How to choose a satellite phone

Choosing a satellite phone for the first time can be confusing and considering the costs involved you need to make sure you choose the right option for your requirements. The first thing to consider is where you will be using the phone. Iridium is the only satellite phone network to offer global coverage whereas Thuraya and Inmarsat’s SPS (satellite phone service) can offer cheaper equipment and airtime alternatives if you remain in their coverage areas. Visit our sat phone coverage maps page for details on coverage. Once you have decided which network coverage is suitable, you need to decide whether to opt for a monthly contract or choose a pre-paid plan. Although monthly contracts have a 12 month minimum period they can offer cheaper costs per minute if you are predicting frequent usage. Pre-paid plans on the other hand are better for those carrying sat phones for emergency purposes only – you have the credit if you need to use it without the commitment to a 12 month contract. Watch out for validity of pre-paid SIM cards and minutes though – Iridium and Thuraya impose a maximum lifespan on both pre-paid SIM cards and vouchers which means that even if you don’t use the minutes they won’t last forever. Once you have decided which network provides the best coverage for your requirements, the final decision is which satellite phone handset to choose. Iridium’s latest handset is the Iridium 9555 although handsets such as the Iridium 9505a are sometimes available secondhand. The Inmarsat satellite phone service is a relatively new service and so only one handset has been produced which is the IsatPhone. Thuraya offers three handsets which are the most similar to mobile phones in terms of features and size. Prices for all sat phones at Global Telesat range from £420 - £999. We are pleased to offer our customers advice on which option is best for them. Please email us at info@globaltelesat.co.uk or phone us on 0207 969 2866 for help and advice.

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