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Rave About Your Rack Please do not post retail SPAM.

Anyone own a sat phone?
1:05:57 PM
A work colleague is looking to rent or possibly buy-and-resell one for a trip to WA. Anyone on here have one they'd like to loan out (for a fee)?

No Sir Winston this has nothing whatsoever to do with mobile coverage in Tassie.
Richard Delaney
8:28:14 PM
I have one but, sorry, it's busy most of the time although I thought it might be interresting to describe a rarley publicised option.

You can put a telstra NextG post paid (ie you have a plan) sim card that has been enabled for international roaming (takes one phone call) into a Motorola Iridium handset and then make/receive satelite calls to your heart's content (wallet's discontent!).

This meant we could buy the handset outright for $2,000 with no plan/monthly fees and then have it cost nothing for the time it spends in the filing cabinet. The calls cost $2 per 30sec (both in an out). The cheapest plan we could find at the time was $30/month so we're miles ahead.

BIG NOTE: even though it's a Telstra NextG SIM card, this handset can not use the terestrial networks - it only makes sat calls.
10:26:35 AM
Youre a little between a rock and a hard place here. If you buy with a view to reselling after the big trip its a fairly substantial initial outlay and you wont recover anywhere near what you spent initially. If you rent the handset rental normally isnt too bad, but the call costs are usually at a premium over what the hirer pays. I have heard stories of paying USD 10 per minute of air time, but this is purely anecdotal. I have personally paid USD5 per min of air time.
Depending on how soon he needs it, I think I would be tempted to shop around and look for a second hand unit (there are several Iridium handsets on evilBay at the moment at reasonable prices).
If he only wants it for 'just in case' a PLB would be a cheaper and equally effective option.
10:34:16 AM
Why get a sat phone when you can get one that runs mon through to sun?

(I know, I know, its certainly not a friday funny)
10:09:43 PM
I have rented a Telstra sat phone for a month in the outback - about $500. A better option now could be an Optus dual-mode sat phone. They brought out a model last year that is significantly cheaper than the Iridium based service and could have cheaper hire rates.
Google Optus Thuraya Hire
Asta say they rent thuraya handsets

11:07:54 PM
Typically I find the services with the cheaper rates are shit. Iridium are tried and true.

1:59:13 PM
If he just wants to be able to call for help in an emergency, then racingtadpole is correct - a PLB would be fine.

If he just wants to call for help OR let the family know he's OK then a SPOT would do the job. It uses the satelite phone system to send one of two pre-defined text messages, or send an emergency text message, all with GPS location. It's unreliable in forest but works fine in open country.


Now if a SPOT is going to be sufficient, then I have one that I don't use much and could lend.


10:19:46 PM
On 12/03/2010 foreverabumbly wrote:
>Typically I find the services with the cheaper rates are shit. Iridium
>are tried and
A fair enough call. Iridium is reliable but expensive. Looking more into the Thuraya satellite system it's probably cheaper because there aren't as many satellites. Reviews suggest that it can be a bit dodgy getting a good connection around cliffs, tall buildings, clouds etc on east cost. Probably not a bad bet for WA though as Australia is served by satellite over Singapore (I think). Given the cost of either system a bit of research will come in handy.
I found the hire service I used really good. They couriered to Natimuk the day before I left for four weeks and picked up the day after I arrived home, minimising the hire time. And sorry, can't remember who they are. I found them on one of the 4wd sites (Exploroz).

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