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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Not really an alternative because it is still a sat phone. However company sent me a "Sat Sleeve". Works with existing smart phone, I have a Samsung G4. This sleeve enables your phone to access satellite networks. You still pay a subscription however the hardware is cheaper. I just used mine for the first time on the Nigeria, Niger border. Worked great.

http://www.thuraya.com/products-list

Jerry
 

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Donna. Many use their satphones to down load weather. Much faster than ssb. When is snotty and you're tired a good option. Sometimes ssb won't work. Also some routers may give you weather / weather advice via satphone. I've had occasion to speak with the builder of my boat while he was in China and I on passage to BVI.
Damn useful device for many things beyond calling SAR.
 

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Donna. Many use their satphones to down load weather. Much faster than ssb. When is snotty and you're tired a good option. Sometimes ssb won't work. Also some routers may give you weather / weather advice via satphone. I've had occasion to speak with the builder of my boat while he was in China and I on passage to BVI.
Damn useful device for many things beyond calling SAR.
I understand that. I only commented about the interruption if a cell call came through. If I'm within cell range I wouldn't use a sat phone to access weather.
 

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My m/c trip up to Alaska there where lots of places where cell phone coverage was none existent..This Sat phone alt. would have been a nice addition..looks compact and easy storage on a bike.
 

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WGEwald quoted my blog on the Thuraya SatSleeve and asks if the Thuraya SatSleeve's ability to drop a sat-mode call when an inbound cellular-mode call comes in is a feature. I would say yes it is an important feature if you are interested in using an iPhone or Android "cellular" phone and want to prioritize cellular calls over satellite calls. I believe Thuraya's idea in making the SatSleeve function this way is that most users prefer to use the cellular service instead of the expensive satellite service when cellular service is available. Since both calls cannot be handled simultaneously, the SatSleeve selects the cellular call and drops the satellite call.

It needs to be remembered that the SatSleeve only offers service in the Thuraya coverage area which includes much of Africa, Europe, the Middle East, India, Asia, and Australia. The SatSleeve does not have global coverage.

I notice that some of the posts here are talking about places like Alaska as well as mid-ocean. Iridium is a better choice for global travelers because of its global coverage. The Iridium GO! Wi-Fi hotspot product works with iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.
 
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