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#207829 - 09/12/10 10:23 PM SATPHONE Rental Companies
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Does anyone have first hand experience, and recommendations regarding SATPHONE rental companies?

If Hurricane Igor decides to visit the Gulf, I will be headed for recovery duty. Since I will be doing wireless infrastructure recovery, my cell phone probably will not work.

Give it to me straight; Good, Bad, or Ugly I want to know. I will have to pull the trigger on this if Igor crosses Florida.

Thanks
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#207835 - 09/12/10 11:45 PM Re: SATPHONE Rental Companies [Re: Desperado]
kd7fqd Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/07/05
Posts: 359
Loc: Saratoga Springs,Utah,USA
Desperado try this
http://www.satphone.net
$1.29/min

Mike
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EDC: Samsung Galaxy Note 2,DR PSK, Swiss Army Champ, Leatherman Blast
My Blog emergencybobs.wordpress.com


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#207889 - 09/13/10 10:47 AM Re: SATPHONE Rental Companies [Re: Desperado]
celler Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/25/03
Posts: 410
Loc: Jupiter, FL
I've had good experience with Russ at Sky Call Communications. Honest guy and good prices. Also stands behind his product.

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#207901 - 09/13/10 12:47 PM Re: SATPHONE Rental Companies [Re: Desperado]
falcon5000 Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
See if I get this right and please correct me if I am wrong. Iridium vs Globalstar satellite phones:

True global coverage ----Iridium yes---- Globalstar no
(anywhere on the planet)

Voice and data quality ----Iridium worst---- Globalstar best

Cost per minute---- Iridium worst---- Globalstar best

Roaming rates ---- Iridium none ----Globalstar yes

Phone size ---- Iridium big---- Globalstar small

Best phone for emergencies would be iridium due to global coverage, who cares how much per minute if it is life or death.

Best phone for normal operation in the covered zone would go to the globalstar.

http://www.travelbygps.com/articles/satphones.php
_________________________
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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#207913 - 09/13/10 05:12 PM Re: SATPHONE Rental Companies [Re: Desperado]
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1966
Out of date. Until Globalstar gets their satellite system back in working order, they are simply not a viable solution anywhere.
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#207932 - 09/13/10 08:44 PM Re: SATPHONE Rental Companies [Re: Doug_Ritter]
celler Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/25/03
Posts: 410
Loc: Jupiter, FL
Originally Posted By: Doug_Ritter
Out of date. Until Globalstar gets their satellite system back in working order, they are simply not a viable solution anywhere.


I don't know if I would agree with that entirely. Certainly if you need 24/7 service and depend upon the phone for true emergency communications, Globalstar is not the option for you.

However, Globalstar knows it has spotty coverage (maybe 20-30 minutes per hour in the western U.S.) and has priced it services aggressively to keep customers. I currently have a plan at $29 per month with unlimited usage in North America. When traveling in Canada, I get more than sufficient coverage to get my money's worth. Yes, I have dropped calls and I need to plan longer calls using the availability tool on their website, but this inconvenience is out-weighed by the substantial cost savings over Iridium. When I do have satellites overhead, the call quality is quite good.

Additionally, Globalstar is launching two more birds this month that will go along way toward closing the gaps in their constellation.

So I would not automatically rule Globalstar out. Determine your needs, weigh the cost differences, and invest accordingly. YMMV

Craig

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#207938 - 09/13/10 09:31 PM Re: SATPHONE Rental Companies [Re: Desperado]
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1966
The OP is talking about use for work, IOW, not at Globalstar's system's convenience, but when he needs to talk to someone now. Until Globalstar has a full constellation, at least in the areas one needs to function, it isn't a viable tool, just a convenience, IMHO.
_________________________
Doug Ritter
Editor
Equipped To SurviveŽ
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation
www.KnifeRights.org
www.DougRitter.com

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#207956 - 09/14/10 02:17 AM Re: SATPHONE Rental Companies [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Yep, Work. So the darn thing better do so also, or someone (who I rent from) isn't getting paid.

I appreciate all the responses so far, and more are welcome.

I just keep repeating the mantra: "Turn Bi--h, turn".


Well, it makes me feel like I have some say in the matter at least.

I got the "Official" warning order today, with the FragO to follow when/if Igor makes a decision.

Seems like as good a time as any to clean the RV and all that, right?
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#208001 - 09/14/10 08:19 PM Re: SATPHONE Rental Companies [Re: Desperado]
philip Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
See my delicious list for satellite phone rentals:
http://www.delicious.com/philip/satphone

I haven't updated it this year, so some may have fallen by the wayside. Iridium is now working, but Globalstar has satellites that are being eaten alive by space radiation, and I recommend not using them.

Here's the key to renting a satphone: run the numbers on every company to see which is cheapest. The rates vary, shipping may or may not be included, phone rentals vary. You have to run the full numbers on each company to see which is cheapest. Some include free shipping but charge more per minute; some make you pay for shipping but charge lower fees for the phone. If you don't price the full costs for each company, you may pay more than you need to. They play with the prices to make it hard to compare.

My wife and I camp in Death Valley over Thanksgiving, and we always rent a satphone to take with us. It's cheap insurance against being stranded. One of our campmates used the phone to call AAA when his home-brewed electrical system on his RV fried and he couldn't start his engine. We've called to get the weather in Tahoe to see if we could get over Donner Pass.

Have spare batteries or a way to plug into an inverter for AC if you don't rent spare batteries. Some of our rentals have maintained their charge for a week, but some haven't. Test the phone before you leave - you don't want to be reading the manual to figure it out when you really, really need to make that call.

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#208007 - 09/14/10 10:30 PM Re: SATPHONE Rental Companies [Re: philip]
falcon5000 Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
Philip, thanks for the links and advice, quick question, I had read if you rent the sat phone more than 3 times that it was cheaper to buy one. Does this hold any validity, plus I remember back (I think 2000) when Motorola was going to pull the plug on the iridium systems and the phones were going to be a boat anchor but later they worked through the tough times. It's a shame that neither Motto or Globalstar can't get their act together, but that's what happens in a niche market with not as many players. I guess it will take Google to pull it off, the walmart of the internet.
_________________________
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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