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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    5,835

    Default satellite phone suppliers?

    I am thinking of buying an isat phone which looks as if it provides very good coverage of the areas I need - Africa, Asia, Indian Ocean. This is mainly for use on land.

    Any suggestions on a knowledgeable and reliable UK supplier. Googling around shows very little concrete information about costs for buying and using, just lots of places with the same information cut and pasted from Inmarsat and saying 'call for more information'. Many appear to be rather dubious shopfronts.

    Any recommendations ?

    Thanks
    whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul..I account it high time to get to sea..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    14,031

    Default Re: satellite phone suppliers?

    I've got a Motorola 9505a on Iridium - no problem in Afghanistan, Kossovo, the Congo and Sierra Leone.

    Why not have a look on eBay - these things are available most of the time.

    Bought my airtime through Cactus ( http://www.cactusnav.com )
    www.guapa.pn
    Be realistic - aim for the impossible!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    3,645

    Default Re: satellite phone suppliers?

    Try Jim at http://www.mactrashop.co.uk/ very knowledgeable, all round good egg and a cruiser to boot.
    PM me for marine LPG

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    685

    Default Re: satellite phone suppliers?

    Bought a Motorola 9505a at the Southampton Boat Show in 2006....can't remember the airtime supplier but this expensive bit of kit ceased to work off the coast of Portugal. It's return to AST brought an estimate of 600 to replace the motherboard despite it breaking down within the warrantly period. Needless to say, it's now been dumped!

  5. #5
    lenseman's Avatar
    lenseman is offline Registered User
    Location : South East Coast - United Kingdom
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    Default Re: satellite phone suppliers?

    I would be certain you would have had a case under the warranty of New Goods SoG Act? Why didnt you persue this? You did buy it in the UK as you stated at the SBS?
    regards David - DSW Marine Engineering
    www.dswmarineengineering.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    1,796

    Default Re: satellite phone suppliers?

    Get it sent back, your supplier should replace it or get it repaired free of charge under warrenty.

    Bought our Iridium phone (and ICOM 801) with Jim at MACTRA, good boat show price, think he gets them via Ed Wildgoose (nippy networks, runs the mailasail site). Can't say a bad word about either of them, allways been willing to help out and go the extra mile, whenever we've had a question or two.
    Drinking rum and playing music with my friends.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    685

    Default Re: satellite phone suppliers?

    The phone was sent back as I said, to AST. The problem was that by the time it did get back to Norfolk, the warranty had expired. The first contact with them however, was well within the warranty period and it was they who asked for it back. Postage and insurance costs were astronomical, the first hour on the bench was also very pricey...just to get an idea of what was wrong with it. There is a limit to just how much I can pay to pursue a repair, especially when I am still 'overseas' and everything is being done through a third party. I was not prepared to throw good money after bad. Believe me, I argued strongly for a 'free' repair or better still, a replacement of what was obviously a faulty unit in the first place but AST were not interested.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    5,835

    Default Re: satellite phone suppliers?

    Thanks. I see mactra deal only in Irridium; the coverage I need seems to be not available from the usual suspects and until recently only an incredibly expensive Inmarsat system was an option. However, the isat phone looks perfect. I emailed a UK and a SA supplier yesterday. I got a rapid response from SA. (The other was AST subsequently mentioned above. They have not followed up and I will now stay well clear f them.) Having no experience of sat phones or costs I would be interested in comments from experienced users; how do the costs look in comparison to yours?

    Isat Phone c/w accessories US$649

    Monthly subscription (payable annually in advance) $20.00
    Airtime (valid for 12 months) $100.00*
    Sim Card & Activation Free
    Callcharges are in the region of $1 per min for voice and $3 for data

    *not quite sure what that means or how it differs from call charges?

    Thanks very much.

    PS As I mentioned, I will be sticking with HF radio as my main means of comms offshore. This is largely for travel by land into some extremely obscure places. Although, having got it, I guess I might as well take it sailing too!
    whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul..I account it high time to get to sea..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: satellite phone suppliers?

    Comments above well what can I say one persons experience.

    I have had my motorla 9505 for the last 5 years and no problems AST supplied it, repaired it (it fell in the Water) and I have never had any real problems.

    They work well and do what they say on the packet.

    My question is why a monthly subscription you can go on a pay as you go plan and why is the data more I think i am at $1.2 per min for voice and data and no monthly charge. I could be wrong but will check

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