If you like to venture out into wilderness areas, climb mountains, go boating on big lakes or in the sea, or travel to remote places around the world, your cell phone service might not follow you far enough. Every year, people get lost in the wilderness or encounter difficult conditions at sea and tragically die because they couldn’t get emergency help when they needed it most.
That’s why satellite communicators and satellite phones are worth having; they can save your life, depending on your lifestyle. Below, we’ve created some typical examples of people who might want a satellite phone.
Exploring Elaine: Elaine is a rugged adventurer who likes to travel to remote reaches of the world with harsh terrain; she needs a heavy-duty piece of hardware that can withstand monsoon rains or desert sandstorms, while keeping her in contact with her friends, family, and emergency services in case of medical emergency or natural disaster.
How to choose a satellite phone: Someone like Elaine who loves to visit extreme environments in faraway, off-the-grid places will need a full-featured satellite phone device with a more expansive monthly service plan.
Think of the most heavy-duty device with worldwide coverage and all the bells and whistles, like a higher-end Iridium satellite phone. Unlimited voice-calling minutes might be worth it too.
Boating Barry: Barry is an avid fisherman who likes to pilot his boat far away from the coastline for some deep sea fishing. But cell phone networks don’t reach far beyond shore. A satellite phone or satellite communicator can help Barry and his crew stay in touch in case of an emergency at sea.
How to choose a satellite phone: If Barry is going only on short-term day trips, a simpler satellite phone device like the Garmin InReach® that enables text-only and SOS communications might be a better fit. But if Barry intends to go on weeks-long journeys at sea, a more elaborate satellite phone that has worldwide coverage, like Iridium, might be best.
Preparedness Paul: Paul and his family live in a rural area and love the wide open space and clear skies. But Paul wants to make sure his family is protected in case of natural disaster or breakdowns of infrastructure, being so far out. With a satellite phone, Paul can have reliable access to phone service in case of emergencies or in case the power goes down.
How to choose a satellite phone: If Paul wants satellite phone service for emergencies only, it might be worth getting an Iridium GO!® device that turns his cell phone into a satellite phone, which has a lower cost commitment than a heavy-duty satellite phone device. Depending on the quality of cell coverage in his rural area, Paul might also want to consider HughesNet satellite phone service for his home.
Snowboarding Susan: Susan loves to go snowboarding, skiing, and snowshoeing in backcountry areas with her friends, but the remote mountainous regions tend to have spotty cell phone coverage. With a satellite phone, Susan and her friends have emergency communication in case someone gets injured or in trouble while out on a slope, making it easier for emergency responders to find them.
How to choose a satellite phone: Susan and her friends should keep safety as their primary focus. They don’t need to make long calls or send complicated communications via satellite phone, so a Garmin InReach device or Iridium GO! might be a good solution for short-term wilderness trips to remote areas.
If Susan’s wilderness travels are limited to certain areas that are well within the satellite phone coverage map of Globalstar, that company’s devices might also be a good fit.
Satellite phones and satellite communicators are not cheap, but they can potentially save your life. So don’t be intimidated by their prices.
If you’re one of the people above, think of it as accident insurance; you might never need to use that satellite phone, but in case you break your ankle on a mountain slope, or in case your boat capsizes a few miles from shore, you will be glad to be able to press that button to send an SOS or call for help.
Even the basic safety features of the simplest satellite phone devices can ultimately save your life.