What are the running costs of satellite phones?
Many people assume that the running costs of satellite phones are high but did you know that you can run a satellite phone from as little as £19 per month? Satellite phones are ideal for anyone needing voice and SMS capabilities in areas where no other reliable methods of telecommunications are available. You have a choice of two airtime options when buying a satellite phone; pay-as you-go or a pay monthly contract:
Pay-as-you-go airtime allows you to buy a specified amount of minutes and once they have been used or expire you can either top-up or purchase a new card. This is very similar to the way that a pay-as-you-go SIM card works for a regular mobile phone. Pay as you go options have a validity period in which the minutes must be used or they will be lost - to avoid this if you top-up before the expiration date you can rollover the minutes.
- Pay monthly contracts carry a fixed monthly charge in addition to the cost of any voice and data calls you will make using the SIM. If you plan to use your satellite phone regularly throughout the year and do not want to worry about the expiry dates or inconvenience of topping-up pay-as-you-go SIM cards you may find it more convenient and cost effective to use a post-paid SIM card. Plans which include minutes each month do not rollover if unused.
Globalstar Satellite Phone Running Costs
You can run a Globalstar phone from as little as €30/£26 a month by signing up to their Entry Plan. The Globalstar satellite network is suitable for customers demanding the best satellite voice quality and fastest low-band data speeds at an affordable and highly competitive price. Globalstar currently insist on a 12 month minimum term.
Globalstar also offer pay as you go airtime with airtime vouchers ranging from 100 minutes for £46 to 1000 minutes for £405.
Inmarsat Satellite Phone Running Costs
You can run an Inmarsat phone from as little as $35/£26 a month by signing up to their Standard Plan which includes 10 minutes of call time. Inmarsat is the world's leading provider of global mobile satellite communications providing voice and high-speed data services to almost anywhere on the planet - on land, at sea and in the air. Inmarsat offer pay as you go airtime from as little as £35 for 38 minutes worth of call time to landlines and mobile phones.
Although the monthly fees are slightly higher with Inmarsat their contracts have a three month minimum term and so you will not be tied into a long contract.
Iridium Satellite Phone Running Costs
You can run an Iridium phone from as little as $57/£42 a month with their Iridium 10 pay monthly contract. Iridium is the world's second largest provider of mobile voice and data communications services via satellite and the only commercial provider of communications services offering 100% global coverage.
Iridium have pay as you go vouchers starting from £102.50 for 75 minutes of call time.
Iridium's pay as you go vouchers are slightly more expensive than some of the other networks but they are the only one with completely global coverage and so they can be used anywhere on Earth.
Iridium pay monthly contracts offer a three month minimum term which can be beneficial for people who do not expect to use their satellite phone all year around.
Thuraya Satellite Phone Running Costs
You can run a Thuraya phone from just $25/£19 a month on their NOVA Plus Plan. Thuraya is a United Arab Emirates based provider of mobile satellite voice and data services with coverage across most of Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia.
Thuraya pay as you go vouchers start at just £17 for 22 minutes of call time in NOVA zones valid for two years.
In summary Thuraya offers the most cost-effective pay monthly and pre-paid airtime. However, their equipment may not be suitable for everyone due to their regional coverage.
Call us to find out more about the running costs for satellite phones on 0800 112 3919.
Pricing updated June 2018.
All prices exclude VAT where applicable.
Currency prices converted at current exchange rates of 1GBP=1.34USD and 1GBP=1.14EUR.
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