Satellite Phones

The primary options for satellite phones are Thuraya, Inmarsat and Iridium. Thuraya geographic coverage spans Europe, North and Central Africa, the Middle East and Central and South Asia but do not cover the Americas. Iridium phones cover North and South America, southern Africa.. Inmarsat satellites orbit the equator – the further one gets away from the equator, the more difficult it will be to connect to the satellite. Before deciding on a satellite phone provider check coverage for your global location. This can be done by visiting their websites and or talking with other users in the same location.

Satellite phones should accompany all field teams in areas where mobile phones may be non-functional or unreliable. All satellite phones should have data and voice transmission capacities.

A voice call using a satellite phone costs in the region of $1.50 per minute. SMSs cost in region of $0.25 per message. CRS support office needs to monitor SIM usage and ensure uninterrupted service to deployed SIM cards and phones. Thuraya Satellite phones allow free SMS via a Twitter account when sent from a computer to a Thuraya phone (not vis versa).

IMPORTANT:

All satellite phones and SIM cards should be tested by IT before deploying to field and staff should be trained on how to operate.

CRS support office needs to monitor SIM usage and ensure uninterrupted service to deployed SIM cards and phones.

Satellite Phones
Sample Products Thuraya XT or XT Dual / Iridium 9555 or 9505A / Inmarsat Isat Phone Pro
Manufacturer link: Thuraya / Iridium / Inmarsat 
EFOM link: Thuraya XT or XT Dual / Iridium 9555 or 9505A telephone / Isat Phone Pro
Purchase Cost $900-$1,300
Running Costs See Breakdown Below
Advantages Easy to carry, built-in GPS,
Disadvantages High usage cost, management and monitoring of usage, keeping prepaid SIMs topped up, difficult to use when moving (need to stop vehicle)
Ideal Use As a primary communication system in the initial stages of a humanitarian response when there is no cellular phones system.   As secondary communication system in insecure environments with poor/unreliable cellular phone coverage,

The model phones listed below are those most often procured by CRS along with suggested components.

Thuraya XT or XT Dual

Iridium 9555 or 9505A telephone

Isat Phone Pro

CRS has SIMS which are activated in the portal by GKIM. They will be active within 24 hours, but we can escalate if necessary. The cost table is below.

 Cost type Cost per minute
Iridium
Activation Fee for New sim $29.95
Reactivation of Deactivated sim $250.00
Monthly Subscription Fee $52.00
Iridium to Iridium $0.99
Iridium to PSTN $1.49
Iridium to Thuraya $11.00
SMS $0.50
Minutes included per month with plan 10
Thuraya
Activation Fee $40.00
Monthly Subscription Fee $23.00
Thuraya to Thuraya $0.99
Thuraya to PSTN $1.49
Thuraya to Iridium $8.40
SMS $0.50
Minutes included per month with plan $0