Satellite telephones

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by The Englishman, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. The Englishman

    The Englishman New Member

    Happy New Year one and all

    I have been looking at satellite systems for telephone and Internet access - There's a lot of providers out there and each has their own spin on their products.

    What I would like to know is does anyone have such a system, who they use and why?

    I want it to handle both phone calls and Internet at high speed but its not a sooper dooper Elite system where a mortgage is needed to own and maintain it but equally I dont expect that its going to be cheap.

    I used one before in the desert and it was fast and efficient (I may not be here if it wasnt) I forgot the make but it had a small screen that showed the satellites that I could lock onto and there were a lot less of them in those days. It was only a phone and couldnt be hooked up to a PC.
     
  2. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: Satellite telephones

    Too rich for my blood. Sat phone from $900 to $1500 and then $1 a minute prepaid,
    And then $2000-$4000 for an internet dish and $60-$80 a month.
    If you must have a connection all the time OK. But I can get by with a verizon phone
    And use it as a modem for $100-$140 a month with a two year contract and unless I'm
    really in the outback coverage is good.

    LEN
     
  3. The Englishman

    The Englishman New Member

    Re: Satellite telephones

    Hey Len its not quite like that

    The sytems I have seen are around $5k to $9k and they lock onto satellites systems and the 'isp' charges around $40/mo and its constant streaming.

    Earlier sytems would cost around $3/min and a $10 connection charge but its got cheaper. I have cell phones but I need to connect in the boondocks and you all know where they are huh?

    Its a precursor to a future so I have to fit it in now so if I run out of Pinot Noir I can call out for it and hey pizzas too. They dont do Indian Takeaways yet but when they do I'll be ready
     
  4. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: Satellite telephones

    I was saying about $140 a month for internet and cell combined. You can find the Sat internet systems used for under $3000 and then I think it was around $60-$80 for the ISP. But from what I have read the speed is far from Cable and under DSL also. Also another thought if you were to have the Sat internet there is a phone internet system that is USB to the computer that is $40 for the first year and $20 a year there after for local and long distance(I think it was world wide since it is internet) but it would not be portable other than the motor home.

    LEN
     
  5. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Satellite telephones

    I have satellite internet and it was pricey but it was one that is all automatic on top of my rv. I could have gone with a system I set up myself but found that idea to be a pain in the butt. I also once a year or two ago looked into satellite telephone and it is way out of my league and I found none that were cheap. As for cell phone internet there is no way I would bother with that route. Having traveled all across the US with a cell phone I found I was more out of service than in and I was using a prepay phone that worked on all systems up to two years ago than I went to verizon. When I bought my satellite system I was in a location where I could see the verizon towers but could not connect to them due to the distance they were away from us. I have since been in a half dozen places across the US where verizon could not connect even when there were towers from other services which I thought was strange but figured thats just the way it is.
     
  6. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Satellite telephones

    Actually, I am a satellite internet user with the Starband system and my equipment is one of the most expensive of the portable systems with an actual cost of about $1700. With the proliferation of systems over the five years that we have had ours the price has come down and you can now get a new system such as mine for about $1200, installed and with user training and certification. The current monthly cost from Starband is $50 for the base unit. It does not include any telephone service, and I don't know of one that does. You can use a system such as Skype for telephone over the dish internet. We have been very happy with our system and have had wonderful support from the Starband company.

    Satellite internet is the only kind that is available anywhere you go, as long as you have a view of the southern sky.
     
  7. WILLY3328

    WILLY3328 New Member

    RE: Satellite telephones

    Kirk,
    I've seen many of your posts about your satisfaction with the Starband System. I'm also interested in getting Satellite internet service but every time I check the Starband web site, I see the following in their FAQ's:

    Q. "Can I mount a StarBand antenna on my RV?"
    A. "Not at this time. The StarBand antenna not only receives from but also transmits to the satellite; the installation must be performed with exact precision and in accordance with FCC standards."

    So if it's available for an RV, where can I find information/prices etc? And why don't they acknowledge it on their web site?
    Perhaps I'm looking at the wrong web site? www.Starband.com
     
  8. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Satellite telephones

    Bill, while we're waiting for Kirk to get back on here and answer your question direct, I think what Starband means but does not say very well is that the Internet dish setup is large and heavy.

    It has to be very stable since it is transmitting to a satellite that is many miles away. Ever try to put the dot from one of those laser pointers on a building across the street? Moves around a lot, doesn't it?

    The keyword in that Q & A is "on" your RV. The Internet dish is mounted firmly to the ground on a tripod.
     
  9. WILLY3328

    WILLY3328 New Member

    RE: Satellite telephones

    I hear what you're saying Tex, but I guess I'm just a little paranoid. Everything I read on their web site indicates that the dish has to be aligned by a certified technician because misalignment can cause harmful interference to other users, (since the dish is a microwave transmitter as well as receiver). As ham's, you and I both know that's a no-no. I'm not sure if a license is required or not, I'm just saying that their web site seems to refer only to permanent, fixed site installations.

    Under those circumstances, I can't possibly envision resolving any operation issues with their customer service personnel, when I have to tell them my dish is mounted on a tri-pod out in the boondocks somewhere.
     
  10. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Satellite telephones

    Why not go to a moto sat system instead. You can have it mounted on your rv or you can learn to set it up yourself from the people that sell it to you. I have had the moto sat system with hughesnet for internet for three years now. I have the rv mounted unit.
     
  11. WILLY3328

    WILLY3328 New Member

    RE: Satellite telephones

    Still doing some research. I like the Motosat system but not the price. Also, there just doesn't seem to be a lot of technical information at any of the dealer web sites. They have no problem providing a shopping basket and checkout procedures for my credit card information but don't seem to provide much else. For instance, they offer several size dishes and several different model of modems but no explanation as to the difference between them or the reason to buy one over the other.

    I guess Kirk's is the tripod system as Tex was explaining. I could afford that but I don't look forward to setting it up every time I want to log on to the internet. Perhaps I'll hit the lottery and get the Motosat?
     

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