Satellite phones are mostly used in areas with geographical difficulties, during military and rescue operations. People living in regions that have high occurrences of natural calamities also prefer having these phones in their homes. Their usage is reliable in such environments since they provide a more extensive universal coverage regardless of your geographical location. This is contributed by the fact that satellite phones can transmit satellite communication by connecting to orbiting satellite rather than terrestrial cell phone towers which is the case with regular phones.
Although some of the satellite phones are bulkier, the modern versions are available in similar sizes as the cell phones. Almost all of them come with a retractable external antenna. They can send and receive signals from satellite networks above the earth surface. And is the reason why their usage is mostly preferred in remote areas where the terrestrial cellular services are unavailable.
For example, when going on a hiking expedition, on mountains or deep in the woods, there is a possibility that some areas will have poor network coverage. In this case, a satellite phone comes in handy. They also transmit GPS location which makes it easy to be traced if the need arises. SATcase is a perfect example of a global communicator that can be used as a satellite phone.
Having been entrusted by Sergeant Major Barry Gray during his upcoming journey in November 2018 from Hercules to the South Pole and the phrase two of his journey that will happen in November 2019, is a clear indication of the necessity of having a reliable communication backup device during adventurous and challenging expeditions. Since these phones come with sim cards, it is advisable to share the contact number with your family and friends before leaving. More so, if you are taking a longer trip which could take a month or more, a satellite phone will be helpful since it has longer battery life.
Why Aren’t Most People Using Satellite Phones?
For starters, satellite phones are purposely designed for outdoor use and where the network coverage of the cellular networks are not accessible. Other than this other factors include;
Considering the fact that the satellite communications of satellite phones are transmitted more than 30,000 km above the Earth surface, there is a lag when talking to a person on the other end. Although the time lag is tolerable, cell phones have minimal to virtually no lag.
Satellite phones have limited bandwidth and the cost of making a voice call range between $0.15 to $2 per miniature which is expensive and not economical to standard cell phone users.
Issues with an Unobstructed Line of Sight
Since these phones are mostly preferred for outdoor use, it is hard to use them indoors. They require you to stand in an open area to avoid obstructing the line of sight between satellite and the terminal.
Although sat phones are not used on a regular basis like the cellular phones, they are very helpful, especially in emergency situations.