Once only for the rich and famous or the Army and Charity workers, Satellite or Sat Phones are now more prevalent then ever in the adventure travel arena. So why has this gadget become so necessary for everyday folk?
It is not just that everyone wants stay in touch these days, (be it with work, family or friends), some folks just can not live a day without their mobile device, Tablet PC, Laptop or cell phone 'fix' but the very fact that Sat Phone equipment has gotten much more portable, easy to use and above all price accessible has opened up a whole new world – quite literally. In fact you can even rent a Sat Phone for as little as $ 99.00 a month. And no excuses for running out of juice, many providers can supply you with a solar charger or even wind-up adapters that will mean you do not even need a power socket. Pretty handy of you are crossing the Atacama Desert of on Safari.
Size is also important! Sat Phones have moved from being a back-pack powered, 'brick' sized monster to being lightweight and portable. Indeed the latest generation are no bigger than a mobile was a few years ago, so much so you can even wear one on your belt.
For those who want to explore the wilds of Africa or the Bush in Australia, even the wilds of the USA or any remote or under developed area, Iridium and other Sat technologies such as Thuraya or Inmarsat now give uninterrupted coverage worldwide and call rates that are starting to become much more reasonable – not cheap, but reasonable. In fact you can call home for as little as $ 1.99 a minute in most cases or even less, putting Sat Phones firmly in the reach of anyone who travels. In fact think about mobile roaming on your cell phone and $ 1.99 is only a 50% premium per minute in many cases.
So before you head off on that voyage of personal discovery, trek the net first and make sure you are never out of touch, even if you wish you were! Iridium will work anywhere, so that is the best bet, but for a smaller more battery friendly device in Africa and the Middle East try Thuraya. And if you must have that Laptop, BGAN can get you connected at Broadband speeds anywhere on the planet.