Thanks for the unsolicited testimonial, I think.(g) You're great, man.
Sat phone. I agree on the cost being ungodly, especially voice. Data could be justifiable. I had not heard, nor have I experienced, spotty coverage. Areas? I will say this for them, the voice reception is phenomenal. It's like calling your bedroom from the kitchen, without the phone company switching station, except you're talking to an operator in NY from the Indian Ocean. Landlines don't compare.
I've spoken to people who use Globalstar, which is good but limited to the Western Hemisphere, and not a whole lot of that, I believe. Iridium is good most places, but you pay the price.
I will really have to suss this out. In two years, if even Africa has WiFi (and a lot of places are skipping land line network upgrades entirely in favour of cell towers and WiFi), I may just skip the damn phone and go SSB/Pactor, because I know there's going to be several hundred "operators" interested in re-routing my call for free (after I spend three grand in SSB, antenna tuner and modem, that is.)