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How to Choose a Satellite Phone

With numerous different satellite phones out there which one will be best for you. It comes down to choices including price, coverage, quality of service and capabilities.

Iridium
If coverage and quality of service in a handheld phone is what you are looking for GlobalCom's Iridium phone is unbeatable. Iridium is the "only" satellite phone offering total planetary coverage with its constellation made up of 66 satellites. In addition Iridium is offering a service guarantee offering 98% connectivity. The Iridium system provides true global communication coverage including oceans, and all land areas including the Poles. The Iridium system blankets the Earth, connecting global satellite coverage with local ground-based wireless services. Learn More: How the Iridium service works

Outbound calls using the Iridium service are at a flat per minute rate from anywhere to everywhere on the planet. No long distance and no roaming fees for outbound calls to anywhere on the planet. Outbound calls range from $1.29 per minute to 99 cents per minute. Monthly plans and bundled yearly plans are available. Iridium Service Plans
If you don't want to be under a service agreement GlobalCom offers the option of prepaid service where there is no monthly fee, no credit check and no contract. More information: Iridium Prepaid Service

With the optional data kit and a PC Iridium will give you access to the Internet at 2.4K. The Iridium phone as of the time this article is written is on sale for $985.00 new (when purchased online) or a demo unit can be obtained at a discount. You can rent an Iridium phone starting at only $28 per week. Click here for more information about an iridium satellite phone rental.

Globalstar
If price is your most important factor Globalstar by far as of the writing of this article has the best price. You can buy a Globalstar GSP-1600 first generation phone as low as $149.00 refurbished or $299.00 new. The newest Globalstar model GSP-1700 is on sale now for $499. Globalstar ended its offering of unlimited airtime (offered during the network rebuilding phase) on April 1st, 2013. Globalstar is now offering home area coverage for only $$24.99 per month. For more information on the service offered by Globalstar go to this link http://www.globalcomsatphone.com/satellite/services/globalstar.html

The Globalstar home coverage area includes Canada, Continental U.S., eastern Caribbean and parts of Alaska. Globalstar does have coverage in 120 countries but not everywhere on the planet so before choose a Globalstar phone make sure where you plan to travel is in the Globalstar coverage area. Roaming rates outside the Globalstar home calling area average $1.39 per minute. More information: Globalstar Coverage Area

Unlimited air time was something unheard of in the satellite phone industry until 2007. The reason Globalstar is offering unlimited airtime is because a number of the 48 satellites in the Globalstar constellation have duplex transmitters that have failed. This is causing service gaps in the Globalstar coverage. Customers may experience dropped calls and periods of no service. Globalstar customers understand the service is not the best but want to take advantage of a very low cost satellite phone and unlimited service.

With the optional data kit and PC, Globalstar gives users access to the Internet with speeds up to 56K.

Thuraya
Looking for something at a low price providing you coverage in Africa, Europe and parts of Asia the Thuraya satellite phone may be your solution. More information: Thuraya Coverage

The Thuraya SO-2510 is the best priced Thuraya model at $865.99. Customers wanting a smaller, sleeker phone need not worry about performance. This phone has numerous features including GPS location tracking, fax and data at 9.6K, GmPRS, and SMS services that gives communication in the world wherever there is Thuraya coverage. More information: Thuraya Satellite Phones

The Thuraya postpaid satellite service is offered for $47.50 a month. Airtime is at a rate of $1.49 per minute to landline destinations and other Thuraya phones via satellite mode. More information: Postpaid and Prepaid Thuraya service

Inmarsat BGAN
If you want all the capabilities you have from your desk at work the Inmarsat BGAN unit is your answer no matter where you travel. BGAN stands for Broad Band Area Global Network. If you need a broad band connection and voice communications the Inmarsat BGAN terminals will give you this solution from virtually anywhere on the planet. Learn More: Inmarsat BGAN coverage

The BGAN satellite terminals are simple to use. Just point the terminal toward the satellite then after a few clicks on you PC your connected. You can send email, serf the Internet and be on the phone all at the same time. What is great you don't have to learn different ways to connect when you travel to different countries and regions because you connect directly with the satellite. It is just as easy to set up as it is to pack up when your on the move again.

Certain BGAN terminals can be used to connect a network of computers together when a temporary office is needed in the middle of no where. More information: Inmarsat BGAN Terminals

With the Inmarsat BGAN data service while your on-line you only use the airtime when sending an email or changing websites. You do not use airtime when you are not transferring data. More information: Inmarsat BGAN Service.

Inmarsat BGAN Service is also available as a BGAN pre-paid option.Inmarsat has been the satellite service from the beginning of satellite voice communication offering service to ships over a quarter of a century ago. Inmarsat has stood at the forefront of mobile satellite services for nearly 30 years. Inmarsat is a pioneer in the satellite communication field.

Inmarsat IsatPhone
The Inmarsat IsatPhone is a good option for many users. The Isatphone Pro has near worldwide coverage. This phone works best in more souther lattitudes, as the satellite are at the equator.

One of the greatest benefits of the handheld Inmarsat IsatPhone is the price at only $679.00. The Isatphone has a color screen, and a build in GPS, so you can text your position.

The IsatPhone provides high quality satellite phone service using Inmarsat's latest generation Inmarsat-4 satellite at only 99 cents per minute to any landline or cellular phone.

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