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Satellite Phones

photo1.jpg Comparing satellite phones is vital to matching the mission critical needs of your application with the function and capabilities of the respective satellite communications equipment. Ultimately a satellite phone is only as good as the network behind it and each network, Iridium, Inmarsat and Globalstar have various strengths and benefits. The comparison chart is designed to help prospective customers select which satellite phone is best suited for the job at hand in terms of QoS (Quality of Service), potential limitations and advantages one handset may have over another. In terms of networks, Iridium is currently the only satellite constellation to offer its customers seamless global coverage between and including, both poles. Inmarsat isatphone solutions, while somewhat more economical, may be deficient in terms of polar coverage and directional antenna. Globalstar is a good economical choice for users in the Continental USA, Canada or Caribbean, but not recommended for travelers outside these areas.

Satellite Phone Comparison Chart & 2017 Buyer's Guide

  Iridium Extreme Iridium 9555 IsatPhone 2 Globalstar
GSP-1700 (SPOT)
MPN/UPC CPKT1101 BPKT0801 885562000343 706166016267
Pricing (approx) $1,295 $1,099 $749 $499
Coverage Global Global Global (Minus Poles) Regional
Weight 8.7oz (247g) 9.38oz (266g) 11.14oz (316g) 7.05oz (200g)
Size 5.5”x2.36”x1.06”
5.3” x 2.2” x 1.5”
Battery Life 4hr talk / 30hrs standby 3hr talk / 30hrs standby 8hr talk / 160hr standby 4hr talk / 36 standby
Antenna Retractable omni-directional Retractable omni-directional Fold-out directional Fold-out directional
Display Monochrome Monochrome Color Color
Durability MIL-STD 810F N/A IK04 N/A
Ingress Protection IP65 N/A IP65 N/A
Network 66 Low Earth Orbit satellites 66 Low Earth Orbit satellites 3 Geostationary satellites 40 Orbiting Satellites
Text Messaging (SMS) Supported Supported Supported 35 Character Receive Only
GPS Yes N/A Yes Yes - During Call
Interfaces Mini USB, Audio Mini USB, Audio Micro USB, Bluetooth Mini USB, Audio
Data Connectivity Yes, via USB or AxcessPoint Yes, via USB or AxcessPoint Yes, via USB or AxcessPoint Yes, via USB or AxcessPoint
Data Speed
2.4 Kbps SLOW 2.4 Kbps SLOW 2.4 Kbps SLOW 9.6 Kbps SLOW
Emergency SOS Yes No Yes No

Satellite Phone FAQ's

  • What are some common reasons why people buy satellite phones?
    • Most people who need a satellite phone work, live or travel to areas without traditional landline or cellular coverage. Since satellite phones do not rely on wires or cellular towers they're able to work in more remote locations. 
  • How quickly can I get a satellite phone if I order it today?
    • We always have the major mobile satellite phone brands in stock and ready for shipment.  Most orders placed prior to 2pm Pacific time will ship same day from Seattle, WA
  • Should I rent or buy a satellite phone?
    • If you have a need for a satellite phone more than six weeks per year then purchasing a satellite phone would be your best option.  If you only travel to remote areas one month or less per year then a rental will be your most economical choice.
  • Do you offer refurbished satellite phones?
    • Yes we do, but inventory can very from week to week. Email us at to inquire about availability.
  • Which satellite phone has the best coverage?
    • Iridium, Inmarsat & Globalstar all have different coverage and some may work better in different areas.  Iridium has the widest coverage and will work anywhere on earth with a clear view of the sky.
  • Which satellite phones get internet?
    • Most of the satellite phones can connect to the internet, but the data rates are very slow.  Globalstar is the fastest data rates at 9.6kbps where Iridium & Inmarsat IsatPhone are 2.4kbps.  These satellite internet speeds are so slow that they usually require special software or applications to work efficiently.
  • Are there any long distance or roaming charges?
    • Iridium has the same voice calling rate from anywhere on earth, no long distance or roaming.  Inmarsat IsatPhone is the same globally, but does have different rates for landline and mobile phones, but they're very similar.  Globalstar is more regional, but usually the most cost effective.  If you're travelling outside North America you'll want to check your roaming price for Globalstar.
  • Can I purchase insurance or extended warranty for the satellite phones?
    • Yes, we do provide extended warranty or maintenace plans for all our satellite phones.
  • Do I need to get a new SIM card?
    • It depends on the phone service you're using.  Globalstar does not use SIM cards, so no you do not need a new SIM.  Inmarsat IsatPhone SIM cards do not expire, so you should not need a new one unless you're a new BlueCosmo customer.  Iridium SIM cards do expire if they've not been used in a while.  Send us your SIM card information and we can let you know.
  • If I buy two phones, can they share a service plan?
    • Unfortunately not, each phone does need it's own service plan or prepaid SIM card.
  • Which accessories are worth getting?
    • It depends on how you'll be using your satellite phone.  Email us at and we can recommend the best options for you.

