I seperated from the military and moved back home they would not terminate my contract. I have talked to numerous soldier/airmen who had sprint and got PCSed to AK and were jerked around by them as well. I finally bent to them since I was trying to buy a house. We ended up paying the a $250 ransom to keep our good credit. They still sent us bills for the next 3 months but we were able to get them to cancell them each time. They would cancel January but then we would get a bill for Feb... The worst part of it all is that we didn't have any sort of a signed contract witht them. I was a customer for 8 years on the same plan, when I went to Iraq I put my account on hold then reactivated it when I got back. Aparently they decided that my reactivation upon returning from war constituted a brand new contract! Man I hate that company!

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