Cheapest way to run an Iridium sat phone

Marck

Well-Known Member
#1
Hi people

I have picked up a second hand iridium sat phone for a Cape trip later in the year. I am thinking that I will just use it for a daily text message to the family once or twice a day when I’m out of mobile coverage and maybe the odd short call. I may also receive the odd call depending on price for incoming calls. It might get used for other trips down the track a bit but for now it’s probably just for a month.

What’s the advice on the best way to get it connected for a fair price.

Thanks
Marc
 

mac_man_luke

Well-Known Member
#2
From my searching Pivotel is the best bet on the $40 / month plan - can be had on no contract if you want.
Incoming calls are free with normal aus mobile no. Outgoing calls are not bad.

You can use a telstra post paid sim with roaming enabled but its very expensive including if people ring
you even if the phone is off until the sim is put in a normal phone and turned on with reception.

Can get pre-paid sims but $$$$$$ and if you run out your stuffed.
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
#3
I use prepaid and just put $50-80 recharge before I go on a trip. I don't use it though unless it is an emergency
Any contact with family or friends can wait until I get mobile phone reception
 

unko84

Active Member
#4
My oldman has one i think its 50 a month standard mobile rates when someone is calling you, i think he said its about $4 a min to call out and 50c text. So we text the person first and they ring us
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
#5
Get a $10 per month post paid Telstra normal phone plan. DO NOT tell telstra that it will be used for your sat phone. They will try to convince you that it doesn't work but it does. It's a hangover from the old Telstra country wide sat service. Note the $10 plan is hard top get, its a lot easier to get the $20 casual plan.

Make sure it has Overseas roaming and 1900 turned on. Check this before you go as Telstra will tell you it's on and it may not be. You have to generally call Telstra 2 - 3 times to get this.

When all that is turned on, you put the the SIM in your Iridium sat phone and bingo that mobile number is a sat phone number in that phone. It works exactly the same as a normal mobile phone roaming to a country called Iridium. You will get the bill with roaming charges.

Calls are $4.00 per min incoming or outgoing. SMS is $1.50

When you return from your trip, cancel the casual plan till next time.

Actually you can do this with any Telstra postpaid SIM with roaming enabled. If you or a friend has this try the sim in the phone ( you may need a standard SIM carrier - you can get these on ebay for $2) The plan MUST be enabled for international roaming. You can just use this for your trip but people will call you. Every text message will be $1.50 even when it is turned off.

Search on EO or this forum for more details.
 

mauriceb

Well-Known Member
#6
@Marck Couple of options .All iridium services a bloody expensive reason i sold my set and use Thuraya connected 365 days for $180 and is suitable for where i travel. https://satphoneshop.com/iridiumprepaid When you buy it comes with a sim and number. You then need to ring customer service to activate it within 12 months ,then credit expires in 30 days. You can then top it up. However sim will expire in 9 months if left idle . You will then need to purchase another sim but you won't get the same number. Looks a lot cheaper than Pivotel's Casual plan where a 2 min call cost's $13.20 OR you can hire a sim, http://www.satellitehire.com.au/satellite-phone-sim-card.
 

mac_man_luke

Well-Known Member
#7
@Marck Couple of options .All iridium services a bloody expensive reason i sold my set and use Thuraya connected 365 days for $180 and is suitable for where i travel. https://satphoneshop.com/iridiumprepaid When you buy it comes with a sim and number. You then need to ring customer service to activate it within 12 months ,then credit expires in 30 days. You can then top it up. However sim will expire in 9 months if left idle . You will then need to purchase another sim but you won't get the same number. Looks a lot cheaper than Pivotel's Casual plan where a 2 min call cost's $13.20 OR you can hire a sim, http://www.satellitehire.com.au/satellite-phone-sim-card.
Yea the pivotel casual plan is not worth it, the $40 plan is much better and is "only" $90 if you only stay on it one month
 

Tink

Well-Known Member
#8
Does anybody know if a third party Telstra SIM works in an Iridium (the same as described above). I have an Aldi mobile plan which uses Telstra.
Tink
 

mauriceb

Well-Known Member
#9
I can comfirm Boost Mobile didnt work in my Iridium. I would say it would be the same with other Telco's using the Telstra Network .
 

Marck

Well-Known Member
#11
I like the look of the Pivotel 40 or 50 plan and paying the “admin” fee. It’s almost affordable enough to call somone on it. Dose anybody know if you also pay for incoming calls or just the outgoing. I see incoming text messages are free. So a daily text message check in could be good to.

M
 

mac_man_luke

Well-Known Member
#14
I like the look of the Pivotel 40 or 50 plan and paying the “admin” fee. It’s almost affordable enough to call somone on it. Dose anybody know if you also pay for incoming calls or just the outgoing. I see incoming text messages are free. So a daily text message check in could be good to.
M
Yea thats the best bit about those pivotel plans, regular mobile number with no incoming costs - so send sms (50c i think) - have the other person call you for nothing!
and if you get stuck $2/min wont send you broke.
 

Mr Rum

4x4 Earth Legend
#17
Once you feel the security of having a sat phone you will find it hard to cancel. Iv had mine going for a few years now - not needed it but just a nice security policy.
Agreed.
I pay $20/month year round for this exact reason.
Haven’t “needed” mine either, but it has come in handy a couple of times.

Last time I used it was on our way to the Vic gathering. It started to rain, and someone remembered reading on Earth that the track ahead would be impassable in the wet.
I just gave the wife a call and got her to find the post on here and then read it to us.
Three minutes at $1/min was a small price to pay for the peace of mind in my book.


To be honest, I actually get a kick out of it when I say, “I’ll just give Jen a call and get her to look it up”, and hear, “there’s no phone reception here” as a response.:p
 

stevemc181

Well-Known Member
#18
I've got my Iridium 9575 on a $35.00 monthly plan with Telstra, it just sits for months doing nothing, but you don't have to be far out of a town in WA to lose mobile coverage. I've already had one substantial hike through the bush due to a breakdown and not keen to do it again, so the Sat phone lives in the vehicle now.
We used it a couple of years ago to help a traveller with a broken down caravan on the Wolfe Creek Crater Road, apart from that it's just reassuring to know you have an emergency contact method at all times.
 

muffin man

Well-Known Member
#19
I've got my Iridium 9575 on a $35.00 monthly plan with Telstra, it just sits for months doing nothing, but you don't have to be far out of a town in WA to lose mobile coverage. I've already had one substantial hike through the bush due to a breakdown and not keen to do it again, so the Sat phone lives in the vehicle now.
We used it a couple of years ago to help a traveller with a broken down caravan on the Wolfe Creek Crater Road, apart from that it's just reassuring to know you have an emergency contact method at all times.
Yep...I bought mine in 2004 when the debate between HF and Satphones was raging:confused:
Back then the Govt. were keen to get them out in the market and were offering a $1500 rebate:)
Never once has it not been on some kind of plan so it's always ready.
Made the odd call and used it for the odd emergency.
Lots of different gadgets on the market now but I reckon the satphone is still the best option.
 
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