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  #1  
Old 03-22-2012
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sat phones

Gday all, I will be cruising Australia and NZ and am looking to buy a sat phone. Any reccomendations?
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Old 03-22-2012
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Re: sat phones

No specific brand recommendations to offer. Depending on how long you plan to be, you might consider renting one.
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Old 03-22-2012
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Re: sat phones

What are your communications needs? Do you have dependents or business issues ashore that mandate direct dial? Will you stay coastal? Is SMS good enough or do you want data for e-mail?
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Old 03-22-2012
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Re: sat phones

I'm in the Bay of Islands now. You are gonna love it here!
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Old 03-22-2012
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Re: sat phones

When I looked in detail at this issue about two years ago only the Iridium system offered coverage for the whole of Oz / NZ (SV, SMS would only work 10-50nm offshore and by his post it sounds like he needs a system to cover from Oz to NZ, a distance of approx 1,200NM).

Therefore a phone that operates on the Iridium network is probably what you are looking for. The Iridium 9555, 9505a, 9505 and 9500 will all work. I ended up buying a 2nd hand 9500 on E-Bay, however if I was to do it again I would probably look at a newer model.

I also believe some newer models have been released over the last 12 months and some of them have features that automatically switch between local Telstra services and satelite depending on coverage.

Note that sat plans are horribly expensive, expect to pay $3 per minute plus GST for most plans. I ended up purchasing a pre-plan 200 minute block as the cheapest option, however it depends on your usage.

Again you can rent, however I found it was far cheaper to purchase 2nd hand and then sell the phone and unused airtime.

This company I found pretty competitive. They have rental plans as well as straight airtime plans where you provide your own phone.

Ilenart
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Re: sat phones

I am using a Isat phone for about a year. Works great. Phone was $650, one pre-paid minute is $ 1 one text message or email is $ 0.50.

Neal
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Old 03-22-2012
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Re: sat phones

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilenart View Post
SV, SMS would only work 10-50nm offshore and by his post it sounds like he needs a system to cover from Oz to NZ, a distance of approx 1,200NM
Iridium and Globalstar both support SMS on their phones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncapener View Post
I am using a Isat phone for about a year. Works great. Phone was $650, one pre-paid minute is $ 1 one text message or email is $ 0.50.
Isatphone doesn't currently support data, which is why I asked the questions I did.

What does the OP want to accomplish?
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Old 03-22-2012
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sat phones

We used a company called thuraya back in 2003 in Iraq. Prepaid minutes were $1 back then. Don't know what they cost now but I believe they cover that entire hemisphere.
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Old 03-22-2012
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Re: sat phones

One wonders to some extent why anyone cruising Australia and New Zealand would need a Satellite phone other than for the Tasman Sea crossing. Reality is that the vast majority of both lands is covered by standard mobile networks. I'm not sure about NZ but in Australia Telstra Next G is better than the rest coverage wise. Other networks are as good or better in more populated areas but Telstra covers almost the entire coastline.

So if the OP is thinking that while cruising Australia he/she will need a sat phone to stay in touch that is probably not the case and for the times that coverage was not available I'm seriously doubting that the expense of the sat service would make it all worthwhile. OTOH if it is seriously important to stay in touch seven days a week the Ilenart's advice was good. We have an Iridium 9505 but the newer stuff would blow the pants off it. Very low priority for us so I doubt we'll upgrade until forced to.
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Old 03-23-2012
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Re: sat phones

thnks everyone, i will look for a secondhand iridium
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