How and When Satellite Phones are Typically Used

photo2.jpg Satellite phones have been around for decades but until the launch of the Iridium network subscribers typically needed fortune 100 or government sized budgets to pay for the privilege. Overall satellite phones, which operate independently of terrestrial communication networks, are typically a valuable backup to cell phones particularly where traditional wireless service is unreliable or non-existent which is the case in remote, unpopulated regions or where cell phone networks are vulnerable to natural or manmade disasters.

photo3.jpgUnlike cell phones, satellite phones generally require line of site with the sky to receive a signal for service. Consequently do not expect your satellite phone to ring in the hotel lobby of your hotel in the Congo or while in a cabin while at sea. Alas, like most rules there are always exceptions. As an example if your indoors but happen to be near a very large window, even if it is closed, you might expect to receive a signal. Pilots can often leave a satellite phone or more likely and Iridium Go on the dashboard of their planes cockpit and receive a signal.

While voice calls to a satellite phone incur a significant international calling surcharge texting is often treated as any traditional SMS to a cell phone. Consequently cell phone subscriber with and international SMS feature can text a satellite phone at no additional charge to say, texting a cell phone in Mexico. Inmarsat and Iridium satellite phones can send & receive text messages(SMS) or short emails and Globalstar can recieve 35 character messages only.

photo4.jpg The Inmarsat Isatphone offers global satellite connectivity at an affordable price. In addition to voice and text the Isatphone also includes a built-in GPS. While signal acquisition is somewhat slow due to the placement of the Inmarsat I-4 satellites and GPS acquisition, the call quality is reasonable. For the penultimate in satellite communications the Iridium 9575 Extreme is the most rugged, compact, satellite phone on the market today. Utilizing the Iridium network for unparalleled quality and coverage this IP65 rated handset can be dropped into a puddle and still be able to call a taxi from the North Pole. In fact you can even send the taxi driver you GPS coordinates, including elevation, via SMS or email.

Satellite Phones & Internet Access

photo5.jpgWhile many satellite phones do offer data, very few offer internet access and even those few have severe bandwidth restrictions. However many common, popular online functions may be carried out either with an added accessory to a standard phone or directly, with the aide of a smartphone when utilizing with a Wi-Fi enabled satellite phone. Regardless it is important to note that browsing webpages is simply out of the question even for the most patient, meditative subscribers. A Wi-Fi satellite phone will offer limited internet capabilities such as Facebook updates, with compressed photos or tweets.
The Iridium GO! satellite hotspot is the first portable Wi-Fi hotspot and enables satellite phone to let subscribers call, text, email and limited internet, all from their iOS or Android smartphone. Best of all it’s the least expensive hardware solution to give customers access to iridium, the most reliable satellite network.

photo6.jpgFor true internet access with web browsing a portable BGAN or IsatHub terminal are among the various mobile satellite internet solutions we recommend. Portable BGAN terminals and IsatHub terminals like the Wideye Isavi utilize a passive antennae must be stationary to receive a signal and transmit data. Even on a cruise ship which might not be moving all that fast you may have trouble maintaining a signal. The mobile satellite phones listed on this page can maintain a signal even while traveling in a car, train or plane.

Major Satellite Phone Brands

  • Iridium Extreme 9575 Satellite Phone
    Iridium Extreme 9575 Satellite Phone - Open Box
    USD $1,195.00

  • Iridium Extreme 9575 Satellite Phone
    Iridium Extreme 9575 Satellite Phone
    USD $1,295.00

  • Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone
    Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone
    USD $1,099.00

  • Globalstar GSP-1700 Satellite Phone - Copper
    Globalstar GSP1700 Satellite Phone
    USD $599.00 USD $499.00

  • Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 Satellite Phone
    Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 Satellite Phone
    USD $749.00

  • Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 Satellite Phone
    Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 Satellite Phone - Open Box
    USD $649.00

  • Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro Satellite Phone - Front
    Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro Satellite Phone


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