Can satellite phones be tracked?

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Here you will find an overview of frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the subject of satellite telephones. All information is provided for informational purposes and is non-binding.

Can I also rent a satellite phone?

On our website www.satfon.de you will find our range of satellite telephones for rent. There you can display the price and find all the details about renting in the questions & answers area there.

Can I send and receive SMS?

You can send SMS to email recipients and receive messages from the respective network operator's linked news portals on our home page. SMS to and from conventional GSM cell phones often does not work because there are often no roaming agreements in place.

How do I get professional sea or mountain weather information?

Personally tailored mountain weather information via SMS to the satellite phone can be requested from the ZAMG Innsbruck. All information on downloading weather data at sea (Grib files) with Iridium satellite telephones can be found in our PDF for downloading weather data.
Only for satellite terminals with broadband internet, on land e.g. Thuraya WE, Thuraya IP +, Iridium Certus, Inmarsat BGAN, Inmarsat IsatHub and at sea e.g. Iridium Certus, Thuraya Marine Broadband, Inmarsat Fleetbroadband, Inmarsat Fleet One, the weather data on the mountain or at sea can also be used can be downloaded directly from the Internet.

What are the satellite phone connection charges?

Outside Europe, outgoing calls from a satellite phone are usually much cheaper than calls from a mobile phone in international roaming. So even with an existing cell phone network, it makes sense to use the satellite phone and use credit there instead of paying expensive roaming fees to the cell phone network operator. You will find the tariffs for outgoing calls from the satellite telephone, which are between approx. € 0.80 and approx. € 2.00 per minute in the respective product category. Incoming calls are free for the satellite phone user. Nevertheless, a call from the cell phone or landline to the satellite phone is usually more expensive than a call from the satellite phone to the cell phone or landline.

Which network should I choose?

For all details, see the separate category, Comparison of Satellite Networks. Iridium has orbiting satellites that also cross the polar ice caps and move in relation to them. In Thuraya and Inmarsat, the satellites are fixed over the equator in relation to them. The angle of the satellite above the horizon in the direction of the equator therefore becomes flatter with increasing distance. Mountains and other physical obstacles in the direction of the equator are therefore more often between the satellite and the satellite telephone and impair reception. In regions north latitude up to and including Great Britain and south latitude up to and including Australia, Inmarsat and Thuraya are usually preferred within the respective network coverage, as these systems offer better voice quality than Iridium and the satellite are still relatively steep in the sky.

What can I do if I run out of credit?

You call home or the office in order to have the codes passed on to you, e.g. via SMS. The contact person can buy new prepaid credit codes online at www.expeditionstechnik.de. The code is then sent directly to the customer by email if the payment is made, e.g. with credit card or PayPal. It is also possible to purchase credit on weekends, at night or on public holidays.

Where do satellite phones work?

In almost the entire network coverage shown, outdoors with a clear view of the satellite, e.g. not inside a building or when physical obstacles such as mountains or trees obscure the view of the satellite. For use in Russia, an Iridium phone including SIM must be registered online free of charge in advance. Link: Traveling to Russia or there are restrictions, e.g. due to an order of the Federal Network Agency for Iridium in a radius of at least 35 km around the Effelsberg radio telescope (approx. 30 km SW of Bonn) due to possible interference. These very few small-scale restrictions listed as examples cannot, however, be listed here in full and in a binding manner.

How can I best be reached?

TheSend and receive text messages can be a very valuable function, because with the satellite phone the user will not be constantly on reception. The phone only works when the antenna is unfolded and properly aligned with the satellite, which will hardly be the case all the time. That is why a conversation partner can state his / her wish for a conversation, his phone number and his subject in an SMS with up to 160 characters and ask for a call back. Anyone can get one from the InternetSMS for free send to the satellite phone.

How do I dial emergency numbers?

The simplest solution for Inmarsat and Iridium devices with GPS receivers is the chargeable worldwide rescue service GEOS, which receives the coordinates with the emergency call directly via SMS, see http://www.geostravelsafety.com and the supplement of the device. GEOS also offers other chargeable services such as travel assistance or repatriation if you register in advance.

Otherwise there are many different national abbreviations and service numbers around the world that change frequently in some countries. These cannot be reliably supported worldwide by a global satellite network. This is also stated in the sheet supplied in the box.
In addition, when calling from a satellite telephone to a control center, in contrast to landline and mobile networks, the position of the caller cannot be determined and the call cannot therefore be put through to the correct control center.

All regular phone numbers (always with country code) in terrestrial networks can be called from the satellite phone, but not national emergency and service speed dials for all countries.
So you need an internationally callable number with country and area code. You can research the local or global offices with local phone numbers e.g. via travel guide, internet, local ranger, nearest accommodation, local police station, nearest hospital, private rescue service, global ADAC number, emergency number of the Foreign Office, etc.
Overview of the control centers in Bavaria: http://www.notruf112.bayern.de/ils
For example, 4 offices are responsible for the Bavarian Alpine region: Kempten, Weilheim-Schongau, Rosenheim and Traunstein. Each location can also be reached via a landline number. It is best to contact the offices and clarify whether it is okay to call the landline number directly in the event of an emergency.

Here are the websites:
http://www.ils-allgaeu.de, http://www.ils-oberland.brk.de, https://www.rosenheim.de/stadt-buerger/sicherheit-und-ordnung/ils.html? no_cache = 1, http://www.ils-ts.de/

Overview of responsibilities in Italy:
http://www.bergrettung.it/de/bergrettungsstellen-2.html

Emergency numbers, some with internationally accessible numbers with country code, other Alpine countries:
http://www.alpenverein.de/dav-services/alpine-auskunft/alpine-telefonn Bäumen_aid_10705.html

The Canadian Ministry of Fisheries provides a global overview of Rescue Coordination Centers (primarily for seafarers) on the following page:
https://sarcontacts.info/

Unfortunately, we cannot create a global list for this, as these numbers change too frequently in all countries around the world to publish reliable information here.

Who can I call from the satellite phone?

All regular phone numbers (always with country code) in terrestrial networks can be called from the satellite telephone, but not national emergency and service speed dials.

What must be considered when importing satellite telephones abroad?

We have customers in almost every country in the world. Nevertheless, in general, a satellite phone should be used discreetly and packed with other emergency equipment and not with extensive technology such as cameras, laptops etc. in order not to arouse unnecessary suspicion. We are not aware of any general export restrictions for satellite telephones from the European Union. The import of satellite telephones is not a problem in most countries in the world. Binding, up-to-date and ideally written information can only be provided by the respective diplomatic mission of the target country, such as an embassy or consulate.

SMS roaming

SMS from and to cell phone numbers is only possible with some cell phone numbers and even then not always safely and not to all phone numbers. There is no list for this, as this varies greatly depending on the partners involved in the transmission. The transmission of SMS in connection with mobile phone numbers often fails due to the non-existent roaming agreements between the partners involved, which regulate the mutual billing. Short Message Service (SMS) is implemented on satellite telephones as text messages to email and messages to the devices are possible via the network operator's website. The respective news portal is also specified in the supplementary sheets that are supplied with SIM cards and devices. An alternative would be the "Satway" third-party app for Android or iOS.