Satellite Phone Comparison

Comparison of Iridium, Inmarsat Isatphone 2 and Thuraya satellite phones

Quick Guide: Buying the Right Satellite Phone

Faced with the daunting task of having to choose the right satphone? Help is at hand with our handy Buyer’s Guide.

First off a little background

A satellite phone uses satellites in the sky to communicate with other satellite phones, landlinesIridium Coverage and even mobile phones. This is different to the land based stations that mobile phones use. Satellite phones can be used in areas where there are no landlines or mobile phone signal. They are also critical in disaster response situations when landline and mobile phones may fail due to congestion.

There are 3 service providers (just like Vodacom, Cell C and MTN), each with their own phones and connectivity.

  • Iridium has 66 satellites in orbit providing excellent coverage over the whole planet. The US army and many other military and police worldwide use their phones on the battlefields. They have 2 top of the range phones. The 9575 and Go. 9575: Looks like a phone and can do voice calls sms and even basic tracking out of the box. Go!: This is a small device that connects to your own smartphone. Turns your cellphone into a satellite phone via an App. Allows for calls, sms and even weather grib filesIridium Satphone usage image for boat owners.
  • Inmarsat with 3 satellites in the sky, also provides good coverage of most of the planet except for the two poles. Whilst the Iridium phone wins on coverage, the Inmarsat phone wins on price. Their latest phone, the Isatphone 2, has a neat design and provides reliable voice and SMS text messaging capabilities. Bluetooth is a killer feature on this phone allowing extra manoeuvrability whilst operating the phone.
  • Thuraya is a mid-market player with 2 satellites providing coverage for Northern Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Their phones such as Thuraya XT Pro or their Satsleeve, provides voice, SMS text messaging and low data services and is well-priced.

Besides the phone you will also need a sim card to access the network which will give you your own personal satellite phone number.

Each provider has different costs for airtime but pre-paid is the most popular. Iridium offers a cheaper African package in addition to their normal Standard package. The difference is self-explanatory – African airtime can only be used inside of Africa + Indian Ocean Islands, whilst Standard minutes can be used anywhere.

The phones include most accessories like wall and car chargers and data cables. Optional extras include solar chargers and docking stations.

So now (hopefully) you are equipped to make your choice;

  1. Coverage – where will you using the phone? If you need global coverage Iridium is our recommendation otherwise consider the Isatphone 2
  2. Mission critical – if it is vitally important for you to have signal at all times in every place we recommend Iridium otherwise the Isatphone 2
  3. Price – If price is your concern then Isatphone 2 is your choice.
  4. Need data – choose either Iridium or Thuraya
  5. Need GPS – Isatphone 2 or Iridium
  6. Phone – looking for the look and feel of a mobile phone? Opt for the Iridium Go. If you need a tough, rugged phone that will withstand the harshest conditions Iridium is the way to go.

If the below does not display correcty on your mobile phone or tablet, please click here – 

network

Iridiumtopbutton

Iridiumtopbutton (1)

Inmarsattopbutton

thurayatopbutton

model

9555

9575

IsatPhone 2

Thuraya XT Pro

images 9555_handset Iridium_Extreme-resized-600 isatphone 2 XT-PRO1
accessories
Leather Pouch tick tick tick cross
Wall Charger tick tick tick tick
Car Charger tick tick tick optional
Car Antenna tick tick cross cross
Data Kit tick tick tick tick
services
Voice tick tick tick tick
Data tick tick cross tick
Voicemail tick tick tick tick
SMS tick tick tick tick
Free 24/7 Helpline tick tick cross cross
GSM capability cross cross cross tick
GPS cross tick tick tick
Optional Tracking cross tick tick              tick
SOS Button cross tick tick              tick
specifications
Dimensions (mm Lx Wx D)

143 x 55 x 30

140 x 60 x 27

169 x 75 x 29

128 x 53 x 27

Weight (grams)

266g

247g

316g

212g

Battery Life (talk time)

up to 4 hours

up to 4 hours

up to 8 hours

up to 9 hours

Battery Life (standby time)

up to 30 hours

up to 30 hours

up to 160 hours

up to 100 hours

Interfaces
USB

Mini

Mini

Micro

Micro/Proprietary

Audio Socket tick tick tick tick
External Antenna Port tick tick tick tick
Bluetooth cross cross tick cross
DC Power tick tick tick tick
airtime

View Here

View Here

View Here

View Here

coverage

Global

Global

Global

Limited

Coverage (Southern Africa) tick tick tick cross
Satellites in orbit

66

66

3

2

rating

9/10

9/10

8/10

7/10

Recommended for

Everything

Critical Applications

Everything

Critical Applications

Tracking

SOS

Business Travellers

Holidaymakers

Casual Users

Tracking

Business Travellers

Holidaymakers

Casual Users

E&OE ordernow ordernow ordernow ordernow

Satellite Phone Comparison Mobile View:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *