Satellite Phone Buying Guide

At Global Telesat Communications we sell a range of satellite phones which operate on networks including Globalstar, Inmarsat, Iridium and Thuraya. Satellite phones are ideal for anyone needing voice and SMS capabilities in areas where no other reliable methods of telecommunications are available. They can also be used for data services although the speeds are very slow and only suitable for plain text emails. If you are planning on regularly transferring large amounts of data a satellite broadband terminal may be more suitable.

If you are looking to purchase a satellite phone but don't know where to start, our buying guide is here to help. The following information is designed to help you pick the right satellite phone and airtime options for your requirements.

If you need assistance before making a purchase please call us on 0800 112 3919 to discuss your requirements.




Which network and satellite phone should you choose?

One of the most important things to consider before buying a satellite phone is the location in which it will be used as not all satellite network operators offer truly global coverage. Additionally, you need to consider whether the phone will be used purely for voice connectivity or if you require advanced functions such as data transmission and GPS tracking capabilities.

Currently Iridium is the only network service provider to offer completely pole to pole global coverage although Inmarsat offer global coverage excluding the poles.

Thuraya offers a reliable coverage over Europe, Central Africa and large parts of Southern Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia as well as Australia. Globalstar offers voice coverage over most land covered areas across the globe and now have the world's most modern satellite communications network offering high reliability and service quality.

We recommend looking at our satellite coverage page to see which network providers offer coverage suitable for your requirements.


What's best - Pay As You Go or a Pay Monthly contract?

Your satellite phone needs a SIM card to operate, so if you don’t have one already it’s important to make sure you order the appropriate SIM card when making your purchase from GTC. We offer SIM cards from all the major network providers and most of these are available without charge. We do charge for Thuraya pay-as-you-go SIM cards but these include a small amount of airtime.

You have a choice of two airtime options when buying your SIM card; pay-as you-go airtime or a pay monthly contract:

  • Pay-as-you-go airtime allows you to buy a specified amount of units or 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. The validity of this pay-as-you-go airtime varies greatly between the different network providers so please check the option you choose is appropriate for your requirements.
  • 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.

The cost of calls and other services used on pay-as-you-go and pay monthly SIM cards vary depending on the service provider used.

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