Satellite Phone in Bahamas - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-12-2007 Thread Starter
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Satellite Phone in Bahamas

We plan to take our first extended cruise this fall for six months. We will be leaving the Chesapeake Bay in mid-October, traveling the ICW and spending 2-3 months in the Bahamas. We'll be able to use our cell phones along the US east coast, but will need a satellite phone for personal and minor business use in the Bahamas. We've heard conflicting statuses on Globalstar's performance in the Bahamas. We'd appreciate hearing your personal current experiences with Globalstar, Iridium, or another service in the Bahamas. Also, what's the best way to connect to the internet without SSB in remote areas in the Bahamas. Thanks! Linda
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-12-2007
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If you are in areas in the Bahamas that have cellphone service, you can use your Cellphone, however; it's very expensive. One way to redue this costs is to have your phone unlocked and then use a Bahamas SIM card. Costs are much higher than in the US but considerabley cheaper than using your own carrier. $0.49 per minute to call anywhere in the US.
As far as internet is concerned WiFi is available in many areas and most of the time it's free.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-12-2007
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Everything I read says that the Gstar situation continues to deteriorate. It was fairly bad in the Bahamas even before but at least it was cheap.
Iridium works great but will kill you on fees. Cheaper to do the cell phone there.
SKYPE is cheap and connections (wired and wireless) are available all over the Abacos and Exumas that are good...though you need to be near civilization. This may be an alternative for you.
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-13-2007
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From what I've heard regarding Globalstar, they are not reliable, and may not survive the problems they're currently having.

Most carriers, if you ask them and explain the situation, will send you an unlock code for your phone. T-mobile is very good about this, AT&T/Cingular less so... Verizon and Sprint use technologies that aren't available in the Caribbean IIRC.

WiFi or wired internet connections, particularly if you have a laptop, are probably the way to go. If you don't like Skype, you can always get a Vonage soft-phone...which allows you to make phone calls via Voice Over IP using your laptop. It would also give you a US-based phone number with full voice-mail capabilities, so that friends and such can call you without any international call charges.

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post #5 of 15 Old 08-14-2007 Thread Starter
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The cheapest Bahamas SIM card rate I could find on the internet was over $1 per minute. Who offers the $.49 per minute rate?
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-24-2011
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Post Airtime for Bahamas Sim Card

You can buy airtime cards for your bahamas sim card and also bahamas calling cards at ezminutes.com
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-25-2011
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You buy the SIM card and the minutes from Betelco.
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-25-2011
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Although, I wouldn't say this would make a substitute for a satellite phone, it might make a good supplement for communications:

http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=116

You would of course need to find more information of which satellite system they use and maybe some feedback from current users.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-25-2011
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They are owned by Globalstar and use Globalstar's network. However, the data portion of the Globalstar network hasn't had the problems the voice side has had.
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Originally Posted by mdbee View Post
Although, I wouldn't say this would make a substitute for a satellite phone, it might make a good supplement for communications:

SPOT Connect

You would of course need to find more information of which satellite system they use and maybe some feedback from current users.

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post #10 of 15 Old 01-25-2011
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Globalstar has launched their first set of new sattelites and will have two more launches by Spring. Coverage should improve. The advantage is you can get email without buying a data plan for your phone that may not be available in the Bahamas. We use our Globalstar to get gribs for navigation and can get web pages using an accelerator.
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