A satellite (sat.) phone can keep you connected when out of VHF or cell phone range which is much less reliable when travelling more than 20 miles from shore. Sat. phones offer true voice transmission much like a cell phone, but instead use a reliable satellite network so you can place and receive clear quality calls in just about any boating condition including fog. It doesn’t have to be “installed” like a mounted VHF radio or a single side band (SSB) radio. Each of these devices has advantages too, such as calling more than one person or broadcasting several people at a time.
A truly prudent mariner will have a fixed mount VHF radio with DSC capability, a properly mounted single side band radio (and know how to use it) and a satellite phone properly charged. Some sat. phones can be integrated into a laptop computer which is starting to be considered more as a necessity aboard rather than a luxury for many offshore travelers and long range cruisers.
Sat. phones are different than small electronic notification devices (S.E.N.D.s) which send brief canned or pre-typed messages via satellite such as the S.P.O.T. Messenger or DeLorme inReach. These emergency notification devices are offered for sale at West Marine and other outdoor sporting outlets. For more information on satellite phones and other options, check out the West Advisor on the topic.
Satellite Phone Rental Companies
For more information on Satellite Phone Rentals, try one of these businesses:
- GMPCS Personal Communications - www.gmpcs-us.com
- Global Com - www.globalcomsatphone.com
- Mobal Communications - www.mobalrental.com
- Outfitter Satellite - www.outfittersatellite.com
- World Cell - www.worldcell.com
- Cellular Abroad - www.cellularabroad.com
- Cellhire - www.cellhire.com
- Sat Phone Store - www.satphonestore.com
- All Road Sat - http://allroadsat.com