2. Satellite Phone Networks & Coverage

Satellite Phone Networks & Coverage

One of the first questions we ask our customers is where they want to use their product – and whether they want to use it in only one country or region, or whether they might want to use it all over the world.

You really should think about the future when answering this question, as buying a regional product now may very well fall short of your requirements should you start traveling on a global basis in the future.


Regional Satellite Networks

Presuming you do not travel around the world and that your requirements are confined to a specific country or region, let’s start by taking a look at the regional satellite networks, being Thuraya and Globalstar. 

As can be seen from the coverage maps that follow, the Globalstar and Thuraya satellite networks cover vast areas of the earth, and certainly more than any one given cellular network could ever achieve. 

Globalstar

Globalstar provides what is unquestionably the cheapest of the handheld satellite phones, but it simply isn’t going to work for you if you ever need to travel to Africa, the Middle East, and the majority of the world’s oceans.

Globalstar Coverage Map
Globalstar Coverage Map

Thuraya

Thuraya make some very affordable phones as well, such as the XT Lite, but a Thuraya phone is going to be useless for you should you ever want to travel to the Americas, Southern Africa, and the majority of the world’s oceans.

Thuraya Satellite Coverage Map
Thuraya Satellite Coverage Map

Global Satellite Networks

If you might at some or other point travel outside the Globalstar and Thuraya coverage areas, then a Globalstar or Thuraya product would not be a suitable investment for you. Next, let’s take a look at the global coverage of the Iridium and Inmarsat satellite networks.

Inmarsat

If you might at some or other point travel outside the Globalstar and Thuraya coverage areas, then a Globalstar or Thuraya product would not be a suitable investment for you. Next, let’s take a look at the global coverage of the Iridium and Inmarsat satellite networks.

Inmarsat iSatPhone Coverage Map 2017
Inmarsat iSatPhone Coverage Map 2017

Iridium

If you might at some or other point travel outside the Globalstar and Thuraya coverage areas, then a Globalstar or Thuraya product would not be a suitable investment for you. Next, let’s take a look at the global coverage of the Iridium and Inmarsat satellite networks.

Iridium Coverage Map1
Iridium Coverage Map1


Our Conclusion

The major appeal then of buying an Inmarsat phone is that you can rest assured that it will work anywhere you might ever travel to, right around the globe, with the exception of the polar regions. And if coverage at or near the polar regions is a concern to you, then an Iridium phone is the definite answer for you.

Next we’ll have a look at the Iridium and Inmarsat phones themselves.