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Thread: New AT&T phone with Sattelite coverage!!!

  1. #1
    Member Zinker's Avatar
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    Default New AT&T phone with Sattelite coverage!!!

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ATT-to...59908.html?x=0

    Here us a link with some info. Checked the AT&T site, but I'm slow lol and didn't see it! Thought some of you may be interested that currently pay for both.

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    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    $25/month for the option to switch plus paying or minutes....uhhh....no. I pay $200/6 months and get 200 free minutes. Plus I don't bang up my phone from everyday use....and lastly but more importantly:

    one of the reasons I go remote...is to not talk to people.
    Know guns. Know peace. Know safety.

    No guns: no peace. No safety!

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    This phone has some definite potential advantages. First it is cheaper than an iridum phone in purchase price. The $25/month switching fee adds up to $300/year vs $400 for the Iridium just to keep it active. The Iridium does come with 400 free minutes at that price as long as you remember to purchase a new 6 mo plan before the old one expires. If you are only likely to use the phone for about 150 mins a year then the AT&T phone will end up costing you less than the iridium over the course of a year. I do like the idea of having 1 phone for everything, all you have to take is your cell phone and if you have an emergency doing something common like driving between Palmer and Delta Junction then you just need to switch your phone over to Sat mode and contact help. There are lots of spotty areas I go into with a sled or wheeler and knowing that I have another option to get a call out without having to remember to grab another phone. It does seem that with this phone quality coverage could be an issue and as far as that goes it seems real world testing will be needed to provide an answer.

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    i bet the iphone will have sat feature on the next model.
    Semper Fi!

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    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I do like the idea of having 1 phone for everything...
    You must not use your phone that much. Once you replace that phone the first time you've bought a brand new iridium. I'd feel twice as bad when my $800 phone drops out of my pocket....and Murphy says it will happen.

    If you have your current Sat phone through Surveyors, just have them put you on the auto renewal (I too failed to remember to get back to them and lost my roll overs).

    For the importance that the Sat phone is, I prefer it to be seperate phone. Kind of like the Bat phone...only for emergencies.
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    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    I'm in the group that likes the idea of one phone for everything. And since I can't get a Sat phone rental outfit to ever return a call looking to rent one, this would be a better option for me. I haven't dropped a phone yet (knock on wood) but for people that worry about that I'm sure there will a good case available to protect the phone.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

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    Member chriso's Avatar
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    I wonder what their coverage is like in the far norther hemisphere compared to the iridium? At least we KNOW you've got coverage up here with the Iridium package, I'd hate to find out there were blind spots with this new outfit...

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    The requirement is for a view of the southern sky so if you are behind a mountain then it will likely have problems. Also the internal antenna will not be adequate for AK from what I have read. There is an external iridium style flip up antenna that will be needed up here.

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    I looked into this late last year if I recall correctly. I was considering one for my recent AK hunting trip. The quote in the new story ("AT&T will initially be selling it to professional customers through business channels, but it will be in retail stores [soon] ...") appears to be what they have have been saying for a long time. I would be interested in one if they come out and work well, but those are two big ifs to me. Since I've been a continuous customer since last century (literally) I wish they just wouldn't make me talk to, be put on hold by, and repeatedly explain the same problem to, fifteen seperate people when I call about something going wrong with my cell phone.

    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    The requirement is for a view of the southern sky so if you are behind a mountain then it will likely have problems.
    This, basically, is true with Iridium too, right?


    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Also the internal antenna will not be adequate for AK from what I have read. There is an external iridium style flip up antenna that will be needed up here.
    That might be a deal-killer for me. The idea that I would have a cell phone that would work everywhere as an sat phone too is attractive. But the adtvantage of not having to carry an extra Iridium 9555 is offset to me somewhat by having to carry an extra antgenna (even though smaller than thed entire Iridium phone, it's still big enough that I wouldn't carry one around everywhere I go). I think I will just keep my 9555 in my car, and also take it when I go into the wild or countries like Abkhazia.

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Marinehawk, LuJon, Zinker, anyone...
    As I understand it (and anyone please do correct me if I'm wrong...) Your Iridium Sat Phone worked so great in Alaska because their satilites have a polar to polar orbit around earth. I have had fine Iridium sat phone use even in narrow canyons on the north side of the Brooks Range. Globalstar sat phones work poorly in Alaska, especially north of Kodiak, because those phones do need an unobstructed view of the southern sky. Globalstar used satilites that orbit earth around the equator.

    So my question is...Where are the satilites that the AT&T phone/sat phone uses? Are they orbiting around the equator? Or, like the Iridium satilites, are they have a polar orbit?

  11. #11
    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    I didn't realize that the Iridium ones relied on satellites with a polar orbit. I assume you're right that, if AT&T relies on satellites with an equatorial orbit, then an Iridium phone would have a very big advantage up north. My Iridium worked great about 95% of the time. About 1 call in 20, would not work out as well as hoped, and I would have to wait and redo.

  12. #12

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    Globalstar had something like this for years. A sat phone with cell service also available for the unit. We used them at work in the lower 48 though we never bothered to activate the cell service because there was none where we were.

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