Adventure SchoolInspiration

Adventure School: Stay Connected with SatPhone Shop


Aussie families are known to be an adventurous bunch when it comes to getting away from the hustle and bustle in school holidays to getaway in the great outdoors!!

Typically, the family school holiday is around loading up the 4×4, caravan or camping equipment and trekking across the remote wilderness.  Many from the southern parts escaping the colder weather and travelling north or in land to get some warmer weather and defrost after a cold wet winter!

One thing that families will find out very quickly whilst travelling across the vast terrain, is that your mobile phone is basically rendered useless once you travel outside our major capital and regional centres. Most mobile networks cover 98% -99% of the population, which is great, however in land mass this equates to only around 20% of Australia having mobile coverage, the other 80% where you need communications even more, has nothing. Which does have an upside in that the kids will finally get off their phones and appreciate this great land, however the downside is what do you do in an emergency if you need help?

Of course, there is radio, UHF is pretty inexpensive and easy to use, however even with a 5watt system the signal at best only carriers 17km. In the outback, most properties are bigger than that. Great to have a couple when the crew goes exploring away from camp, but isn’t something you can 100% rely on if needed in an emergency.

For this reason, there is a genuine need for families to have a satellite phone for use on their holiday and to have that peace of mind.  To know that they will have a reliable source of communication for emergencies and life-threatening situations is crucial.  Even just to keep in touch with family and friends back home to let them know all is going well!

There are a few different choices out there when it comes to satellite phones, and like mobile phones, coverage is key. You want to go with the network that offers the best coverage possible, as there is no point really having a satellite phone if you can’t get a signal when you need it.  SatPhone Shop is supported by the Iridium network.  Iridium is the ONLY satellite network provider that offers 100% global coverage, so you can’t get better than that!

The Iridium network operates a LEO (Low Earth Orbiting) satellite constellation.  It consists of 66 moving satellites, about 800km in orbit. From a usage perspective, one of the important things of a LEO constellation is that they enable satellite phones to be designed with omni-directional antennas.  This offers great coverage even in hilly areas and the most rugged of terrain, always giving you 100% global satellite coverage.

The important thing to remember when using a satellite phone is the phone must be able to see the satellite and vice versa. You must be outside with a clear view of the sky (unless your using an external antenna) to make and receive calls.

If you happen to be in a deep gully or valley with high cliffs either side, this may affect the phone getting a good satellite signal.  If possible, you would climb higher up to increase your chance of getting a better coverage. The benefit of Iridium and their 66 satellites is they are always moving, so even in a bad location, there will be times a satellite will be overhead to enable you to make a call or send an SMS.  This could be a real-life saver compared to a geostationary satellite, where you only have access to one satellite, so if you don’t have signal where you are, you will never have a signal.

If you regularly travel remotely on holidays or even do frequent weekends away, then investing in a satellite phone maybe a good option to consider. Through SatPhone Shop, we offer the 3 choices available from Iridium:

  1. 9575 Extreme Satellite phone 2. 9555 Satellite Phone 3. Iridium GO – Wi-Fi hotspot / calling solution.

Depending on your requirements and budget all offer your family the peace of mind that if needed, help is only a phone call away! So, what the differences in the 3 models?

Iridium Extreme® 9575 – This phone is built for the toughest of conditions, it has lots of features and accessories like real time tracking, GPS enabled, SOS emergency distress at no additional charge.  You can add a magnetic antenna to your kit so there is no need to pull over to use your satellite phone, you will always be connected.

Iridium 9555 – If you need a satellite phone to have in your caravan for that peace of mind, but do not need all the extra features that the Extreme® offers, an Iridium 9555 satellite phone is designed to go easily wherever you go.  The Iridium 9555 offers call and text capabilities and an internally stowed antenna making this a sleek portable option.

Iridium GO!  – Is for those who just can’t bare to be without their smartphones, the Iridium GO! is one of our most popular devices.  The Iridium GO! is a compact and portable, yet rugged satellite backed Wi-Fi hotspot.  Just download the free Iridium GO! app and you can turn your smart phone into a satellite phone. This great little device can also connect up to 5 smart devices whether it is a smart phone or tablet (for Apple and Android users), making this a great option for people traveling in groups.  The Iridium GO! is small enough to fit in your pocket or stowed away in your backpack, with the bonus addition of being able to support a range of communications, including GPS tracking and email access.

SatPhone Shop offers great airtime options with these phones on a Telstra plan which offers much easier calling from the satellite phone and also gives you access to 13 / 1300 and 1800 numbers, which are not available from a standard Iridium service.

SatPhone Shop also offer the Extreme 9575 and the Iridium GO! with the Telstra Mobile Repayment Option (MRO) so you pay nothing upfront, and pay the phone off over the 24 months of the contract interest free!  With plans starting as low as $35 a month, which includes your first $10 of calls each month and satellite calls at $2 per minute, satellite has become more affordable than ever!

Of course, if buying is not for you, we still have you covered as SatPhone Shop also has SatPhone Rentals!

SatPhone Rentals, a subsidiary of SatPhone Shop, offer the cheapest rental rates around and offer the full range of Iridium phones with 100% satellite coverage on the Iridium network. SatPhone Rentals can advise you of a calling solution that will meet your needs whether post-paid or pre-paid, there is a plan that is right for you. Renting a satellite phone is also a terrific way to try before you buy…it really couldn’t be any easier than that.

A SatPhone Rental can start from as little as $7 per day with 3 different handsets to choose from and all phones come in a water proof protective hard case to keep everything safe and dry!

SatPhone Rentals delivers phones anywhere in Australia from Melbourne to Nhulunbuy to Oodnadatta to Carnarvon via Express Post.  A self-addressed Express Post envelope is even provided for you to return the phone, it couldn’t be easier!  With a low minimum 3-day rental for phones you can rent for as long as you like. SatPhone Rentals also offer Post Paid SIM cards which are available for rent for a minimum of 7 days or Pre-paid cards starting at 30 days with 50 minutes of call credit for a low $150.

Typically, you will receive your satphone rental within 2-3 working days depending on where you’re located. If you are in Melbourne, then you are welcome to come to our showroom and collect a phone for those last-minute trips.

All phones are fully tested prior to shipping, so you can have peace of mind.

SatPhone Shop’s foundation is built on having some of the best employees in the industry, with years of satellite telecommunication experience from sales and marketing right across to engineering and excellent customer support.

Let us assist you with your satellite communication needs, call now on 1300 368 611.

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