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News & Updates from the Satellite Phone Industry | BlueCosmo Blog - Inmarsat

Satellite Phone VS Cell Phone Options

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Wherever you go, there are always a range of options for you to choose from when it comes to communicating with others around the world. If you are an avid traveler and find yourself abroad more than twice a year and often in remote parts of the planet, then you may find that a cell phone doesn't offer you the coverage that you need to stay in touch with work or your loved ones. Fortunately, there are other options which can enable you to communicate with those that are important to you, and these methods include satellite phones, cell phones and GSM.

Satellite phones and cell phones are constantly being compared, and this is because every customer wants to know one thing: Which is better? Mainly, this can depend on a number of factors including what you are planning on using the phone for so if you are confused as to which to buy or just need some help understanding the difference between Inmarsat and Iridium, then read on...

The Phone

A cell phone, whether it is an iPhone, Android or basic cell is not really made for harsh conditions, whereas a sat phone's designed to withstand variations in temperature and climate and is built to last. So when it comes to satellite phone vs cell phone strength, it is best to go for a sat phone if you are travelling anywhere with rough terrain or if it is likely that a phone could get stuffed into a backpack. You will notice that a satellite phone vs cellular phone is designed to work in extreme heat and cold and many are waterproof too - just check this feature before you buy!

If size, weight and coverage are among the most important things that will help you choose a phone, look at this satellite phone comparison chart.

Satellite Phones

When you travel to remote regions of the world, the main benefit of having a satellite phone vs cell phone is that a sat phone can still get great coverage. As well as this, sat phones are well known for their reliability so if you are at sea, in the air or in a remote district where your cell phone wouldn't work, your sat phone still would.

Also when comparing satellite phone vs mobile phone charges, you will find that sat phones are a lot more cost effective. On top of the reliability and great quality coverage, charges are often only twice what you would pay per minute on a cell phone at home which is great value for money. Another thing to remember about satellite phones versus cell phones is that satellite phone rates are also significantly cheaper than cell roaming rates.

With some models of sat phone and various loyalty programs, you can also expect:

  • free messaging
  • great coverage
  • high levels of accessibility
  • great data

  • Cell Phones

    When it comes to comparing a satellite phone vs cellular phone, there is very little competition in terms of coverage. Cellular networks only cover 10% of the earth's surface, whereas satellite phones have a really wide range of global network coverage.

    Most people used to think of satellite phones as bulky and ugly, but now with new advnaces in design, you can compare satellite phones vs cell phones and realize that there is actually not much difference in size. With cell phones, you will notice that you will get charged for incoming calls if you are abroad, but sat phone payment plans means that you only get charged for the calls you make, not those you receive.


    GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) is the standard mode of staying connected to a network using a cell phone. It allows roaming across networks and it makes sending data very efficient and reliable. It can be used in emergencies, so no matter which network your cell phone is connected to, emergency services can be reached providing that you have a signal. However, if you look at satellite phone vs gsm, the main advantage that sat phones have over GSM is that coverage is a lot wider and getting a signal is a lot more likely thanks to the range of satellites.

    Iridium vs. Inmarsat IsatPhone

    A lot of potential sat phone buyers look at Inmarsat IsatPhone vs Iridium because they want to know which is best, and it will often relate back to the type of satellite each handset is connected to. Iridium phones are connected to LEO satellites, which orbit close to earth and provide good connectivity. The Iridium operates on this satellite and because this is a sturdy phone, it is a great option for anyone who is venturing out of a regular cell network area and needs a strong sat phone such as the Iridium. Inmarsat on the other hand use geostationary satellites, which are higher up and also more powerful offering very reliable connectivity. 


    If you want a phone with full planetary coverage, the Iiridium is the best (making it ideal for people that travel across the globe). In relation to coverage, the satellite phone Inmarsat IsatPhone vs Iridium both provide great coverage, but the Inmarsat does not have polar coverage and the signal is weaker the farther north you go.

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